Democrats Ricardo Samaniego and Sergio Coronado won their races for El Paso County judge and County Commissioners Court Precinct 4, respectively, Tuesday night.
Samaniego, the 73-year-old first-term incumbent, won with 68% of the vote against independent Guadalupe Giner, in the countywide race.
Coronado, attorney and president of the Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees, received 57% of the vote against fellow CISD trustee Blanca Trout, the Republican candidate.
“This feels good,” Coronado said during a phone interview from his election watch party in Canutillo. “It’s been a long road, but we ran a race with dignity and respect for the voters and I’m glad the people of Precinct 4 thought so.”
Coronado, 63, thwarted incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner Carl Robinson’s bid for a second term when he defeated Robinson by about 500 votes in the May Democratic primary runoff.
Precinct 4 includes West and Northeast El Paso as well as Vinton, Westway, Canutillo and Anthony, Texas.
Coronado, who spent his election day visiting precincts and taking water and food to his volunteers, said that people were receptive to his message that these positions call for highly qualified people. He said he hoped to elevate the level of representation in county government through more collaborations with colleagues at the city of El Paso.
Coronado will need to resign from the Canutillo school board prior to being sworn in because state law prohibits anyone from sitting on two government agencies that levy taxes in the same area. He called his resignation a bittersweet act because education is one of his passions, and he plans to make it part of his work on the Commissioners Court.
During the campaign, Coronado said he would pursue a comprehensive flood control plan, seek fair compensation for county employees, and study an additional user fee for county motorists to pay for new or upgraded roads. He also said the county should have more oversight of the El Paso County Hospital District, which includes University Medical Center and El Paso Children’s Hospital.
The El Paso County Commissioners Court is a five-person body led by the county judge. The court sets public policy, approves the tax rate and budget for the county and its hospital district. The winners will be sworn into office on Jan. 1.