Newly transplanted Mission attorney Jaime E. Tijerina has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as 92nd District Court judge.
He will replace Ricardo Rodriguez, who recently step down and announced plans to run for district attorney. His term ends Dec. 31, 2014.
“I’m pleased, excited,” said Tijerina. “I’m honored that the governor has entrusted me. I promise to do my very best and give the people, the taxpayers, an honest day’s work each and every day.”
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The soon-to-be judge said Rodriguez’s leaving the bench was no secret, and it only was a question of when. Tijerina submitted an application to the governor’s office as part of the appointment process.
Tijerina was born and raised in McAllen, and moved to Mission in January. He’s also lived in Raymondville, serving as Kenedy County attorney for 12 years.
A lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps, Tijerina has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, he’d just signed up to run for a seat in the 13th Court of Appeals in 2011 when his unit was mobilized and deployed to Afghanistan, which didn’t allow him to campaign for the race, which he lost.
“I know it’s (become a judge has) always been at the back of my mind, and to finally get there is satisfying,” Tijerina said.
Tijerina, a Republican, said he’d likely run for the seat in November 2014. Thus far, there are three Democrats (Weslaco Mayor Miguel Wise, Pharr Municipal Judge Luis Miguel Singleterry and Rey Ortiz, a McAllen attorney)who have said they’ll run for the open seat.
Tijerina earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and his law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.