This article has been updated.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry officially filed to run for Bexar County judge on Monday with minutes to spare.

DeBerry, who took office in January, said she made the last-minute decision to run for county judge after seeing only one other person had filed as a Republican candidate in the race. She submitted her paperwork less than an hour before the deadline Monday.

“I felt like there needed to be strong representation on the Democratic and Republican sides and I didn’t see much on the Republican side,” she said. “We need to have a robust exchange of vision and big bold ideas in how we move this community forward.”

As of Monday, the Secretary of State’s office listed only one other Republican in the March primary for county judge: Nathan Buchanan, who last ran for the Precinct 3 constable position in 2020.

Texas law, known as a “resign-to-run” law, states that county commissioners who announce candidacies for other elected positions one year and 30 days before their current term ends automatically resign. DeBerry will stay in her seat for now but in “holdover status,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.

“I have 60 days to make an appointment for an interim,” Wolff said in a statement. “There are some issues before the court that require her presence to complete. I will then appoint after consulting with court members.”

Wolff announced he would not run for a sixth term in October, leaving the field wide open. On the Democratic side, four candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for county judge: state Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio), former judge Peter Sakai, Ivalis Meza Gonzalez (who left her post as Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s chief of staff in order to run), and Gerard Ponce.

Ed Garza, a former San Antonio mayor and current San Antonio Independent School District trustee, had considered running for county judge as a Democrat but ultimately decided against it.

“While the position is not meant for me, I remain committed to transform the lives of all underserved youth,” he said in a statement. “I will devote my time to the unfinished work at the San Antonio ISD and Urban Champions Academy, two causes I value most.”

Hope Andrade remains DeBerry’s campaign treasurer; the former Texas secretary of state was also the treasurer for her 2020 campaign for Precinct 3 commissioner.

DeBerry said she wanted to make sure there was a “fiscal conservative” weighing in during the 2022 election cycle.

“The hardest part for me was, yes, I had to give up the seat but timing in politics is everything,” she said. “This was an opportunity. A Republican hasn’t held that seat in a while.

“I hate giving up the seat but if I win county judge, I represent citizens of all the precincts.”

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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.