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Richard Moya, trailblazer

Friday, February 17, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Austin native Richard Moya, a trailblazer in local politics, died Thursday at the age of 84. Moya was the first Mexican-American to serve on the Travis County Commissioners Court. He was elected to represent Precinct 4 in 1970 and served continuously in that job until 1986. His protégé, Margaret Gómez, is currently serving as commissioner for Precinct 4. After leaving the Commissioners Court, Moya served as one of three deputy chiefs of staff for former Gov. Ann Richards. He attended Austin High School and graduated in 1950. According to records at the University of Texas, Moya was trained as a printer and worked in that profession for 15 years. After that, he took a job with the Travis County Legal Aid Society, where he developed an interest in politics and government. Moya was one of four Mexican-Americans to change the face of Austin politics. The others are former state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, former Mayor Gus Garcia and former City Council Member John Trevino.

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