Sheriff denies 'dementia' claims, 77-yr-old threatens to sue





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Published on May 21, 2012

In his third attempt to win the sheriff's seat, Joe Cisneros is waging war on incumbent Omar Lucio by turning to the airwaves and online to attack the 77-year-old's state of mind.

"Omar Lucio says he's not a county employee... He's confused," Cisneros stated in his own television political advertisement.

The former state trooper who touts 30 years of law enforcement experience, doesn't believe the sheriff is mentally capable of holding office for a third consecutive time.

"By God if he receives a check from the county... With the name Cameron County... He is a county employee," Cisneros said. " His motto is honesty and integrity... He needs to be honest with the people... His own sister has made comments that he's at the early stages of dementia."

Dementia is a loss of brain function that affects memory and thinking.

Lucio calls the personal attack on his mental health untrue and unfounded.

"He doesn't know what he's talking about," he said.

With regards to not being a county employee per say, Lucio said the comment was only made because he's an elected official.

"We're going to be able to file a libel suit against him [Cisneros]...My sister doesn't even talk to him... I think he's upset because his family is supporting me 110 percent," Lucio said.

Terry Vinson doesn't want to enter the political ring with attacks.

Instead the former military veteran and ex-police chief of 3 Rio Grande Valley cites hopes his grass roots approach will make his third attempt to be the county's top lawman--the charm.

"Lucio against Cisneros... If they want to battle it out... That's fine... I'm a straight shooter... I'm going to do what's necessary," he said.

But not everyone believes the challengers are doing what's necessary to win, even with much less campaign funding compared to the incumbent.

Both have been criticized for not using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to their advantage.

"I understand that social media is a big plus... And I'm not living in the land of manana... But I don't appreciate people putting negative comments," Cisneros explained.

"We set it up in the first part of March," Vinson said. "Like I said we have over 600 friends and such."

The sheriff reminds voters to stick with what has worked.

"I brought back integrity to the office... I brought back experience to the office... I have the education."

Cisneros believes the sheriff is simply out of touch with what the county needs.

His opponent agrees.

"There's just a lot of wasteful spending... People are tired of it... There dollars are valuable to us," Vinson said.

Voters have the final say.

Early voting ends Friday.

Primary Election Day in Texas is on May 29th.

Whoever wins as a Democrat will face Republican Jimmy Manrrique in November's General Election.

Manrrique says he plans to bring his 24 years of law enforcement and a fresh young mind to tackle street gangs and help mentor children if elected sheriff.


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