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      'Spanking Judge' seeks re-election

      The battle for Cameron County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6, Place 1, pits two candidates against each who were linked to stories that made national headlines.

      The incumbent is Gus Garza. He TMs a judge who TMs known for the paddle option that he gave to parents against their kids in court.

      His opponent in the democratic March primaries is Juan Mendoza, Jr. He TMs a former second-in-rank to the Valley's most notorious ex-sheriff, Conrado Cantu.

      Neither candidate said they plan to exploit the other person TMs perceived controversy during the campaign, but they do agree in the facts behind one another.

      "I'm not for spanking or allowing parents to spank in front of the public," said Mendoza.

      Judge Garza still has a paddle hanging in his court.

      This even after a public reprimand by the State for allowing parents the option to spank their kids in lieu of a fine.

      "Yes, I did offer the option| and the option exists," said Garza.

      The judge believes voters will rally behind his approach to justice on the bench, and will see the positive changes as a result in the community.

      Mendoza has his own set of challenges before him.

      Chief among them: the ability to separate himself from his former boss-- who's behind federal bars on a racketeering conviction.

      "Whatever happened to him (Conrado Cantu)... whatever he did... I have nothing to do with that... No knowledge... And in my opinion did the best I could at the sheriff's department," explained Mendoza.

      Voters like Edward Ramirez said there is no clear-cut winner.

      Others just like him, Ramirez said, have a difficult choice to make in the election.

      "I think voters are going to have a lot to think about this year with who they're going to vote for." Click on the video link to see the report that aired Monday night and to view additional background information behind each candidate.