Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is no longer running for re-election unopposed. Bexar County Probate Judge Tom Rickhoff filed as a Republican candidate on Monday, the final day to register.

Before entering the race for county judge, Rickhoff had planned to retire from the bench.

Rickhoff, 73, has been critical of how much money the County spends under Wolff’s leadership, arguing that vital County initiatives, such as guardianship programs for disabled wards, have been shortchanged as a result. In particular, Rickhoff believes Wolff and other commissioners unnecessarily added to growing debt when they purchased the $735,000 statue “Plethora” for the San Pedro Creek restoration project

“We are $3.7 [billion] in debt,” Rickhoff said in a statement to the Rivard Report. “Five more years of legacy spending and your granddaughter can’t pay off the bonds.”

Wolff, 77, is seeking his fifth term as Bexar County judge. The Democrat was appointed to the position in 2001, winning re-election four times since.

Rickhoff is not “the kind of serious guy that would be a hardworking county judge,” Wolff said. “He certainly has not been one as probate court [judge].”

Wolff said Rickhoff ceased hearing mental health court cases after winning re-election in 2006. That refusal forced the County to create and fund a new associate judge position in order to avoid what Wolff described as “a terrible mess.”

At his October campaign announcement, Wolff said he wanted to continue building a safe city with attractive amenities including better public transportation. He has been instrumental in the County’s initiative to restore San Pedro Creek.

Rickhoff and Wolff are the only candidates in the race.

Commissioner Paul Elizondo (Pct. 2) is also running his 10th County re-election campaign against the County’s Veteran Service Officer Queta Rodriguez and environmental outreach specialist Mario Bravo.

Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.