It was a close call in the Rio Grande Valley’s marquee judicial race between 92nd District Court Judge Edward Aparicio of Edinburg and McAllen solo Roel “Robie” Flores. Aparicio won by a mere 800 votes, 23,555 to Flores’ 22,764. The race marked a larger battle between two main political factions in Hidalgo County — the Ramonistas and Power Rangers. The latter moniker is used to describe what some locals regard as an influential clique of lawyers and Edinburg district judges, including Aparicio and Noe Gonzalez.

Ramon Garcia, a powerful Edinburg plaintiffs lawyer and the former Hidalgo County Democratic chairman, is considered to be adverse to the clique. He has publicly backed candidates, the locally coined “Ramonistas,” such as Flores, who have squared off against the so-called Power Rangers. In 1998, Flores took on Gonzalez, and narrowly lost that judicial race as well.

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