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 District Level Judicial Candidates

Bexar County

Chart of Texas Judicial Department
https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1452920/court-structure-chart-september-2021.pdf

Brochure of the Court System

https://www.txcourts.gov/media/675444/The-Texas-Judicial-System_Print102714.pdf

District Courts

Bexar County (2,009,324 Population)

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Civil District 37 Judge Nicole Garza (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Earned her JD at the St. Mary's University School of Law. She was a private practice attorney before being elected as a Judge. Her areas of practice included Labor-Employment, Litigation: Commercial, Litigation: Personal Injury, Immigration

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 45 Judge Mary Lou Alvarez (IN) up for re-election in 2026. Bachelor's in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University, and after two years working as a manufacturing engineer, attended law school at Seton Hall. Her career experience includes working as a staff attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. Currently Judge of Bexar County’s 45th District Court. In 2017, she decided to run for office after years of working in private practice and representing victims of domestic violence during divorce, custody, and protective order litigation. 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 57 Judge Antonia Arteaga (IN) Up for re-election in 2024. Judge Arteaga has served as the presiding judge of the 57th District Court since January 2009, and is the first woman elected to this historic court which was created in 1899.  She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin and St. Mary’s University School of Law. Twice appointed by Mayor Phil Hardberger as a Magistrate and Associate Judge for the City of San Antonio, she has received several awards honoring her extensive trial experience, leadership, mentorship and charitable work in the community. Judge Arteaga also serves as President of the Texas Association of District Court Judges which represents District Court Judges all over the state. Additionally, the judge serves on the State Bar of Texas’ Legislative Committee and Hispanic Issue Section, as well as the National Association of Women Judges. Source: https://www.bexar.org/1779/57th-Civil-District-Court

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 73 Judge David Canales (IN) up for re-election 2024. Judge Canales received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas Pan-American in 1998. He earned his J.D. from Texas Southern University in 2006. Prior to his judicial election in 2012, Canales was an attorney in private practice. He worked in private practice since his graduation from law school. He has worked in family law, civil litigation, debt collection defense, personal injury law, criminal law, and wills and estate planning. Source: https://ballotpedia.org/David_Canales

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 131 Judge Norma Gonzales (IN) up for re-election in 2024  Judge Gonzales earned her B.A. in history and psychology from Rice University in 1981. She later received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1984.Gonzales was the assistant district attorney for Bexar County from 1985 to 1986. She entered private practice as an attorney in 1987. Source:https://ballotpedia.org/Norma_Gonzales

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 144th Judge Michael Edward Mery (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge Mery received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Mery was a judge for the Bexar County Court at Law No. 12 until 2010. Judge Michael Mery is a native of San Antonio with over 23 years of real-life judicial experience. After receiving his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School, Mery has dedicated his life to helping others. He helped protect children from child abuse as Assistant Attorney General of Texas and Assistant District Attorney of Bexar County. In 1999, Judge Mery began his judicial career as the first judge of the Criminal Bexar County Court at Law #12. Seeing the need for reform of our criminal justice system and moved by the plight of the mentally ill, Judge Mery helped establish and presided over the first Mental Health Court in Bexar County. He then sat on the 37th Judicial District Court, where he devoted 8 years to presiding over family law cases and other civil cases. Judge Michael Mery now serves as Judge of the 144th Judicial District Court, where he hears serious criminal cases. He has always been absolutely fair, and he is running for reelection to deliver justice with a firm and even hand. 

