Candidate Q&A – J.R. Mendoza – Justice of the Peace 2-2

What’s your favorite place in Hays County? 

I enjoy the outdoors and as a lifelong resident of Hays County, I have had the opportunity to visit various natural areas. With the dramatic growth in the last 15 years, some of these areas are now inaccessible or they are “no longer the same”. However, there remains at least one tranquil area of the Blanco River and another area on Onion Creek that I like to visit.

What’s your history of supporting Democratic organizations prior to your run for office? 

In the early 2000’s I would visit with many of the “OGs” from the Hays County Democratic Party during strategy sessions over breakfast. These individuals included, the late Sandra Tenorio, the late Bob Barton, Calvin Kirkham, Jeff Barton, Amy Parham and Becky Selbera to name a few.

Have you ever donated and/or voted for a Republican? If so, why and to whom? 


What is your biggest liability or weakness as a candidate, and what is your response to people who may hold that against you? 

My biggest weakness may be my use of (or sporadic use of) social media. I understand many people utilize social media to communicate with others and to obtain information and I do not spend a lot of time on social media. I would like people to understand that faith and family are priorities in my life and that working for the citizens of our county, is also very important to me. I will review or post on social media, when I have an opportunity to do so. I would also hope that people understand that my lack of social media presence is not out of ignorance or the inability to effectively communicate with the public.

How has your educational background prepared you for this position? What specific college coursework prepared you for the office to which you aspire?

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree and majored in Political Science. A combination of Texas politics and criminal justice classes have prepared me for an understanding of the duties of the office. However, voters should understand that related experience and actual experience, performing duties of the Justice of the Peace, are more important than taking a course in college. Unlike my opponents, I have over 10 years of Law Enforcement experience. As a result of my law enforcement experience, I have a strong understanding and experience with the court process, Penal Code, Class C misdemeanors and traffic violations. Additionally, I have direct experience working with and mentoring juveniles. I have spoken to and understand juvenile issues related to school violations, criminal acts and truancy.  Finally, an inquest is not "pronouncing" someone dead. An inquest is finding the cause and manner of somebody's death. Unless you are doctor and were in medical school, college coursework will not prepare you for Inquest duties of a Justice of the Peace. I am the only candidate with prior training and multiple years of experience investigating deaths. Additionally, there continues to be a problem in Hays County with teenagers dying from Fentanyl Overdose. I have gone to two deaths, in the last 90 days. This needs to stop. Juveniles come before the JP for Class C and school violations. We have the opportunity to help stop the dying. I have begun meeting with community stakeholders to see how our office can help prevent Juveniles from dying from Fentanyl overdose.

How do you maneuver around the big personalities in the legal community? 

I do not play games, cower nor do I challenge others with "big" personalities. I am not “loyal” to another public official or personality in the legal community, because they are a friend or because they helped me with something in the past. I have strong morals and a strong work ethic. I take pride in the work that I do. I treat those that I meet and those I work with, with respect. I am in office to serve the community and those that I represent.

How do you feel about abortion access? How will you support women on this issue?

I believe that access to abortions is vital to the health and wellbeing of many women.

What Democratic values will you apply to your work once elected? 

I believe in fairness and equality for all individuals in all aspects of life. As a former law enforcement officer, I took pride in having an honorable career and treating those I encountered with fairness and respect. I continue to treat people with fairness and respect and in accordance with the laws I ensure equality in my court. Additionally, I am working to make schools a safe place for kids to learn and to address those that are truant or have class C misdemeanors. As of January 1, 2025 I plan on having a diversion program for those juveniles who have class C misdemeanors.


J.R. Headshot

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