|AUSTIN, Texas, November 12 - Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos spoke in the Old Supreme Courtroom at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
Just a week after being elected judge for a third term, Cascos spoke about becoming the next Texas Secretary of State.
Governor-elect Greg Abbott announced Cascos for the post at an economic development roundtable meeting with Rio Grande Valley leaders at the Brownsville Economic Development Corporation offices earlier in the day.
Here, in full, are Judge Cascos' remarks at the state Capitol:
"Good afternoon, my name is Carlos Cascos and I am the Cameron County Judge. It has been my privilege to serve the residents of Cameron County for more than two decades as county commissioner and county judge and I was humbled to be elected to a third term just a week ago today. While my heart and roots are in Cameron County I owe it to my constituents and Texans across the Rio Grande Valley to accept this appointment subject to Senate confirmation and ensure that the voices of South Texas and all of Texas are heard at the highest levels of state government.
"Governor-elect Abbott's decision to choose someone from South Texas as his first appointment demonstrates his commitment to the Rio Grande Valley and our border region. The Secretary of State is Texas' chief elections officer, the liaison for the Governor's Office of Border and Mexican Affairs, and Texas' chief protocol officer for state and international matters.
"As a former county commissioner and county judge, a CPA, and a Mexican-born American I am confident that I have the experience and background and the commitment to perform these responsibilities on behalf of all Texans. Having been a member of the Department of Public Safety, past chair of the Texas Border Security Council, vice chair of Panama Canal Stake Advisory Group and the Freight Advisory Group, and, even participating in a task force to study logistics and evacuations during hurricanes, gives me the unique perspective into state government.
"Together with Governor Abbott I will work with Mexico in partnership with the federal government to ensure they abide by the Rio Grande Treaty. We must all do what we can to assess our water resources so our business can continue to flourish and our farms and agriculture industry can continue to prosper. We have many challenges ahead. However, I strongly believe that planning, initiating and implementing a sustainable, viable, water plan to address our growing population are imperative.
"In addition, Governor-elect Abbott has committed to work with Mexico as they expand energy; that they develop and ensure that South Texas companies can participate in the energy boom in northern Mexico. The Rio Grande Valley among other parts of the State are poised for incredible economic expansion. However, our unemployment rates continue to lag, especially in South Texas. Governor-elect Abbott has a plan to spark a new era of economic expansion in the Rio Grande Valley. His plan will help grow more small businesses and will continue economic opportunities such as recently the relocation of SpaceX to the Valley, the UT Rio Grande Valley school and, of course, the Toyota dealership amongst others.
"Public safety and securing our border is critical to economic development. Data has shown that when our border is secure our economic situation will improve. Securing our border will improve trade and economic activity as well as the safety of our communities. Governor-elect Abbott's border plan provides for an additional $3 million in the next biennium to local law enforcement to prosecute human traffickers, smugglers and drug cartels that threaten the safety of all our neighborhoods, in addition to expanding the Texas Anti-Gang Program to curb cartel activity across the state.
"As Secretary of State I look forward to assisting Governor-elect Abbott in implementing his plan for improving economic development, public safety, education, job creation and infrastructure. I would like to thank Governor-elect Abbott for the confidence he has bestowed upon me to serve as Secretary of State. I would like to also thank Senator Eddie Lucio from my district for supporting this nomination as well. He has been a senator for a longtime and a good friend to me and my family.
"I also want to acknowledge the loves of my life, my two daughters, Casandra and Andrea, and, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't thank my wife Candy because without her I would not be here today and without her support I would not be here as well.
"As we go about our day let us not forget our veterans. Today is Veteran's Day and had it not been for the sacrifices and the public service of veterans none of us would be here today. Thank you, God bless you and God bless the great state of Texas. Y que Dios los bendiga. Thank you."