Sources: https://ballotpedia.org/Michael_Edward_Mery; https://judgemery.com/about

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 150 Judge Monique Diaz(IN) up for re-election in 2026 Judge  Diaz is a San Antonio native. She and her two brothers were raised by their Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father. Monique earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, and her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Prior to being elected to the bench, Monique owned and operated her own law firm for nearly a decade, where she represented low-income families, victims of domestic violence, civil litigants and small businesses. In the public sector, she represented non-profit and government agencies, and served as a City Attorney and City Prosecutor for municipalities statewide. In 2018, Monique was elected to the bench as Judge of the 150th Civil District Court in Bexar County where she presided over all civil matters. She currently serves on the Bexar County Juvenile Board, and is Co-Chair of the joint city-county Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence. Source: https://www.bexar.org/1783/150th-Civil-District-Court

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 166 Judge Laura Salinas (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Salinas received her undergraduate degree from Incarnate Word College and her J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law. She was an attorney in private practice when elected to the Texas District 166 bench in 2012. Before that, she was a judge for the Bexar County Court at Law No. 9 in Texas. 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 175 Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl (IN) up for re-election 2024. Judge Torres-Stahl earned a B.A. in English communications arts from St. Mary's University in 1988. She later received her J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law. Judge Torre-Stahl was the district judge for the 144th District in Bexar County until 2010. She has been the deputy director and general counsel for Bexar County Adult Probation since 2012. She was a municipal court judge for the City of San Antonio from 1997 until her election as district court judge in 2006.

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Criminal District 186 Judge Kristina Escalona (IN) up for re-election in 2026. Judge Escalona is board certified in Criminal Law and has been the lead prosecutor in 64 trials. Fourth Generation San Antonian committed to fair experienced justice and treating all people with respect. The 186th District Court is one of ten adult courts in Bexar County that handles Felony criminal matters. Judge Escalona has 17 Years of practicing only criminal law serving both as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. She has litigated over 100 jury trials, most of them involving violent offenses including crimes against children, sexual assault, intoxication manslaughter, murder, and capital murder. She is endorsed by the SA Police Officers Association, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Bexar County Adult Probation Officers Association, and The San Antonio Express-News. 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 187 Judge Stephanie R. Boyd (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge Boyd  earned her J.D. from St. Mary's University in 1997. Boyd has worked as a solo practitioner, specializing in criminal law. Judge Boyd’s skills as a former prosecutor, defense attorney and community organizer help her resolve complex legal cases. Her private practice started in 1997 with a focus in criminal law. In 2015, she joined the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office as the first-chair prosecutor in the Special Crimes Unit, which prosecutes child abuse and domestic violence cases. As judge of the 187th District Court, Boyd has reduced case backlog. Where appropriate, she has utilized her knowledge to design terms of probation to protect the community and rehabilitate offenders. Source:https://www.law.com/texaslawyer/2022/02/22/attorney-veronica-legarreta-challenges-judge-stephanie-boyd-in-election-for-texas-187th-district-court-seat/?slreturn=20230620140943

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 224 Judge Marisa Flores (IN) is up for re-election in 2026. Judge Flores received her Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Entrepreneurial Studies from St. Mary’s University and her JD from the University of Oregon. After Law School, Marisa successfully ran and operated her own law practice, The Law Office of Marisa C. Balderas, PLLC, for nine years where she focused on criminal, civil and immigration matters. Marisa then joined Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. (FVPS) as their Director of Legal Services. At FVPS, Marisa oversaw the organization’s legal department and assisted victims of domestic violence with matters related to protective orders, divorce, child custody and VAWA. In 2018, Marisa joined the law firm of Begum Peláez Prada PLLC.  At Begum Peláez Prada PLLC, Marisa assists individuals and small businesses with civil litigation matters. She was a practicing attorney at Begum Peláez Prada PLLC where she assisted clients with a wide range of civil litigation matters. Judge Flores has over 13 years of extensive civil litigation,  international child custody, and immigration experience. She has worked in both state and federal courts, including her work on international custody matters  filed under the Hague Convention, and has argued in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2019, Marisa was recognized as a member of the San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40”. She has also received local and statewide recognition for her legal advocacy. Marisa currently serves on the Legal Advisory Board for Catholic Charities of San Antonio, is a Board Member for the Red Cross and previously served as a Board Member for the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children Texas Regional Office. Source: https://marisaforjudge.com/

