Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff today appointed former San Antonio City Council member and current District 125 State Representative Justin Rodriguez to fill the vacancy on Commissioners Court created by the death of veteran Commissioner Paul Elizondo, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Rodriguez, who is also a former member of the San Antonio ISD Board of Education, takes office immediately.
Wolff said Rodriguez, who has served in three different elective capacities, is the best qualified person for the job. He was sworn in this morning by State District Judge Peter Sakai.
Wolff had been under pressure to appoint a woman to fill the job, since Bexar County's top governing board has been all-male for 17 years. Queta Rodriguez, no relation to Justin, who ran unsuccessfully against Elizondo last year and was lobbying for the appointment,
"As a woman served by the only governing body in all of Bexar County that does not have a single woman representative, the appointment of a male without consideration of women who are fully competent and capable, is insulting. In a governing body whose decisions affect nearly 2 million people and a precinct of nearly half a million, over 50% of whom are women, there is undoubtedly at least one woman who meets the requirements to serve as a County Commissioner," she wrote in a letter to Wolff.
But Wolff said the County has many women serving in top positions.
"The whole Court of Appeals is all women. One half of the District Judges are women," he said. "We have a good diversity of women."
Rodriguez said he will submit a letter of resignation to the Clerk of the Texas House today, as his appointment is effective right away. He says he was concerned about leaving his constituents without representation as the biennial session begins, but he was convinced that they won't be without a voice when it matters.
"Things don't really ramp up and under the Texas Constitution we can't even vote on laws until March," he said. "I will be asking the governor to order an expedited special election for that seat."
He said he expects that election to be set for four to six weeks.