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Letter: Actions speak louder than birthplace

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Looking at the political landscape can sometimes seem complicated and cumbersome with so many ‘he said’… ‘she said’ candidates, but to clearly see the choices before you, you may have to dig a little deeper than someone’s stump speech. Such may be the case for a candidate running for Denton County Criminal Court #5.

One of the candidates, Vic Rivera, was born in Brooklyn, New York, but has lived in North Texas since 1984. Mr. Rivera, a father of two, is a local municipal judge in Flower Mound; board certified in Family Law, and along with his wife, Clair, owns the law firm Rivera Legal Group, PLLC. Mr. Rivera is now seeking the opportunity to further serve the families of Denton County by protecting the innocent from those that may not value and respect the laws that have made the state of Texas revered by others. Sadly, some have stated that because Mr. Rivera was not born in Texas nor lived in Denton County for as long as his opponent that he may not be the best individual to serve on the bench. For me, that is a vapid assessment of what qualifies someone to serve and protect my family from those that do not truly hold in high regard the values and freedoms that are important to me. I would suggest that we let actions of the man speak louder than the place of his birth.

Although some may believe that in order to serve on this bench that the candidate should be from Texas but I would like to offer that the state of your birth should not be an indicator of your abilities to serve, protect, and enforce the values that Texans hold dear. Vic Rivera graduated from Haltom High School in 1990 in the top 5% of his class and proudly enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the Military Intelligence field. Mr. Rivera is the only candidate who has defended our U.S. and Texas Constitutions by serving in the armed forces. Later Mr. Rivera joined the Fort Worth Police Department, serving North Texas as a patrol officer for one year before being promoted to a special team formerly known as Zero Tolerance. As a Field Training Officer, he helped to train rookies and the only candidate with hands-on law enforcement experience. Now, as a judge in the town where I live, Judge Rivera continues to protect and serve not only my family but thousands of other families here in Flower Mound and within Denton County. Judge Rivera is the only candidate with judicial experience and as such all of his experience resonates more to me than where he was born.

Moreover, many of us who enjoy living in this fine state of Texas owe our thanks to those that made Texas great, many of whom were not Native Texans. Case in point, Davy Crockett, one of the best-known “Texans” in history, was not a Texan. Davy Crockett, a man we all know as a defender of the Alamo was a Native of Tennessee. Sam Houston, the first and third president of the great Republic of Texas and eventually the seventh governor of Texas, was also not a Native of Texas but was born in Virginia and grew up in Tennessee. Another fine example would be Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas himself grew up in Missouri. Last but certainly not least, a legend to many Aggies and Longhorns is Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar who was from Georgia. Lamar fought with Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto and served as the second president of the Republic of Texas. To Texans, Lamar is the father of Texas education. He is directly responsible for the two universities that eventually became Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. All these men may not have been born in Texas but they did everything in their power to make Texas great.

All in all, every Denton County resident should seek to elect someone that will uphold the values and principals that are the most important to their family… I just hope that what is most important is not where someone was born but what they do with their lives on a daily basis. After all, Texas was founded by great men and women that let their actions speak louder than place of their birth.

Lisa Hendrickson
Flower Mound, TX

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