Javier Cazares draws inspiration for election bid from his daughter

Jackie Cazares is one of the 21 victims killed at Robb Elementary

UVALDE, Texas – We are two weeks away from election day and in the middle of early voting. This year in Uvalde, there are a lot of new faces on the ballot for one race in particular -- county commissioner Precinct 2.

The shooting at Robb Elementary is changing the court of the election this year.

“I promised her from that day that I was going to fight to change the rules, for trying to fight for change as much as I could,” Javier Cazares, Jackie’s dad said.

With his daughter’s picture hanging from his neck, Cazares is taking on a new venture.

“I’m going to do the best I can to uh if I get elected, you know, to make those things, changes and from the smallest to the biggest,” Cazares said.

Though he’s never seen himself as a political person, Cazares is running for Uvalde County commissioner Precinct 2 as a write-in candidate.

“I’m parent first, not a politician,” he said.

Currently in the county commissioner seat is Mariano Pargas Jr. He has held the position for over a decade and originally was running unopposed for the November election.

That is until the Robb Elementary tragedy.

“I know who he is and what he does, but didn’t know that he was actually there till l just a month ago,” Cazares said.

Pargas was serving as the interim police chief for Uvalde PD that day, he’s since been placed on leave.

Cazares says this played a role in his decision to throw his hat in the political ring.

“Everybody in the world saw what happened that day and he was in that video as well,” Cazares said.

He says his platform is simple, he’s fighting for changes to keep other kids like his daughter Jackie safe, and fighting for more rigorous police training.

“I can’t promise anything. Like I said, I’m not in that position yet, but I will do my best to do my part versus promise somebody that I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep,” Cazares said.

While his political aspirations are new, the families of the other Robb victims are backing him wholeheartedly.

KSAT 12 emailed Mariano Pargas several times to speak about his re-election but has not gotten a response back.

There are two other write-in candidates for Uvalde County commissioner Precinct 2 -- Julio Valdez and Diana Olvedo-Karau.

Valdez declined an interview, but you’ll hear from Olvedo-Karau Wednesday on the NightBeat.

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About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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