Defense attorney announces bid against Starr District Attorney

Amid news of Democratic candidates jumping into the 2020 presidential race, one local race is also getting underway with the announcement of one attorney’s candidacy for 229th district attorney seat.

Gocha Ramirez, a federal criminal defense attorney based in Rio Grande City, announced over the weekend he would be challenging current 229th DA, Omar Escobar, in the March 2020 Democratic Primary.

The 229th district attorney’s office is the prosecuting agency for Starr, Jim Hogg, and Duval Counties.

Born in Hebbronville, Ramirez began his career as the Jim Hogg County Attorney and later became an assistant district attorney with the DA’s office.

Following his time as a prosecutor, Ramirez became a law partner at Guerra, Duvall, Ramirez & Guerra — a law firm based in Roma — and then a partner for ten years at Ramirez & Garza — a law firm in Rio Grande City.

He later opened his current law firm which specializes in federal criminal defense.

An announcement on his official website states that his platform will be a progressive one that “will focus on prosecuting violent crimes and promote public policies that will lead to positive social change in our communities.”

“His promise to you is to bring an unwavering commitment to hard work, equal and fair administration of justice, and full accountability to all citizens of Starr, Jim Hogg, and Duval counties,” the announcement stated. “He understands that the ultimate goal of law enforcement is increasing public safety.”

Ramirez is the first candidate to formally announce his candidacy for the Democratic Primary in Starr County. However, there has been speculation over the political ambitions of one justice of the peace.

Campaign signs and stickers appear to indicate that Pct. 8 JP Jose Francisco “Kiko” Perez will run for office in 2020, but when reached by phone last week, Perez insisted he hadn’t made up his mind yet.

Perez said supporters had been calling and pushing him to run for county commissioner but said he wanted to find out if he had enough support first.

“I’m contemplating,” he said.

The filing period for the 2020 Democratic Primary begins in the fall.