Newly appointed judge announces bid to keep seat on bench

Last week, Judge Ysmael Fonseca, current presiding judge of the 464th state District Court, announced his intention to keep the seat he was appointed to earlier this year.

In August, Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Fonseca, a McAllen native, to the seat after the governor had appointed the 464th seat’s judge at the time, Jaime Tijerina, to take the seat left vacant at the 13th Court of Appeals by recently convicted former judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado.

On Nov. 6, Fonseca officially announced that he will be seeking election to keep his seat during the Hidalgo County Republican Party primary in March 2020

If Fonseca secures the GOP nomination, he would be on the ballot in Hidalgo County during the November 2020 general election.

According to a release sent from representatives of Fonseca, Fonseca said it has been one of his greatest privileges serving the people of Hidalgo County.

“I believe I am best suited to continue administering justice in the 464th District Court” he said. “It is time for the people of Hidalgo County to have a judge that has no connection with the political establishment. As a genuine outsider, I am beholden to no one and can serve justice without regard to the status of those that appear before me.”

Prior to his appointment to the bench by Abbott, Fonseca was a Senior Associate at the Guerra, Leeds, Sabo & Hernandez P.L.L.C. law firm that serves the Rio Grande Valley and all of South Texas with offices in both Brownsville and McAllen.

Fonseca said in the release that his judicial priorities include ensuring all cases have frequent settings and that lawyers report continuously to the court with the status of their cases to ensure that they are working to bring a conclusion to litigation, without undue delays.

“I have made sure cases are addressed promptly and that parties have easy access to the court to resolve any issues that may arise,” Fonseca said. “I have made accessibility and prompt attention to disputes two of my top priorities on the bench.”

Fonseca, a native of South Texas, graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Literature. He returned to Notre Dame to study law, receiving his Juris Doctor with honors from Notre Dame Law School in 2009.

In 2003, Fonseca also served as a paralegal specialist of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in Washington, assisting in the prosecution of civil rights cases, with a particular focus on the prosecution of human trafficking offenses, the release stated.

Fonseca also worked for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate after his second year.