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Barbara Canales

Barbara Canales was elected Nueces County Judge on November 6, 2018. She was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. Barbara was valedictorian of the W. B. Ray High School graduating class of 1984. She was offered a Presidential Scholarship Award to attend the University of Texas (UT). She earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from U.T. in 1989. Barbara went to the University of Houston School of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate degree in 1992. From 1992 to 2004, Barbara was co-owner of an independent oil and gas exploration and production company active in the development of natural gas reserves in South Texas. In 2004, she formed her own exploration and production company, Canales Exploration LLC; and later became a partner in the real estate investment firm Mother Ocean LLC. Barbara also maintained an active law practice in Corpus Christi until her 2018 election to become Nueces County Judge. Barbara served as the Nueces County appointee to the Port of Corpus Christi Commission for three terms. She was an officer of the Port Commission when she resigned from that position after taking office as Nueces County Judge on January 1, 2019. Barbara is the mother of five adult children - Caroline, David, Natalie, Daniel and Jacqueline. She has a long history of civic and community engagement in Nueces County. In addition to numerous past appointments, current boards and committees in which Barbara Canales is active include:

  • Ready or Not Foundation, President
  • Education is our Freedom Scholarship Foundation
  • Dr. Hector Garcia Memorial Foundation
  • Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Eagleford Shale Consortium Committee
  • Robstown Economic Development Corporation
  • EFCREO Texas A&M University Kingsville
  • South Texas Institute of the Arts Development Committee

Distinguished honors:

  • LULAC Council No. 1 Community Leadership Award
  • NAACP Humanitarian Award
  • Las Estrellas Award from the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas
  • Girl Scouts of Corpus Christi Hall of Honor Award
  • University of Texas at Austin Distinguished Young Engineer Award
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President’s Award
  • Philanthropist of the Year from the Nueces County Democratic Party
  • Y Women in Careers Award for Law