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      Supporters say Villalobos is, 'Innocent, Until Proven Guilty'

      Juan Angel Guerra

      Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos has said it several times.

      Following an indictment on racketeering charges, Cascos says Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos should step down from the post he's held since 2004.

      "My concern is the efficiency and effectiveness of that office|with this cloud hanging over the DA," Cascos said.

      Cascos said county commissioners do not have the authority to simply remove Villalobos from office.

      However, a petition was filed by former Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra on behalf of a county resident asking for the DA's removal.

      Guerra, like Villalobos, is seeking the U.S. District 34 Congressional seat.

      But as early voting kicked-off Monday in advance of the May 29th primaries, campaigners outside the Cameron County Courthouse seemed to be in Villalobos TM corner.

      "Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and so is Mr. Villalobos," Brownsville attorney John Evinger said.

      Herminia Becerra is no stranger to politics.

      She has become known around polling locations for her Spanish songs about the candidates.

      She said the Villalobos indictment came down simply to hurt his campaign.

      "This is all just to hurt him, Becerra said. They are hurting his campaign, but they are also hurting many people. I think if people want him in office, the accusations don TMt matter and people will put him in the seat."

      Cascos said this indictment might deter voters. However, he said in order to prevent political corruption in Cameron County, voters have to be better educated on whom they're putting in office, and should consider voting based on the candidate instead of the political party.

      "When you don TMt have a two-party system, it lends itself to arrogance, corruption (and) wrongdoing because there's no checks and balances," Cascos said.