Starr JP resigns months after mulling over county commission run

After months of speculation that Justice of the Peace Jose “Kiko” Perez was running for Starr County commissioner, which was fueled by the erection of campaign signs and billboards, Perez submitted his letter of resignation as JP last week, in accordance with the state’s resign-to-run laws.

Perez, currently the Pct. 8 JP in Starr County submitted his resignation Friday which the county commissioners court is set to accept during a meeting Tuesday morning, in accordance with state law which requires a justice of the peace to automatically resign upon announcing their candidacy for another office.

Although campaign signs and stickers had been spotted earlier this year — bearing a large, red “K” similar to the logo used during his 2018 campaign except with “2020” slapped across it — Perez told The Monitor in July that the campaign memorabilia had been put up by supporters who wanted him to run for county commissioner but that he remained undecided.

At the time, he said his decision hinged on whether County Commissioner Jaime Alvarez would seek re-election to the Pct. 1 position on the county commission. However, Alvarez and publicly stated months prior that he would not be running for re-election.

Alvarez’s sister-in-law, Tinita Alvarez, is also running for the Pct. 1 position and had begun campaigning for the Pct. 1 position as early as June.

Perez said Monday that he reached a decision on whether to run a few weeks ago, encouraged by the amount from the community and his family.

He said he wanted to pursue the commissioner’s position over his current role of JP because he preferred to be more hands-on.

“I think I would do a better job as a commissioner.” Perez said. “I’m an outdoors kind of guy; I enjoy being outside working with my hands instead of being behind a desk 24/7 or with a lot of paperwork so I’m more of an active kind of guy.”

His work experience in construction and road maintenance, Perez said, qualified him for the position.

“I’ve seen the necessities of the community and I plan to attack those problem areas that are in my precinct,” he said.

His resignation, he said, would effective immediately upon its acceptance by the county commissioners court.

He has yet to officially file for a place on the ballot for the March 2020 Democratic Primary, the deadline for which is Dec. 9.