Former La Joya mayor’s daughter secures county treasurer seat

La Joya native Lita Leo secured her seat as county treasurer Tuesday after defeating businessman David Salazar Jr. in the Democratic runoff election.

Leo, 40, the daughter of former La Joya mayor and county clerk William “Billy” Leo and former school district Superintendent Filomena Leo, faces no Republican opponent in November, clearing the way for her to assume office in January 2019.

Leo received 6,302 votes, about 52 percent of the vote, while Salazar had 5,796 votes, about 48 percent of the vote.

“I am ecstatic, I am relieved and just gracious,” Lita Leo said after results were released Tuesday night.

Leo’s father, also from La Joya, died in March — about two weeks into her runoff bid for county treasurer.

“He was on my mind every single day,” Leo said.

Leo will replace outgoing Hidalgo County Treasurer Norma Garcia, who will retire in January after more than two decades in office.

“I gotta admit, this is the best campaign ever, and I’ve been on many campaigns,” Leo told supporters at a campaign party Tuesday night.

The county treasurer deals closely with expenditures and oversees financial disbursements, including handling payroll, according to information provided by the Texas Association of Counties.