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 225 Judge Christine Vasquez Hortick (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge Hortick graduated from Brackenridge High School, Boston University and University of Massachusetts - Boston. In Boston she was hired as a congressional aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. My time there opened my eyes to the importance of serving my community and the enjoyment of public service. In 2005 she graduated from St. Mary’s School of law school. She returned to San Antonio to practice law and be near family. Over the years my practice has included assisting clients with family, general civil cases, criminal, and probate matters. In recent years, my practice has focused on cases in the Bexar County Children’s Court representing parents and children involved in abuse and neglect cases. The 225th District Court  has a long tradition of helping to oversee the two Children’s Courts as well as being responsible for two CPS specialty courts; the Family Drug Court and the Early Intervention Court.

Education

  • St. Mary's University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2005

    • Mediation Certification, 2005

  • University of Massachusetts- Boston, B.A.in Political Science 2001

    • Cum Laude

    • Women's Tennis Team, Co-Captain

Work

  • Law Office of Christine Hortick, Sole Practitioner

  •  St. Mary's University School of Law,  Research Assistant

  •  Texas RioGrande Legal Aid,  Law Clerk 

  •  Senator Edward Kennedy's Office, Congressional Aide 

Community

  • President, Bexar County Children’s Court Attorney Association

  • Member, St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association

  • Member, San Antonio Bar Association

  • Member, Mexican American Bar Association

  • Board Member, Oakes Club

  • Board Member, Brackenridge High School Alumni Association

  • Board Member and Volunteer Attorney, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

  • Former Mentor, St. Mary's School of Law Mentorship Program 

  • Former Mentor, Cambridge Elementary School

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 226 Judge Velia J Meza (IN) up for re-election in 2026. Velia Meza earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Columbia University and a J.D. degree from St. Mary's University School of Law. Her career experience includes owning her own practice, Velia J. Meza, Attorney at Law, P.C. Judge Meza has practiced in Federal Courts in the Western District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, and in the Southern District of Illinois. Judge Velia practiced as a private attorney in for 16 years. She has represented citizens accused of crimes in more than 30 counties across the State of Texas.   Velia's expertise includes trials of major crimes, criminal appeals, family law, and other civil and administrative matters. Velia has practiced in Federal Courts in the Western District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, as well as in the Southern District of Illinois.   

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 227 Judge Christine Del Prado (IN) up for re-election in 2026 Judge Prado has a B.S. in Business, with a JD from St. Mary’s School of Law. Following law school she became an Assistant District Attorney. Later she went into private practice for criminal defense with her husband. She is a member of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Laws Association and served on its Executive Board, a panel member of her district’s Grievance Committee of the State Bar of Texas, served on the Board f the Rape Crisis Center and severe a term as President of her parish council. Judge Prado returned to prosecution under the DA as the Chief of the Special Crimes Division. She has 33 Years of Criminal Law Experience, served as Chief- Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Bexar County District Attorney's Office. She has a career in both Criminal Prosecution and Criminal Defense and supports Judicial Efficiency and Restorative Justice.  Prior Assistant District Attorney.

Source: https://christinedelprado.com/about

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 285 Judge Nadine Melissa Nieto (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge Nieto Is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has a JD from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Judge Nieto is a San Antonio Native with 26 years of experience in Bexar County Civil District Courts.

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 288 Judge Cynthia Marie Chapa (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge  Chapa earned a bachelor's degree in political science from St. Mary's University and a J.D. degree from St. Mary's University School of Law. Her career experience includes working as a partner at the Law Offices of Arellano and Chapa and serving as the district director of State Representative Joaquin Castro since 2003.

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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District 289 Judge Rose Sosa (IN) up for re-election 2026Graduate St. Mary’s University Law, J.D. 

