Here’s a closer look at candidates in the Republican and Democratic primary races for local office in Tarrant County in the March 4 primary elections.
All candidates in contested races that appear on Tarrant County ballots were sent a Star-Telegram questionnaire about their campaigns and background. Here are the responses — unfiltered and in their own words — from the candidates who replied. Spelling and grammar have not been corrected.
Current: Colleyville Lions Club, Rotary Club of Fort Worth, Inc., Community Hospice of Tarrant County, Board, 2012 to present, Advisory Board, 2006 to 2011; Beautiful Feet Homeless Outreach, cook, 2004 to present; Federal Medical Center, Community Advisory Board, 2003 to present.
Past: Camp Fire USA; First Texas Council; Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc.; Fort Worth Public Library Foundation, 1998-2003; Bridge Emergency Youth Services; Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Inc.; Challenge, Inc.; Volunteer Center, 1988-2001; ROADS-Recovery Options for Addictive Disorders; Because We Care, Inc., 1992-1996; Forum Fort Worth, Inc.; Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging; Circle T Girl Scout Council, Inc.; Community Advisory Committee; YWCA of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Advisory Panel; Dallas Baptist University, Law Enforcement Advisory Board; Leadership Texas, 1995; Leadership Fort Worth, 1988; Forum Fort Worth, Chair, 1992-1993; Women’s Policy Forum; Texas Women’s Alliance; Tarrant County DWI Task Force
231st District Court
Along with my professional career, I have been heavily involved in local politics, churches, and volunteer organizations. I have served as an elected city council member for Kennedale since 1999 and Mayor since 2012. I actively participate in volunteer efforts (Salvation Army, city-wide clean-up events), read to local schoolchildren, teach in Scout colleges, and helping my Church community in fundraisers and social outreach.
Thirty years of helping people through my practice, fifteen years of interaction with citizens in local government, and ten years of working with legislative issues has given me the professional, civil, and legal exposure to be truly effective in a Family Law court.
297th District Court
Also, in 2004, I was a finalist for Man of the Year Award sponsored by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
On July 19, 2005, I received the Daily Point of Light award from former President George H.W. Bush. According to the Points of Light website, I received the award due to: “The leadership of Mr. Jay Lapham manifests itself in his quiet and steadfast commitment to keeping our children protected. Through his dedication and leadership skills, Jay Lapham tirelessly works on community, state, and national levels to develop and promote programs that hold child abusers criminally responsible for their actions. As part of Mr. Lapham’s dedication to the children of his community, he has donated over 2,000 hours developing and implementing quality training programs in partnership with other community agencies to train professionals in the prevention, investigations, and prosecution of child abuse. All of Mr. Lapham’s time devoted to providing outstanding leadership to community agencies has been as a volunteer.
Mr. Lapham began his journey as an outstanding leader in issues related to children in 1996 by assisting the local children’s hospital in its efforts to teach others about the dangers of those who prey on children. He continued his efforts throughout 1997 by partnering with Tarrant County College to provide leadership in developing a training program for social workers, police, and medical personnel. In 2000, Mr. Lapham joined the Shaken Baby Alliance as a Board member of the agency. Thus began a formidable record of developing and teaching in the Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma and SIDS Regional Training Institute and the Serious Physical Child Abuse and SIDS Program. These nationally recognized programs have resulted in the training of over 15,000 Texas professionals dedicated to protecting our children.
This list includes seminars and conferences where Mr. Lapham has volunteered as a lecturer-trainer, and provided leadership and direction in the development of the training program:
The prosecution of Child Abuse Cases 2002-A Workshop for Child Abuse Professionals-sponsored by the Texas Children’s Justice Act Project and TDPRS Austin, TX (07/02)
Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma & SIDS Regional Training Institutes: Paris, TX (07/04); Killeen, TX (06/04); Brownwood, TX (06/04); Lubbock, TX (08/03); Harlingen, TX (07/03); Abilene, TX (07/03); Corpus Christi, TX (06/03); Galveston, TX (05/03); Marshall, TX (04/03); Denton, TX (01/03)
Serious Physical Child Abuse and SIDS Advanced Investigation Training, Fort Worth, TX (12/04, 07/04, 06/04, 04/04, 02/03, 01/03); Austin, TX (01/04)
New Mexico Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Serious Physical Child Abuse (03/03, 11/04)
Florida Conference Serious Physical Child Abuse (03/04)
“Offense to Prosecution” Serious Physical Child Abuse-Second Annual Starfish Conference (03/04)
3rd Annual Child Victims: Interventions and Investigations-Bastrop, TX (07/04)
The Alaska Maltreatment Conference-“Translating Ideas into Action” Anchorage, AK (10/04)
Mr. Jay Lapham is an outstanding choice for the Daily Points of Light Award for his outstanding leadership skills in developing quality training programs that provide professionals with the tools they need to prevent child abuse and seek criminal prosecution of those who dare to hurt our Texas children. His leadership and willingness to donate countless hours of his personal time have no doubt led to the prevention of child abuse to our littlest Texas citizens.
