285th Primary District Court Judge


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Nadine Melissa Nieto(D)

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CONTEXT

Democratic district court judge candidate Lisa Uresti-Dasher edged out opponent Nadine Nieto in campaign contributions and spending, according to their latest filings with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The two attorneys are vying for the March 1 Democratic primary for the 285th district judge seat, in what has been the most contentious race for a judgeship in Bexar County in recent memory.

For the campaign reporting period spanning Jan. 21 to Feb. 19, Uresti-Dasher said he received $6,241 in political contributions. She made nearly $69,000 in political spending during the same period, according to Texas Ethics Commission records.

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Additionally, Uresti-Dasher loaned his campaign $3,000, records show.

For the same campaign reporting period spanning Jan. 21 to Feb. 19, Nieto said he received $700 in political contributions. Nieto made more than $32,000 in political spending during the same period, records show.

Nieto in late January and then early February injected a total of $25,000 into his campaign in the form of two loans.

State records show Uresti-Dasher submitted a corrected contribution report earlier this year, for the reporting period covering Jan. 1 to Jan. 20.

Contacted by email this week about the corrected report, Uresti-Dasher wrote: “Regarding the corrected report, I am not exactly sure what has been corrected. I believe I saw things appear in statements that I had not seen when I submitted my report or made a clerical report.

The corrected report indicates that it included amounts from prior periods as well as small amounts that had not yet been posted.

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The campaign has been marred by feuds between the two sides dating back to last year.

Nieto late last year filed a lawsuit claiming Uresti-Dasher’s candidacy for the judgeship contained “several facial defects” that rendered the candidacy invalid.

A two-day virtual hearing to determine the political fate of Uresti-Dasher revealed an ongoing dispute between the two campaigns.

The hearing focused on whether Uresti-Dasher applied using his legal name and provided inaccurate information about his length of residency in Texas and Bexar County.

Uresti-Dasher is the daughter of Bexar County tax collector Albert Uresti and niece of disgraced former Texas state senator Carlos Uresti, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence. jail time for federal fraud and money laundering convictions.

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At the end of the hearing, visiting judge John Gabriel denied Nieto’s request for a temporary injunction, allowing Uresti-Dasher to remain on the primary ballot.

A Defenders investigation last month found Nieto was accused of defaulting on more than $100,000 in student loans and interest.

Nieto was sued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2010 after alleging she owed $101,580.20 in student loans and accrued interest. Nieto was also the subject of multiple liens, tax lawsuits and court records dating back to the late 1990s, the KSAT 12 Defenders found.

After the government received judgment for the full amount in early 2012, Nieto appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, records show.

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Nieto said she agreed to drop the appeal later that year in a confidential settlement that required her to repay about $78,000, about $30,000 less than the amount she she had to at that time.

Nieto said she made a lump sum payment of $10,000 and then payments of just over $328 a month for nearly a decade.

She settled the last amount of approximately $6,000 due in early September, but disputes that the payment was made because she had decided to run as a judge of the 285th District Court.

“I know it has nothing to do with my candidacy, if that is the implication,” Nieto told Defenders last month.

“It is worrying. It is concerning that Nadine Nieto is running for this position, despite her background and despite her usual disregard for the law. It seems like she’s not fit to be a judge,” Uresti-Dasher said when asked about her opponent’s past financial troubles.

The winner of the 285th District Court Democratic primary will face Republican Mark Thompson in the November election.

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