Edie Rubalcuba: El Paso’s First Female District Clerk

Edelmira “Edie”  Salazar was born in El Paso in 1936 . She attended San Jacinto and Alamo Elementary schools and graduated from Bowie High School in 1955. Rubalcaba worked at Midland Specialty and J.C. Penny. She married Art Rubalcaba, and they raised two children together.

Rubalcaba started a long career in the El Paso County District Clerk’s Office in 1962 as a file clerk. She dedicated forty years to public service and eventually served as chief deputy to district clerk Bill Johnson. When Johnson retired in 1982, he backed her as his successor. She won the Democratic primary, easily defeating Carlos Delgado, R.Brian Jones, Ralph Marston, and Steve Fischer. She then defeated Libertarian party nominee Lory Redue in the general election. Rubalcaba served as clerk for  20 years until her retirement in 2002.  During her tenure, she modernized the office and ensured it was worthy of her employees.

She was the first woman to run the Office of the District Clerk. The last woman to run for the office before Rubalcaba did so in 1918. When Rubalcaba was elected, she was the first Hispanic elected district clerk since J.A. Escajeda left office in that same year.

Her predecessor, Bill Johnson, was appointed in 1957 to replace long time district clerk Clint Orgain. Johnson elected in 1958 over W.E. Hall. He did not receive opposition again until 1974 when he was challenged by  Lewis Ussery.

Outside of government, she was active in the YWCA and LULAC  Council #335.

Joseph Longo

EPHS Curator

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.