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New El Paso County judge makes history during swearing-in ceremony

New El Paso County Judge Ruben Vogt sworn into office. (KFOX14/CBS4)

El Paso County made history today with the swearing-in of the interim county judge.

Ruben Vogt’s official swearing-in as El Paso County judge made him the first openly gay man to hold the position in county history.

As we reported, county commissioners named Vogt to be former Judge Veronica Escobar’s replacement.

She is currently running for U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s seat, as he challenges Ted Cruz in the Senate.

Commissioner Carlos Leon said he and Commissioners Andrew Haggerty and David Stout picked Vogt because it would be a seamless transition.

"I'm excited for the next, these next 15 years so thank you,” Leon said.

“You mean, months!?” Vogt said as he laughed.

Vogt says his 15-month appointment has opened a door for everyone in El Paso to run for office.

“I think this is incredible, especially for El Paso -,- place of progress. We have always been at the forefront of ensuring that we are fighting for whether it’s civil rights or whatever it might be, immigrant rights,” Vogt said. “So I’m really excited this is coming out of El Paso.”

“I’m excited. It’s a new era for El Paso. It really is. It’s changing the face of the county of El Paso and you can see here at Mr. Vogt it’s going to make a difference,” Leon said.

Vogt was the former chief of staff for judge Escobar. Leon said he’s glad Vogt knows everyone and how they work and therefore won’t have too much of a learning curve.

"This is really affirmative moment that El Paso does value you and you can serve in high positions here,” Travis Cosban, the secretary for the El Paso Sun City Pride, said.

Cosban feels this move is something El Paso has always stood for.

"El Paso's frequently ahead of the curve in both diversity and progressive issues,” Cosban said. “They are not only willing to support members of the LBGT community, but look past it."

"I would hope that one day we get to the point sexuality wouldn't be in the main headline,” Vogt said. “That would just be everyone judging each other by their merits and their ability to get the job done."

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