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Experience Matters

Experience matters in this race. I was unanimously appointed by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court as Judge because I was the most qualified to perform the duties of Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5.
I have been an attorney for 25 years and have tried cases to a jury as 1st chair from murder down to a simple criminal trespass. I have also tried complex civil matters including family law, breach of contract, and debt claims.
I have tried cases in district, county, municipal, and federal courts, as well as argued before the court of appeals. In addition, I have served as a judge in various capacities for more than 20 years. More importantly, I have presided over 50 jury trials and 10,000 bench trials.

This should matter to the voters because neither of my opponents have done either or both. In fact, this court presides over civil, criminal and administrative matters that follow different rules than the standard rules of procedure. Precinct 5 cannot afford to wait 1-2 years for a person to learn on the job. This means justice is delayed.
In my first 100 days in office I was busy presiding over 250 criminal hearings, 360 civil hearings and signing in excess of 500 criminal orders and 1100 civil orders. In fact, I am working diligently with my staff of 17 clerks to reorganize and reclassify our internal organization and responsibilities to better reflect the growing needs of the court.


I am also fluent in Spanish and expanded the use of Language Line for easier access to justice by our non-English speaking constituents.

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Judge Rico and his wife Sharon.

Judge Rico Investiture on October 1, 2023.

Travis County Justices of the Peace from left to right, JP4 Raul Gonzalez, JP3 Sylvia Holmes, JP5 Rick Olivo, JP1 Yvonne Williams and JP2 Randall Slagle

As Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, I will continue to:
  • Ensure that the business of the court is dispensed in a fair, compassionate and efficient manner.

  • Guarantee that every person with business before the court has access to justice and receives the proper respect and dignity that they deserve.

  • Commit to continuously train, educate and incentivize the staff to strive for personal and professional growth, in order to promote and provide the ultimate level of service to those who appear before the court.

About Judge Rico

Judge Rick “Rico” Olivo was appointed as the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5 by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court and was sworn in on October 1, 2023. Judge Olivo brings a wealth of judicial experience as he previously served as a Visiting Judge for the Travis County JP Courts for nearly seven years and as an Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Austin for nearly two years. He was also an elected judge for the Municipal Court of El Paso, Texas, where he served for a total of 13 years.

Judge Olivo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from The University of Texas at El Paso and his Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. After graduation from law school, he was an Associate with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP in San Diego, California. He then opened his own law office in El Paso in 1999 and later moved to Austin in 2014 where he focused on indigent criminal defense and transactional law.

Rico spent his formative years traveling around the world. He attended elementary school in Sevilla and Madrid, Spain, high school in Cairo, Egypt, and interned for two summers at the US Mission at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, while attending college.

Judge Rico and his wife Sharon will celebrate 35 years of marriage this year and together they founded Don Rico Tequila. Sharon manages the day-to-day operations. Their son Christian is an actor and model in Los Angeles and their daughter is an entrepreneur and artist in Austin. Both are also actively involved in the family business.

My Experience

• Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5 - Incumbent 

• Visiting Judge, Justice of the Peace Courts of Travis County - 7 years 

• Associate Municipal Court Judge, Austin Texas - 2 years 

• Municipal Court Judge, El Paso, Texas - 13 years 

• Criminal & Civil Trial Lawyer - 25 years • Licensed by the US Supreme Court and multiple Federal District Courts 

• Founder, Don Rico Tequila 

• Intern, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium 

• Volunteer for Numerous Non-Profit Organizations 

• Fluent in Spanish EXPERIENCE


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Winner, Austin Bar Poll

Novert "Mo" Morales; Jana Ortega; Leslie Boykin; Betty Blackwell; Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, PC; Guadalupe Barragan; Victor Arana; Constable Carlos Lopez; Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos (Ret.); Sylvia Carrillo; Linda Chavez; Gloria Aleman; and Teresa Perez-Wiseley


Don’t be fooled, my opponents have consistently stated that they plan to expand programs that are already fully in progress or continue programs that have ended by operation of law and are no longer viable. There has never been a point in time where my opponents can claim that they can offer more to this court than me, whether it’s experience, qualifications or ideas. I have spent my first 100 days in office expanding the programs that work and implementing bold, new ideas that will prepare this court for the future. 

This court also requires a significant amount of administrative experience. As a business owner, I am the only candidate with business management experience. I understand how to develop and stay within a budget, supervise a large staff with a high volume workload, and create a business and strategic plan to ensure continuity and meet the heavy demands of this office.

Finally, I am not using this job as a springboard to another bench. This is the job I was hired to do and I have no intentions of running for a higher court should the opportunity arise.


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