Replacing Haggerty a tall task

New commissioner would serve until December 2015

EL PASO, Texas - Mourning continues for Dan Haggerty, but the job of replacing him has begun.

County Judge Veronica Escobar is charged with finding an appointment to take over the position until December 2014. She told ABC-7 she doesn't want to pick a successor, she simply wants to find someone to hold the spot until the next general election for Haggerty's vacated position.

So far, Escobar has met with State Rep. Joe Moody and the El Paso Democratic party. She was looking to find recommendations for a replacement. A meeting is scheduled with the Republican party this week.

"I'm not putting any kind of premium on party, so I'm not looking for someone of a particular party," said Escobar. "I am looking for the best qualified."

The local Democratic party hasn't released the names of the people they'll recommend. The local Republican party told ABC-7 that they haven't finished a list, but that two names stand out: Pat Haggerty and Jerry McTernan. Haggerty, Dan's brother, serves as a lobbyist in Austin.  McTernan was the senior legislative aide for Dan Haggerty.

According to Escobar, the hardest part of finding a replacement will be qualifications. Not only is she looking for someone with financial experience, but they must live within the Precinct 4 district.

Her goal is to narrow a list of candidates down this month so she can begin background checks as the interview process continues.

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