 24 years experience as a defense attorney and prosecutor in criminal and juvenile justice including 22 years at the Bexar County District Attorney’s office.  Board-certified in juvenile law and criminal law, one of only 15 attorneys in the state of Texas who is dual certified. Criminal defense attorney with significant trial experience
Magistrate judge, Bexar County. 
Specialty court programs including: Pre-Adjudication Drug Court; Post Adjudication Drug Court; Crossroads (Girls Mental Health Court), Family Enrichment Court (Domestic Violence); Crossover Court (Juveniles in CPS custody); Restore Court (Human Trafficking); MIND Court (Boys Mental Health Court) and STRIVE Court (Education Court). 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 290 Judge Jennifer Pena (IN) up for re-election 2026. Judge Pena has a Bachelor's from University of Texas, Austin and a JD from St. Mary's University School of Law. After her undergrad degree she worked as a juvenile detention officer, Peña advocates for proper rehabilitative justice, allowing non-violent, juvenile offenders to receive a second chance from the court​. She graduated Law School in 1998 and began her career as an Assistant District Attorney for Cameron County. In 2003 she transferred to Bexar County District Attorney's office. Judge Pena operated her own law firm starting in 2009. 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 379 Judge Ron Rangel (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Rangel received his undergraduate and J.D. from St. Mary's University of San Antonio. He then worked in private practice and as an Assistant District Attorney for the Hidalgo County District Attorney unit 1999. He then entered private practice in San Antonio.

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Juvenile District 386 Judge Jacqueline Valdés (IN) up for re-election in 2024. BA in Mathematics at Trinity University, JD at St. Mary’s School of Law. After graduating Judge Valdes began her career practicing criminal defense.  In 2008, she worked for the District Attorney’s Office assigned to the Juvenile Section.  She has worked in all three Bear County juvenile courts. This work experience has given her great insight into the issues that juveniles face in our community. In addition to conducting her regular docket and detention hearings, Judge Valdes also presides over several juvenile specialty courts and dockets, as she believes that juveniles have the best chance to succeed when they are provided with specialized services and programs to address their specific needs.  The specialty court she presides over is the Juvenile Post-Adjudication Drug Court. Her specialty dockets include Crossroads Specialty Docket, designed to address the mental health needs of young females; the STRIVE Specialty Docket, geared toward youth between 16-17 years of age who have had difficulties in meeting educational and employment goals; and the Re-entry Specialty Docket, focusing on children who are coming back into the community after completing a residential treatment program.  Each of these Specialty Courts and Dockets provides a collaborative team approach to children referred to the Juvenile Justice System who have underlying issues that would benefit from specialized services, supervision, and treatment.  

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 399 Judge Frank Castro (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Castro received his JD from the law school at St. Mary’s University. Before being elected as a judge in 2016, Castro was a prosecutor, a personal injury and criminal defense attorney. Since becoming judge, he has presided on some high-profile cases, including that of the Genene Jones, known as the “Killer Nurse.” He presided in another high-profile trial: Andre McDonald, who is accused and charged in the murder of his wife Andreen McDonald. This year, Castro added a new role as he was selected to be a co-judge of the Felony Veterans Court, which is designed to address the needs of veterans who are in the criminal justice system. “I am honored to have this opportunity to help veterans in this treatment court,” Castro said. Source: https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2022/03/14/jury-trials-resume-again-plus-get-to-know-judge-frank-castro/

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 407 Tina Torres (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Torres earned her J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law. After graduation she was an Attorney at the Torres Law Firm, P.C. until 2013. From 2013-2014 She was the Judge of Bexar County Court at Law No. 10. She was elected to be the Judge of District Court 407 in November of 2020. 

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 408 Judge Angelica Jimenez (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Jimenez earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish literature from the University of Texas-Austin. While at UT she co-founded HEROE (Helping Everyone Reach Opportunity and Education). HEROE was a student organization dedicated to mentoring and tutoring high school students and helping them create a better future for themselves by raising scholarships for higher education, informing them about the application and financial aid process or educating them regarding military and vocational opportunities. Angélica, Javier, and their fellow classmates started by helping high school students in low-income schools in the Austin area. The organization grew from four co-founders to over 400 volunteers in the first semester. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Angélica worked as a banker and financial advisor. She received her J.D. from the St. Mary's University School of Law where she was top of her class and on the Dean's list. After graduating Judge Jimenez was a private practice attorney specializing in Civil and Family law. Source: https://jimenezforjudge.com/about/?fbclid=IwAR0uEeW1vS3iSF0nOStFdrSk3WttUZyWmq-8b5l8xLyYM3s_0D9vbUo37o8

