Missing signs heat up runoff race

Yolanda Begum was the front runner in the race for Cameron County Justice of the Peace Place 2, Pct. 2, following the May 29th primaries. She led the pack of candidates by about 500 votes.

She TMs now in a runoff for the seat with Erin Garcia, and she claims her opponent and her supporters want her forgotten.

"I TMm very upset, her supporters want to pretend that I TMm not in the runoff that I disappeared - that's what it is," Begum said.

Begum said she's spent anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 dollars on campaign signs and since the primaries, about 50 of those have been slashed or taken down. She TMs convinced it wasn't accidental.

"We all want to work for the community, we don TMt have to resort to dirty politics, no need for that, Begum said. I TMm running on my own merits and what I want to do for the community."Begum's claims did not sit well with Garcia who said she's fought a clean race and has even lost about 70 signs herself.

Garcia also said she would not jeopardize her law practice or chance at the J.P. seat by taking or asking anyone to take her opponents signs down.

"Now why Ms. Begum has taken it upon herself to just say, ~I TMm the only one with a bunch of signs missing, TM and then to turn around and blame somebody, Garcia said, I find that highly unprofessional and in fact, childish of her to make such a criminal accusation - because she's accusing people of theft."

Garcia said the only signs she's concerned with are her own, and said it's Begum who is not running on real merits.

(The J.P. seat is a) real courtroom where actual laws are applied, where evictions occur, where truant children are brought, where small claims are brought and she does not have any training what so ever in the laws (that apply)."