Early voting in Texas will begin Tuesday, with a large number of elections taking place in Val Verde County. This year, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Del Rio election, two school board elections, and the Val Verde Hospital District election will be held in conjunction with state, county and presidential elections, drawing even more interest to an already crowded process.

Locally, some of the races have been already settled in both the Democratic and the Republican primaries, but there are a few races that still will be highly contested, both because of the relevance of the position and the high profile of the candidates involved.

One of such races will be the one for the position of 63rd Judicial District Judge, currently held by Judge Enrique “Henry” Fernandez, who is retiring after 11 years in office.

On the Republican side Roland Andrade, a First Assistant District Attorney with 31 years of experience as a licensed attorney, earned his place on the ballot after a highly contested primary.

On the Democratic side, F. David Ortiz, a private attorney practicing criminal and civil law with more than 25 years of experience under his belt, didn’t face any opponents in the Democratic primary.

Andrade, licensed to practice law in the federal court Western District, received his juris doctor in 1988 at St. Mary’s Law School. He earned a bachelor’s of business administration in 1985 at University of Texas at Austin.

Andrade has 23 years of experience in criminal defense, family, personal injury and civil law.

He has been a prosecutor for the last eight years, working as the first assistant district attorney for the District Attorney in the 63rd Judicial District, which has jurisdiction in Val Verde, Kinney, and Terrell counties.

Andrade served under former District Attorney Fred Hernandez, a Democrat, and under current officeholder Republican Mike Bagley.

Andrade tried jury trials to verdicts involving felony, misdemeanors, child custody, personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

Ortiz’s professional background includes a long and diverse history in the legal field. For over 25 years, he has worked as an attorney in private practice, in charitable capacities, and as a special prosecutor. From practicing civil law and criminal cases, Ortiz’s experience is rich both in terms of diversity and success.

Ortiz is a University of Texas at Austin graduate, getting his bachelor of arts in 1992, and earned his juris doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1995. Ortiz became a licensed attorney in 1995.

Ortiz has practiced law in criminal, property, family law including divorce, custody, child support, modifications and enforcements, Child Protective Services termination cases, personal injury, business and contract law, administrative law, guardianships, and probate.

In the community involvement department, both candidates have plenty of service time and are pillars of the community of Del Rio.

Andrade is a past secretary and currently serves as President of the San Felipe Lions Club. He has also served as a board member in Lions Club District 2A-2, which encompasses more than 60 clubs from Del Rio, Kerrville, San Antonio, and the Laredo areas. 

He is currently President of the Brown Plaza Association, board member of the Friends of Hospice at the Val Verde Medical Center, board member of the Del Rio Parks Advisory Board, and Friend of “Protect the San Felipe Creek” organization.

Ortiz’s highlights include serving as an appointed special prosecutor in the Val Verde County Court at Law and in the 63rd and 83rd Judicial District courts, being a business law professor at Southwest Texas Junior College, and has been recognized by his peers as an attorney who is proficient and knowledgeable in diverse areas of the law.

Ortiz’s resume includes being a member of the Rotary Club of Del Rio, San Felipe Del Rio CISD Education Foundation board member, and volunteering for charitable legal service organizations, such as pro bono and reduced fee representation for victims of domestic violence, he is a member and past president of the Val Verde County Bar Association, and has participated in pro bono projects involving local veterans and flood victims.

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