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Juvenile District 436 William (Cruz) Herman Shaw III (IN) up for re-election in 2026. A native of Houston, a Navy Veteran, and graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Shaw had previously served as associate judge prior to the election, joining in 2018, after running and successfully becoming the City Council representative for San Antonio’s District 2. William ‘Cruz’ Shaw III will be the first African American male to serve as a Bexar County District Judge. “My priority will be continuing to work with specialty courts, family enrichment courts, and working with first and second-time drug offenders in pre-adjudication drug court. These courts are critical to providing youth and families with access to resources and a greater opportunity of success.” Shaw will also focus on “re-entry docket transitions, which transitions youth from placement back into the community where they can contribute and work toward a better future.” He hosts a podcast called  www.beyondthegavelpodcast.com. 

Source: https://saobserver.com/?p=17518

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Criminal District 437 Judge Joel Perez (IN) up for re-election in 2026. Joel Perez earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas in 1985 and a J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1988. His career experience includes working as a special prosecutor for Bexar County and owning his private practice of law. Perez has practiced law for more than 30 years, working as a defense attorney and a prosecutor in the Bexar County District Attorney’s office. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he has tried 15 death penalty cases, according to his campaign website.

Source:https://sanantonioreport.org/profile/joel-perez/

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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Civil District 438 Judge Rosie Alvarado (IN) up for re-election in 2024. Judge Alvarado received her bachelor's degree and J.D. from St. Mary's University. She earned a degree in biology in 1999, and a law degree in 2002. She is licensed to practice law in all Texas courts, and in the United States District Court for the Western and Southern districts of Texas. Prior to Judge Alvarado’s election to the bench, she was a business owner and President of her law practice, Rosie Alvarado, P.C. from 2010-2016. She was the former managing partner of Alvarado & Alvarado, P.L.L.C., a law firm shared with her father, Leo Alvarado, Jr. until his passing in 2009. She represented  families and small businesses through complex legal matters. She worked for justice in criminal cases. She also enjoyed a successful federal civil litigation practice. She has worked for justice in whistleblower law and civil rights cases involving police misconduct. Her broad experience uniquely qualified her for serving the Court. In addition to her duties as a district court Judge, Judge Alvarado manages a therapeutic court, called PEARLS Court. PEARLS stands for preparation, esteem, achievement, resiliency, learning, strength, and stamina. The mission of PEARLS Court is to invest in female girls ages 14 to 18 who have been placed in foster care. These youth are more likely to be truant, incarcerated, homeless, jobless, and become teen parents. Statistics reveal a dismal outcome for this population of girls. 33% become homeless and only 3% graduate from college. PEARLS Court gives these foster youth a network of support that values their whole selves and inherent strengths. PEARLS Court supplies therapeutic care and case management, life skills training, and mentoring. And, the statistics speak for themselves – 90% of the girls in the program advance to the next grade level, 100% forego motherhood, and 71% of our high school graduates are accepted to higher education institutions. 

Judge Alvarado serves on the Bexar County Juvenile Court Board. She is the Child Support Court Liaison for the district courts and serves on various committees within the Bexar County District Courts Administration. She has served as an advisory board member to the San Antonio Crime Coalition, Chair of the St. John’s Lutheran Academy School Board, Girl Scout Troop Leader. She is a committed volunteer, previously providing pro bono representation to the indigent. She also served in the roles of board president for her homeowner’s association, a mentor with the Girls and Ladies Sports program and the Harlandale High School Diversified Career Preparation Class. Source: https://judgerosie.com/about-rosie-alvarado/

Jurisdiction: Bexar

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