Board Member Since 1993
"Judge Vara is a life-long Houstonian and graduate of Stephen F. Austin High School. He received his BBA from the University of Houston Main Campus, and also attended South Texas College of Law.
Judge Vara was first elected as Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, Place 1 on June 13, 1974. Presently now serving in his forty first year. He was the youngest person to ever be elected as Justice of the Peace at that time.
Judge Vara has three brother’s Rudy Jr, Lonnie, Joe and two sister’s Kandy Hernandez and Cynthia Vara-Leija. He is also the proud father of daughters, Ericka Gonzalez and Lenzy Chapa and son Anthony Vara. He has two son-in-laws Abel Gonzalez and Albert Chapa. He is the proud grandfather of five grandchildren. His mother, Alicia, is 92 and his aunt Nena is 96.
Judge Vara grew up in Magnolia, Denver Harbor and the East End areas of Houston. His parents, Rudy and Alicia Vara, were very active in LULAC, politics, VFW, Boy Scouts, PTA, ROTC programs and the Houston Rodeo and were founding members of the Go Tejano Committee.
Judge Vara’s first encounter with politics was through his parents, by accompanying them to LULAC, political and civic functions. Highlights as a young boy were meeting Senator Lyndon Johnson and Congressman Henry Gonzalez. He helped his dad deliver campaign material for the VIVA Kennedy Club on his bicycle. As a student he attended John F. Kennedy’s address at Rice Stadium and was active in Boy Scouts, Resurrection Church in the CYO and CYA programs.
He attended McReynolds Jr. High School, Austin High School and University of Houston. At the University of Houston, he was active in P.A.S.O., Young Democrats, drama and debate.
In 1972, he served as assistant treasurer for the Harris County Democratic Party and was a coordinator for Willie Velasquez in the Southwest Voter Registration project targeting Houston. In 1973, he served as Hispanic area coordinator in the mayoral race of Fred Hofheinz.
Judge Vara has been a sponsor of many innovative programs such as Teen Courts and literacy programs. He also mentors for elementary, middle and high schools. He has been a longtime supporter of retired and senior citizen volunteer programs.
He was a founding member of the following organizations Chicano Family Center, Denver Harbor Senior Citizens, SFA Alumni Organization, and the Felix and Angela Morales Foundation.
Judge Vara has volunteered for The Boy Scouts of America, the Mexican American Bar Association, Fifth Ward Redevelopment Corporation, The Cossaboom YMCA, Harris County Juvenile Board, Resurrection Credit Union, Wesley House, Hester House, Houston Legal Foundation, Harrisburg Rotary, East End Association, Houston East End Chamber of Commerce and LULAC.
Judge Vara enjoys theater, dancing, sports, his collections and looks forward to shooting his age in golf. He continues to stay very connected to his supportive constituents."