Guevara was first elected as the county’s top official as a Democrat, but switched parties to the GOP for the first time this year. In an interview, she said her main reason for changing parties was her religious-based opposition to abortion.
By Travis Bubenik
Early voting is underway for the 2022 midterm elections, with Election Day set for Nov. 8.
One of the high profile local contests in the Big Bend region is the race for Presidio County Judge, the county’s top elected official.
Incumbent Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara was first elected to the seat as a Democrat in 2014, but changed parties this year to run for reelection as a Republican.
Marfa Public Radio caught up with Guevara to talk about why she switched parties, along with her views on the pressing issues in the region and her priorities for the job if she wins in November.
On why she’s no longer a Democrat
Guevara said her primary reason for switching parties was her religious-based opposition to abortion and Democrats’ stance on the matter.
“Being a Judeo Roman Catholic Christian, the church has always been strong and taught that human life is sacred,” she said. “I feel real strongly about that, and I don’t feel that it’s a moral value that the Democratic Party shares.”
Guevara says she does not support exceptions in abortion bans, like the one here in Texas, for cases of rape or incest.
Though Guevara’s switch in party affiliation is part of a broader political trend in Texas of Republicans making inroads in traditionally Democratic-friendly border areas, she downplayed the role of party politics in her own reelection bid.
“This isn’t about a Republican or a Democrat, this is about Presidio County,” she said. “I don’t know of a Republican or Democrat way to, you know, try to obtain funding for clean drinking water, or to support increasing access to health care.”
On the most pressing issues facing Presidio County residents
Guevara cited health care access as one of the region’s most pressing problems, pointing specifically to a troubling report released in 2021 suggesting that running a hospital within the county is not economically feasible.
“After the pandemic, everything having to do with emergency services, I think, is a very pressing issue,” she said.
Guevara said the future of health care and emergency services in the county would be one of her main focus areas if reelected.
“We might want to be looking at – and we have had meetings about – having a regional EMS or emergency services, just in order to share resources and those personnel,” she said.
Guevara also pointed to high property taxes as a major concern in the community.
On her priorities for the job if reelected
Guevara said she would like to see various grant-funded projects that the county is pursuing carried through if she were reelected.
“We have requested for a grant to have an after hours clinic in Presidio, so I would like to really see that come to fruition,” she said.
Guevara also pointed to improving water infrastructure in parts of the county as a pressing need, particularly in a colonia near the city of Presidio, which has struggled with access to safe drinking water for years.
“We have residents in Las Pampas [who] still do not have potable water, they’re carrying water every day,” she said. “We’ve put in a grant for that, that’s a priority.”
On her chances as a Republican in a traditionally Democratic stronghold
Guevara said she’s not concerned about her new GOP affiliation hurting her chances to win reelection.
“I’m not going to compromise my values just to win an election,” she said. “I’m really surprised at the amount of support that I’m getting both in Marfa and Presidio, I feel like I have more support.”