Richard Cortez Biography
Judge Richard F. Cortez took office as Hidalgo County Judge on January 2, 2019. He is a retired Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst (CPA/CVA).
After receiving his CPA license in 1973, Judge Cortez became a partner with accounting colleagues and continued practicing public accounting. In 1984, he began providing consulting services by assisting parties in litigation and determining economic damages. He was involved in hundreds of cases in federal, state and bankruptcy courts. Judge Cortez has been appointed receiver, special auditor, accountant, and business valuator by various state district courts.
Judge Cortez devoted considerable time for the advancement of the accounting profession. He presided as president of the Local Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs and performed business valuations for numerous industries and companies of all sizes. Additionally, Judge Cortez taught a graduate-level course in Forensic Accounting at the University of Texas-Pam American.
Elected the eighteenth Mayor of the City of McAllen, Judge Cortez began his revitalization of the progressive city. With success, he was re-elected for a second four- year term in May of 2009. Since he became Mayor, the City continued to create significant assets and accumulated substantial economic reserves. A $53 million dollar convention center was constructed with no external financing. A new international bridge was constructed and the McAllen Miller International Airport was expanded. An Arts District and an Entertainment District were created and a Historic Preservation Ordinance was enacted. The city undertook the environment-friendly technology of “Going Green” and many city parks were constructed or improved. A Youth Advisory Council was formed and a variety of programs to benefit youth and senior citizens were established. The city’s fund balance exceeded $225 million and the tax rate did not increase during his terms as mayor.
Judge Cortez chose not to run for re-election at the end of his second four-year term, yet returned to the political arena in 2015 as McAllen City Commissioner District 1. He continued to serve in that position until he withdrew his seat to run for Hidalgo County Judge.