Former Mission city attorney announces candidacy for new county court

Former Mission city attorney Abiel Flores is running to be the first judge to preside over County Court-at-Law No. 9, one of Hidalgo County’s newly created courts.

Flores announced his candidacy Monday in a news release touting his credentials.

Apart from serving as the Mission city attorney, he was also previously an assistant district attorney with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office.

Currently, he works at the Zambrano Law Firm handling cases that range from criminal defense to family law and personal injury cases, according to the news release.

He grew up attending school in Mission and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence in 2005.

“Having tried a variety of cases, both on the prosecution and defense side of the docket, I believe I am uniquely qualified to serve as your County Court at Law No. 9 Judge,” Flores stated in the release. “My experience is diverse, and particularly, my courtroom experience makes me an excellent candidate for this position. I will uphold the law with dignity and respect, and I will treat every litigant that comes into the courtroom with fairness and impartiality.”

For the position, Flores will be running against Patricia “Patty” O’Caña-Olivarez, a Mission school board trustee and alternate municipal judge for the city of Alton, who announced her candidacy in September.

The two will be running for the Democratic nomination during the March 2020 Democratic Primary elections. The winner of that race will move on to the general election in November 2020. Whoever is elected will take office in January 2021.

“I have continued to serve the community on the local level and am ready to serve Hidalgo County,” O’Caña-Olivarez stated on her Facebook page. “I look forward to returning to the different communities throughout our county and ask for your help and support.”

The court was one of two created earlier this year, along with County Court-at-Law No. 10, during the 86th Texas legislative session.

Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 891 which created the two new courts.

Election day for the primaries is March 3, 2020.