EDINBURG — Homer Jasso Sr. narrowly defeated Edinburg attorney Armando M. Guerra for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 2 Tuesday night.
Jasso, who has held the seat for a total of 16 years, managed to beat Guerra by 158 votes. The incumbent obtained 52 percent of the vote compared to Guerra’s 48 percent.
The election delivered a win to a well-established political faction that recently lost control of the Edinburg City Council.
The hard-fought battle for JP of that same area played out on social media as much as it played out at the polls, with supporters on both sides attacking each other. Perhaps the most striking development occurred last week outside the Hidalgo County Elections Annex, where both teams were caught on camera in a scuffle that almost turned physical.
Both candidates, who did not return calls seeking comment once the final results were announced, were seen campaigning outside the Edinburg poll Tuesday night, making a last ditch effort to lure voters.
“I feel very good; I feel very confident,” Jasso said before the results came in.
A hopeful Guerra said Tuesday afternoon he had done everything is his power during the primary and Tuesday’s runoff to win the seat.
“There’s no excuses on my part,” he said before the results came in. “If ultimately I don’t win, it’s not because we didn’t do something. We did everything we could, with everything we had, and we managed to stay positive in the midst of what’s happened since then.”
The back-to-back elections took a toll on both candidates, who described the campaigning season as “tiring” and “ugly.”
“No matter what happens, I can finally have my life back,” Guerra said. “Campaigning is very hard on everyone — family, friends, everyone.”
The challenger said he wouldn’t regret running if he lost his bid for the seat.
“No, I’ve learned so much,” he said. “This experience has opened doors in other areas of my profession and my practice.”
Jasso had kind words for his challenger.
“I don’t have anything against him,” the 74-year-old said. “I’ve never talked anything bad about him. I wish him well.”
Still, Guerra hoped voters would deliver change, but he remained grateful for his support.
“I thank the voters for coming out and voting, even if they didn’t vote for me because that’s really important,” he said. “Not enough people vote, but yet so many people complain. I just wish more voters would come out and voice their opinions.”