POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 9:14am
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Ricardo Rodriguez is the new Hidalgo County district attorney-elect after he defeated Rene Guerra, who had held the position the last three decades.
Rodriguez beat the incumbent by a 63-36 percent margin; a winning difference of more than a quarter of all the votes cast.
The McAllen Monitor reported Rodriguez outspent his opponent three-to-one. The young upstart needing to get name recognition against the 32-year prosecutor.
"We went to people's homes, we walked the streets, we spent a lot of money on media, on ads, that's a bulk of the money we spent there," Rodriguez said. "We wanted people if they didn't know Ricardo Rodriguez, that they found out."
It was for the most part a contentious campaign. Rodriguez had to deal with puppet rap videos questioning his credentials for the job. And Rodriguez sent out mailers casting Guerra's connections to Sheriff Lupe Treviño in a negative light.
"They were all facts," Rodriguez said. "They were all stories that happened in the past. We just reminded the citizens of Hidalgo County what was going on the last two to three years."
Rodriguez undoubtedly got a boost from the Irene Garza situation. Garza's family felt slighted because Guerra didn't go after who it saw as the lead suspect.
The case has gotten national attention; with Guerra looking like the bad guy. Rodriguez has not promised to do anything more on the case than give it a second look.
Guerra will vacate the office and Rodriguez will take over in January.