By RAUL GARCIA

Staff Writer

LA FERIA — Jesse Zuniga grew up running the streets in La Feria with his friends.

Now Zuniga, 48, is helping guide the city as mayor pro-tem.

The lifelong resident was voted to represent the town in 2016.

He is up for re-election in 2019 for City Commission seat Place 1.

Until then he will be the mayor pro-tem.

“I think he has earned his stripes,” City Commissioner Esmeralda Sanchez said about selecting Zuniga as mayor pro-tem.

The deputy mayor pro tempore, or deputy mayor pro tem, assumes mayoral duties in the event of a mayor’s absence due to death, physical incapacity, impeachment or resignation. The Latin term “pro tempore” means “for the time being,” so the title is temporary.

Zuniga takes the helm a week after former Mayor Pro-Tem Eric Hoff stepped down from his duty on the City Commission.

Hoff said he plans to move out of the city and said family issues needed his attention and could no longer commit his time to the office.

Zuniga was voted to take on the role of mayor pro tem at the city meeting held Tuesday.

Zuniga is a member of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.

He has worked for Burton Auto for the past 22 years and manages the Harlingen branch.

“I am very proud that I was chosen. I will do my best for my citizens,” Zuniga said. “I signed up and volunteered, and I have to do what’s best for the community.”