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After 55 years in office, Huvar is unseated as county clerk

By ALLISON MILES
March 2, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2010 at 9:03 p.m.


For the first time in almost six decades, Victoria County will have a new county clerk.

Robert Cortez unseated longtime incumbent Val D. Huvar on Tuesday night in the race for Victoria County clerk.

Cortez came away with 2,014 votes, or 51 percent, while Huvar garnered 1,960 votes, or 49 percent.

"I am very, very grateful to the community of Victoria voters who've trusted me with their vote," Cortez said at 9:30 p.m. "I am prepared to take on the challenge of county clerk."

Huvar, 90, had maintained his role as clerk for 55 years. The state's longest-serving county clerk, he was first sworn into office Jan. 1, 1955.

An ever-growing frog collection takes up a majority of Huvar's office inside the Victoria County Courthouse.

"I have nothing to say," he said in a phone interview from his home. "The Hispanics just came out and voted. That's all I can say."

Huvar added that he appreciated everyone who made it out to vote Tuesday.

"Evidently, they had reasons for not re-hiring me," he said.

Cortez does not have a Republican opponent in November.

In his new role, Cortez said he plans to upgrade the office's customer service and technology in a variety of ways. Among those changes, he plans to implement ways for people to pay for records online with credit cards.

He also hopes to start an aggressive educational campaign to teach people who the county clerk is and what he does. When Cortez was campaigning, he said, he realized many people were in the dark as to what the position entailed.

The county clerk is responsible for maintaining important historical records, such as birth certificates, land transfers and juvenile court activities, he said.

"Victoria County has spoken that they are ready for a change," Cortez, 61, said. "I will extend 100 percent effort to be a full-time county clerk ... to serve the public as it deserves to be served."

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