Cuellar secures 275th District Court, will take bench in 2019

Attorney Marla Cuellar will be the next judge of the 275th District Court come January 2019 when Juan Partida steps down after nearly three decades on the bench.

Cuellar received 52.92 percent of the vote, receiving 2,541 more votes than her opponent attorney Patty O’Caña-Olivárez.

An attorney for 21 years, Cuellar unsuccessfully ran for judge of County Court-at-Law No. 8 in 2014. She told The Monitor Tuesday night that she was determined to run again because “the citizens of Hidalgo County weren’t getting what they needed from their public servants at the courthouse.”

When an individual has a case that’s pending before the court, their life is basically on hold … The longer you prolong their case, they can’t close a chapter and open a new chapter,” Cuellar said cases not being resolved in a timely manner motivating her to run for the 275th District Court. “I feel that the court needs to be cognizant of that, that (judges) understand that it’s people’s lives that are before them.”

Of her vision for the court, Cuellar added, “There’s no secret. It’s just work; to work; to listen to people; to do the right thing; to follow the law. And if you do those things and you respect people, and if you’re honest and transparent, then there’s always going to be justice.”

O’Caña-Olivárez thanked her supporters Tuesday night in a video posted to her campaign’s Facebook page.

I will respect that court; I will respect Ms. Cuellar as my next judge of the 275th District Court if that is what God deems is his will because that is who I am,” she said. “I did not travel seven months in this court and tell you that I’m a person of integrity and a person that gives respect to everyone and not walk the walk and just talk the talk. I will respect anyone that is on the bench.”

Because Cuellar faces no Republican challenger, she is guaranteed a spot — and a victory — in the November general election.

msmith@themonitor.com