County judge candidates face off ahead of election

By Brittany Anderson

The race between Democratic candidates for Hays County Judge Brandon Burleson and incumbent Ruben Becerra has become contentious with a legal battle.

A verbal altercation that allegedly turned physical between Becerra’s wife, Monica, and Burleson’s mother, Rose, occurred at a January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial service in San Marcos. The Burlesons sought a temporary restraining order and $250,000 in damages.

Additionally, Burleson filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against the Becerras, along with two other citizens, for making oral and written defamatory statements about Burleson alleging he sexually abused minors.

Individually, Becerra and Burleson have had their share of legal troubles.

Becerra was fined $500 in December 2021 by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) for a campaign finance violation — his third since 2016 — for failing to timely file the July 2020 semiannual reports and January 2021.

Becerra’s two previous campaign violations also each resulted in a $500 fine from the TEC.

In September 2019, Burleson, the founder and CEO of Skylight Party Bus Co., was released from a court case involving the death of 20-year-old Texas State University student Jordin Taylor.

Taylor was found deceased in October 2016 under one of the company’s party buses at Cool River Ranch in Martindale. Evidence revealed that Taylor’s cause of death was being dragged approximately 500 feet, not being hit by the bus; it is not known how she ended up under the bus.

Both candidates released individual statements regarding the January 2022 incidents, with Becerra saying “the matter is in the hands of the justice system, and I hope they will investigate and decide the matter fairly,” while Burleson said. stated that he “would not deal with lies”. and a failed attempt to distract from the issues the citizens of Hays County want to hear about.

Early voting for the March 1 primary elections ends on February 25. Becerra or Burleson will then face Republican Mark Jones, current Pct. 2 Commissioner who is running unopposed in the November 2022 elections.

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