In the 2016 Democratic primary, insurance agent Abraham C. Padron challenged incumbent State Rep. Sergio Munoz Jr., D-Mission, and Padron just missed receiving 40% of the vote, and Munoz won by nearly 22 points.
Padron is giving it another shot, announcing this week that he is running for the District 36 seat. Primary election day is March 3, 2020. The winner will go on to the general election in November, 2020.
“I have been closely monitoring the actions of our current legislator, and I am deeply concerned about the future of our District,” Padron said in a statement. “It’s a feeling shared by many constituents and many local elected officials. I will bring back selfless public service and integrity to District 36.”
Munoz, meanwhile, filed paperwork on Saturday with the Hidalgo County Democratic Party to seek a sixth term in office. Munoz was joined by family and supporters, writing on Facebook that “with their support, and with yours, we will continue the great progress that our district has experienced throughout my five terms in which we have moved this district forward by enacting meaningful legislation to improve our public education system, quality access to healthcare, economic development, and much more!”
Padron said he will release a comprehensive plan for voters that will focus on four key priorities: “reviving public trust; stimulating economic development; encouraging regional and statewide collaboration; acquiring state funding for District 36.”
“Progress in District 36 has been held back by the incumbent’s poor judgement, lack of meaningful legislative contributions, and personal legal problems,” Padron said.
The “personal legal problems” Padron raised refers to Munoz’s yearslong legal malpractice case that, after Munoz initially lost the case in September 2017, when U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez signed a nearly $3 million judgement against Munoz. But a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that Alvarez didn’t property calculate the damages in the case.