AUSTIN, Texas – El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar has been elected chair of the Texas Conference of Urban Counties. She will serve a two-year term.

The TCUC is a non-profit organization composed of 38 member counties that represent approximately 80 percen of the population of Texas. The group supports and coordinates communications among member counties, studies policies and programs of the State of Texas that affect urban counties, advocates county issues, primarily at the state level, and provides training and education programs appropriate for urban county officials. The group says all of its services and activities are pursued for the benefit of the people of Texas.

Escobar said the Texas Conference of Urban Counties provides analysis of legislation, state agency rulemaking and attorney general opinions to urban county officials and that the group represents the collected interests of Texas urban counties in working with the state agencies and the legislature.

“I appreciate the confidence my colleagues have in my ability to help lead this very important organization. Together, we at the CUC have been able to push transformative policy and legislation while putting the brakes on detrimental efforts that diminish or negatively impact a county’s authority. From this leadership position, I hope to continue working with my colleagues across the state of Texas to find ways to make county government more efficient and accountable to the taxpayer. This is a positive reflection on El Paso County and I am honored to have an active leadership role in shaping the decisions that impact counties across the State,” Escobar said.

Escobar had served as chair-elect since November 2013 and was vice-chair between 2011-2013. She has served on the CUC policy committee since 2008.

The Texas Conference of Urban Counties was formed in 1975 by the six largest counties in Texas (Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, El Paso, and Travis counties). Now, to become a member, a county has to have a population of 100,000 or more in the last Census; or it has to be one of two adjacent counties that form one MSA with a total population greater than 100,000. The counties now participating are:

Bell County, Bexar County, Brazoria County, Brazos County, Cameron County, Chambers County, Collin County, Comal County, Dallas County, Denton County, Ector County, El Paso County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Grayson County, Gregg County, Guadalupe County, Harris County, Hays County, Hidalgo County, Jefferson County, Johnson County, Kaufman County, Lubbock County, McLennan County, Midland County, Montgomery County, Nueces County, Potter County, Randall County, Rockwall County, San Patricio County, Smith County, Tarrant County, Travis County, Webb County, Williamson County, and Wise County.

Urban Counties officers are elected in the fall of odd numbered years by the membership of the Urban Counties. Officers assume office following the elections and serve for two years. Except for the chairman-elect, there is no automatic assumption of offices from one term to the next. The executive director is Donald Lee.