Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that Mission-based attorney Jaime E. Tijerina will fill the vacancy in the 93rd state District Court left by former judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado’s retirement.
Tijerina, a judge advocate in the U.S. Army Reserves, resigned as Mission’s deputy city attorney earlier this month after learning of Abbott’s appointment. He is running as the Republican candidate for the Place 4 seat on the 13th Court of Appeals, a position also sought by Delgado, who is running on the Democratic ticket.
Delgado announced his retirement and resignation April 30 amid federal bribery charges, saying he needed to devote his time to assisting his defense team prepare for trial.
“The appointment is bittersweet,” Tijerina said. “I’m excited to serve the people once again, but under the circumstances it’s not as fulfilling as the last appointment.”
Tijerina was appointed in October 2013 by then-Gov. Rick Perry to fill the vacancy in the 92nd District Court when former judge Ricardo Rodriguez retired to run for district attorney. Tijerina held that seat through December 2014, when he lost the election to Democrat Luis Singleterry.
He will now hold the 93rd seat through Dec. 31, at which point the judge who will be elected in the November general election will take the bench and hold office through the remainder of Delgado’s term, which ends in 2020.
Tijerina plans to be sworn in and take the bench as early as next week, noting that the transition between himself and the visiting judge who has presided over the courtroom since Delgado’s February arrest will be “seamless” as “there’s no learning curve.”
His goal during the short appointment is to dispose of cases so the incoming judge’s “caseload is diminished from the point it’s at right now.”
“I enjoyed working for the city of Mission but I also had my eyes on something bigger — the 13th (Court of Appeals) — and this of course fits right into my commitment to public service, and I’m deeply honored to serve the people of Hidalgo County again,” Tijerina said.