By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It was a decision that shocked many: longtime Justice of the Peace Benito “Bennie” Ochoa, III, chose not to file for re-election as the filing deadline lapsed last Monday. Instead, his son, Benito “Bo” Ochoa, IV submitted an application to run for the seat his father has occupied for 38 years. It is the younger Ochoa’s first campaign for public office.
“It was like a 72 hours decision before the filing. We were together, we went to church, we went out to eat,” the elder Ochoa said in his chambers Wednesday afternoon of the decision he and his son made together.
The news surprised many around the Laguna Madre region, especially after the elder Ochoa held a campaign kickoff and fundraiser dinner the weekend before the filing deadline. In the past, Ochoa has quipped that he still had more years left on his tenure, comparing himself to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, 20 years his senior, who still serves as an elected official.
But all that changed as the Monday, Dec. 11 deadline loomed, Ochoa said.
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