Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Norma Ramírez


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(159 pages)

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Biography:

Born on December 6, 1963. Ms. Ramírez was County Judge for Zapata County. She was first elected in 1994 after contesting results of the primary and runoff elections. She was a law school graduate from the Reynaldo Garza School of Law. She worked for Texas Rural Legal Aid and as Court Coordinator of the District Judge in Zapata prior to seeking elective office.

Interview Summary:

The interview begins with Ms. Ramírez recounting the events in her life that prepared her for public office such as serving on school student councils, active participation in school extracurricular competitions, and early legal training as an attorney with Texas Rural Legal Aid and as Zapata County Commissioner Court Coordinator. She describes the personal influences in her life such as her father who financed her campaigns, her family (immediate and extended) who voluntarily managed the campaigns, supportive and non-supportive former employers and politicians. She also talks about challenges from negative attitudes she faced as a woman in politics. Ms. Ramírez talks about the issues she experienced during her campaigns such as political manipulations and voting fraud on the part of her opponents, resentment and retaliation from incumbent politicians, the intervention of the FBI in Zapata County local elections, and her ultimate victory in the Zapata County Judge election following a reversal of voting results by the Texas Court of Appeals. As Zapata County Judge, she talks about the difficulties she continues to encounter learning her job citing lack of cooperation from some county commissioners and the negative attitudes and hostilities by clerical support staff and other incumbent politicians including women, and law enforcement agencies. Ms. Ramírez concludes with a discussion of her personal disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment with the realities of Zapata County politics.

Locations of residence or activity:

Zapata County

Interview Date:

7/5/1996