Texas Border Business
McAllen, Texas – After announcing his intent to run as a candidate for judge of the newly-created 464th District Court earlier this year, Judge Joe Ramirez officially filed the required paperwork to appear on the ballot for the March 2020 Democratic Primary Election.
Ramirez currently serves as municipal judge for the City of San Juan, where he has established a reputation of overseeing arraignments and cases in a judicious, respectful, and impartial manner. Ramirez has been a practicing attorney for more than a decade with extensive experience of the legal system, including criminal defense, family law, personal injury, felony cases, federal cases, and jury trials.
“My professional career as an attorney and judge, combined with my strong values of respect and integrity, make me the ideal candidate to fairly discern judgment and preside over the many different types of cases that will come before the 464th District Court,” said Ramirez. “I promise to uphold the office and the bench with the respect that it merits, and to treat everyone that comes before the bench with the respect and fairness that they deserve,” he added.
In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed the Senate Bill 1329 to create the 464th District Court. The 464th District Court went into effect January 1, 2019, to which Governor Greg Abbott appointed temporary judges to preside over the court until the next election cycle. Since the creation of the 464th District Court, Judge Joe Ramirez felt that this was his opportunity to further serve the people of Hidalgo County in a judicial capacity, as this has always been his goal and aspiration to serve his community. Judge Ramirez has utilized the last year to disseminate his message of service and to demonstrate his commitment to all citizens of Hidalgo County.
“I have long been a voice for the people, an advocate for the voiceless, and have fought against injustice for those in need,” said Ramirez. “I will be a judge who is truly of the people and for the people, and who will serve with the highest integrity and respect and in the best interest of justice for all those who come before the court,” Ramirez added.
Ramirez was born in Weslaco and raised in south McAllen by his two hard-working parents and three older siblings. From an early age, his family instilled in their children the values of respect, integrity, fairness, a strong work ethic, and above all, doing the right thing.
Ramirez’s path to his professional career was anything but traditional. His life experiences have kept him humble and relatable to the everyday person. His parents have also inspired him to believe that anything is possible through hard work, determination, and persistence. Ramirez married his high school sweetheart and they became parents when he was 17 years old. Seeking work to provide for his new family, Ramirez dropped out of high school and moved his family to Michigan to work as a shift operator for an automotive parts manufacturer. As a result of his extensive bilingual skills, he quickly established himself as a leader and liaison between management and the workers, who were primarily Spanish-speaking. Ramirez remembers witnessing his first-ever instances of racial discrimination which pushed him to become an advocate for his fellow workers, as they sought to improve working conditions and reduce injuries.
Remembering his parents’ values of integrity and doing the right thing, Ramirez became an activist and fought to bring attention to the dangerous working conditions by getting OSHA involved. Following a nearly life-threatening accident himself, Ramirez realized that he could help others and himself through education.
Through an alternative program, Ramirez obtained his high school diploma in 2000. He continued onto college and graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. While at UTPA, Ramirez again was called upon to help those in need by being a voice against sexual harassment in the University. Again, Ramirez became a leader against injustice. It became clear to him that he was meant to pursue a degree in law – to help those in need, especially those who felt they could not help themselves. At the same time, while pursuing his Criminal Justice degree, Ramirez frequented the Hidalgo County Courthouse, where his older sister and former McAllen City Commissioner, Aida Ramirez, worked. He knew then that he could best serve his community by obtaining a law degree, and ultimately serving on the bench.
Ramirez attended and graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law and was licensed as a practicing attorney with the State Bar of Texas in November 2008. Throughout his professional legal career, Ramirez has established himself as well-rounded in terms of the law, with his legal experience spanning numerous criminal defense, family law, and personal injury cases. Ramirez is also licensed to try cases in the Federal Southern District of Texas and the Federal Eastern District of Texas courts.
Ramirez has been married to Jessica for 23 years; they have three children and reside in Edinburg, Texas. Ramirez is an active and well-respected member of his community. He frequently volunteers at schools in his hometown, speaking to students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels about overcoming adversity through education.
“I am a prime example that through hard work and determination, you can pursue and achieve your own personal dreams of success,” Ramirez stated. “My dream was to become educated as a way out of a cycle of poverty. My dream was to become an attorney to be an advocate for victims, and my dream is now to serve our community as your next judge of the 464th District Court,” he added. “It would be an honor and a responsibility that I will take as serious as I have taken everything in my life,” Ramirez stated.