DAVID E. MARTINEZ
When David Martinez was visiting home from San Antonio during his sophomore year of college, he had no indication his father would pass away a week later. But before this tragedy struck the Martinez family, his father, with keen insight, imparted inspiring words and a sensibility that anchored itself into a singular purpose.
“I hope that one day you come back home, and you give back to your community,” his father told him. “In essence, one of his last messages to me was a challenge to come home and serve this community,” Martinez said.
And now that time has come. Martinez is running for the office of Val Verde County Attorney.
And like the rest of the country, Del Rioans find themselves deep in teh 2020 election cycle, deciding who will best address their needs and represent their current ideology. Perhaps, they will elect Martinez.
Of course, Martinez is the challenger. And he feels some changes are needed in the county attorney’s office.
“I think one of the things that I see as deficient in the office is presence,” he said. “For whatever reason, the current county attorney doesn’t come into the office on a very regular basis. This predates the pandemic.”
Martinez is very familiar with the office, spending 12 years there. He said the responsibilities are great, and if elected, he will be visible. “I think that the community deserves it…I think it’s important for people to see an elected official in the office.”
He also said the office has a difficult time retaining assistant county attorneys for a myriad of reasons, but a consistent presence might help morale and, subsequently, the retention rate.
A more efficient and expeditious case-intake process is needed as well, he added, explaining that without one, defendants may be waiting for several months or a year before they know if a case will be filed.
“You run the risk of either police officers or sheriff’s deputies moving on and then not being available to testify if it’s a year, year and a half or two years later,” he said. “If you have witnesses, witnesses’ memories fade; witnesses move. It just becomes more challenging, to successfully prosecute those cases because of that initial delay.”
Martinez, a Democrat, grew up in a large Del Rio family where he is the seventh of 10 children. His parents were heavily involved in the community, consistently placing a great deal of emphasis on service in and outside the home. His father was a founding member of the United Civic Organization (UCO) that brought much-needed services and infrastructure to the Chihuahua and Comalia areas of town.
His passion for law emerged when he was a kid and grew into a
legal career that began in immigration law in the Rio Grande Valley and then continued in commercial and personal injury law in San Antonio. In 2005, he returned to Del Rio with his family and began his long run in the county attorney’s office.
A love for the law and extensive legal experience coupled with a parent-instilled duty to serve the public has now brought him to this significant juncture in his life. He hopes it results in his service to the residents of Val Verde County.
“The office of county attorney is a very unique opportunity for me to be a public servant utilizing my professional training and education.”