2017-12-06 / Front Page

Willacy County Democrats honor three of their best

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter


RAYMONDVILLE CITY MANAGER ELEAZAR “YOGI” GARCIA speaks fondly of his father, the late Eleazar Garcia Sr., who was a longtime teacher, businessman and community leader. RAYMONDVILLE CITY MANAGER ELEAZAR “YOGI” GARCIA speaks fondly of his father, the late Eleazar Garcia Sr., who was a longtime teacher, businessman and community leader. A Willacy County native son recalled growing up in Raymondville as he helped honor three past Democratic Party stalwarts Saturday.

Rogelio “Roy” Valdez, chief justice of the 13th state District Court of Appeals, was master of ceremonies at the Willacy County Democratic Pioneer Appreciation Dinner at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6719 hall in Raymondville.

“Let me be honest with you, I always am very humble to come back to the place where I was born, where I was raised, where I educated, where I can see all my wonderful friends,” Valdez said. He recalls his boyhood years in Raymondville and living with another family while his parents went north to work while he stayed in Raymondville to finish high school.


VIOLA LOZANO, widow of the late Willacy County District Clerk Gilbert Lozano, is honored by Willacy County Judge Aurelio”Keter” Guerra and Willacy County Democratic Party Chairman Ernesto “Lefty” Cavazos. VIOLA LOZANO, widow of the late Willacy County District Clerk Gilbert Lozano, is honored by Willacy County Judge Aurelio”Keter” Guerra and Willacy County Democratic Party Chairman Ernesto “Lefty” Cavazos. “I’m getting a little older and I have forgotten a lot of faces and a lot of names and I want to apologize,” he said. “Every time I come back here it’s delightful. It’s about recognizing friends, about recognizing pillars of the community and about recognizing public ser- vants.”

Democrats should keep the faith and continue to fight for the causes they believe in, Valdez said. “It is very important for me that you keep your eye on the ball.”

“ The court system has been very good to me and to inspire me to fulfill my education,” Valdez said. “I think I have contributed greatly to the court system.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROGELIO “ROY” VALDEZ of the 12th state District the Court of Appeals, was the keynote speaker at the Willacy County Democratic Party’s Pioneer Appreciation Dinner at the VFW Hall. Valdez is a native of Raymondville. (Photo by Allen Essex) CHIEF JUSTICE ROGELIO “ROY” VALDEZ of the 12th state District the Court of Appeals, was the keynote speaker at the Willacy County Democratic Party’s Pioneer Appreciation Dinner at the VFW Hall. Valdez is a native of Raymondville. (Photo by Allen Essex) Good candidates are planning to compete to fill his position, Valdez said.

Although he will soon retire from his position on the court of appeals and had previously served as a state district judge and in other positions, he will continue to practice law.

Elected officials, candidates and party members spoke affectionately of the three recipients of Pioneer Awards, all recently deceased:

Eleazar Garcia Sr., a longtime teacher, businessman and Democratic Party supporter. He was the father of Raymondville City Manager Eleazar “Yogi” Garcia.

Ezekiel “Zeke” Cavazos, educator and longtime Raymondville city commissioner.


JANIE ALVARADO, DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DIST. 31 ANALISA GARZA AND WILLACY COUNTY JUDGE AURELIO “KETER” GUERRA enjoying JANIE ALVARADO, DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DIST. 31 ANALISA GARZA AND WILLACY COUNTY JUDGE AURELIO “KETER” GUERRA enjoying Gilbert Lozano, Willacy County district clerk since 2003, was a probation officer for 25 years and was also an Army veteran.

Families of the three honorees were on hand to accept the awards.

Ernesto “Lefty” Cavazos, chairman of the Willacy County Democratic Party, said the three people being honored worked for decades to help people in the community.

“We remember them because they worked very hard on some issues that are very important for our community, on getting funding to help the the dinner. elderly, for our children in education, to get benefits so we could water, so we could get proper zoning so we could get drainage,” Cavazos said. “ That’s why we are very healthy. These people worked very hard through the years so we could give to our community.”


RAYMONDVILLE MAYOR GILBERT GONZALES shows off a special cake prepared for the Willacy County Pioneer Appreciation Dinner, held at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6719. Candidates, officeholders and party supporters honored three longtime party stalwarts, listening to tributes about their many contributions to community projects. The dinner originally was scheduled to be held Nov. 3, the same night as Gov. Gregg Abbott’s visit to Raymondville for the Willacy County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner but was rescheduled after negotations between leaders of both party organizations. (Photos by Allen Essex) RAYMONDVILLE MAYOR GILBERT GONZALES shows off a special cake prepared for the Willacy County Pioneer Appreciation Dinner, held at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6719. Candidates, officeholders and party supporters honored three longtime party stalwarts, listening to tributes about their many contributions to community projects. The dinner originally was scheduled to be held Nov. 3, the same night as Gov. Gregg Abbott’s visit to Raymondville for the Willacy County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner but was rescheduled after negotations between leaders of both party organizations. (Photos by Allen Essex) Although Gilberto Hinojosa, of Brownsville, now chairman of the Texas Democratic Party and a former appeals court justice, state district court judge and county court- at- law judge and Cameron County judge, was to have been a speaker at the program, he was unable to attend, Valdez said.

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