“I’ve been dealt some good cards,” she said. “We’ve been able to raise our family here and we’ve enjoyed the continuity of having our children and our grandchildren here.”
Now in her sixth term in office, she’s never had an opponent. Even without a challenger, Garcia garners more votes of confidence than other elected officials.
“These 30 years have passed so quickly but I still enjoy serving the public,” Garcia said. “I’ve lasted 30 years and enjoyed the entire experience.”
Garcia has worked with nine district judges through court cases that ran the gamut including two capital murder cases – both with changes in venue to Cuero and Victoria.
“That was a difficult time for us,” Garcia said.
In addition to the traveling every day, throngs of paperwork had to be filed upon returning to the courthouse.
Then, in 2003, the county clerk’s and the district clerk’s offices were combined.
“That was before the elections administrator position was opened so the county clerk’s office was still tasked with doing the elections,” Garcia said.
Two terms passed before an election was called to separate the two offices again.
One of Garcia’s greatest challenges came as a high school student. A cheerleader for the 1970 RHS Bobcat co-state championship football team, she dropped out at midterm in 1972 to marry her high school sweetheart, George Garcia.
At 17, she gave birth to their son, Russell.
“The principal, Jim Boucher, talked to my parents and told me if I doubled up on my English classes and the required subjects, I could still graduate with my class,” Garcia said. “My father and mother helped me with baby-sitting.”
Garcia earned her diploma and walked across the stage with her class.
“Looking back, that was a challenge but I had a lot of support,” Garcia said.
The clerk says her roots grow deep in the community.
“I was born here, I was baptized at St. James and I received my first communion there, and I was confirmed there — so I’ll probably receive the last sacrament there, too.”
Active at St. James, Garcia is a lector at Sunday Mass.
In addition to Russell, 39, she also has a daughter, Stacy, 33, and two granddaughters, Amber and Julissa. The Garcias plan to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in Hawaii this summer with their children and grandchildren.
“Life’s an open book for me, God comes first, then family and then career,” Garcia says.
Tuesday morning during the commissioners court meeting, Garcia was presented with a certificate marking her 30 years of service.
Following the meeting, the lounge filled with guests for a reception to honor Garcia.