In 2007, as a volunteer, I traveled with my wife to Guatemala on a medical mission sponsored by HELPS International. My wife, Kim, is a pediatrician who works in the Emergency Department for Cook Children’s Hospital. She has made several trips to Guatemala to provide medical treatment to some of society’s poorest.
In 2010, I was a speaker at the Advanced Criminal Law Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas. In addition, I co-authored a child abuse paper for the Conference.
Over the years, I have volunteered at our church, McKinney Memorial Bible Church, the Gladney Center for Adoption, the Warm Place, and Habitat for Humanity.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? For more than 21 years, I have been practicing criminal law. About 75% of my legal career consists of working as an Assistant District Attorney. I spent a total of twelve years with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. During my employment with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, I also had the responsibility of serving as the Chief of the Crimes Against Children Unit and the Juvenile Division. For more than 3 years, I have been employed as an Assistant District Attorney for Wise and Jack Counties. Also, for approximately 5 years, on a limited basis, I worked as a Criminal Defense Attorney. Thus, I’m the only candidate who has been employed as both as an Assistant District Attorney and Criminal Defense Attorney. I have the unique experience of understanding the issues for both the State and Defense. Furthermore, I have worked the hardest, and will continue to out-work all of the other candidates. I have tried more cases in 15 years (153 Felony jury trials) than any of the other candidates covering the same period of time. Of the 153 Felony jury trials, only two (2) cases were reversed due to an error (one as a result of the change in law and the other error due to the defense attorney). A Judge must know the law, and I have demonstrated my knowledge of the law by not having a single case reversed.
432nd District Court
Both as a lawyer and judge, there are continuing legal education requirements that must be completed annually. I have always exceeded the minimum annual requirements. I do not have the details immediately available, but I have completed additional education on family violence, criminal law, capital murder jury selection, trial and appeals, search and seizure law and other areas as well. When I practiced in the federal courts as Criminal Justice Act (CJA) lawyer; the CJA lawyers are attorneys appointed by the federal judges to represent indigent federal defendant as appointed counsel, I received additional education in federal criminal law to include trial and appellate advocacy strategies.
U.S. Air Force Electronic Combat Intelligence Officer’s Course – Honor Graduate
U.S. Air Force Advance Intelligence Officer’s Course Graduate
U.S. Air Force General Applications Intelligence Officer Course Graduate
- Coach, and Board of Director Member of the Fort Worth Christian Youth Football League (5th-8thgraders) 2007-2013
- Fort Worth Armed Services Bowl, assisted the Reception Committee, 2013
- Tarrant County Deputy Voter Registrar 2008
- USAF Reserves
- Board of Directors Member, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Advisory Board Member, Tarrant County Criminal Justice Task Force
- St. Andrew’s Catholic School Advisory Committee, Lector, and Parishioner
- White House Fellow Regional Finalist 1998-1999
- Commissioner, City of Fort Worth, Human Relations Commission, 1998-2001
- Code Blue - Citizens on Patrol, Volunteer
- American Bar Association National Student Liaison to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security
Not only have I worked as a trial attorney but I have also worked extensively as an appellate lawyer in Texas Appellate Courts and in the Federal Courts. I have argued before for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and presented cases to the U.S. Supreme Court through a Writ of Certiorari.
I am proud of the record the 432nd District Court has compiled while I have presided as judge. We have tried more cases than any other Tarrant County criminal district court in the last four years. The Court was transferred 900 cases from the other district courts at its inception; some had lingered in other court’s dockets for years. The court has managed the docket effectively and efficiently while ensuring victims, the State and Defense are treated fairly and respectfully.
The Drug Impact Rehabilitation Enhanced Comprehensive Treatment (DIRECT) Drug Court Program offers non-violent offenders a judicially supervised treatment regimen. After an assessment by the D.I.R.E.C.T. staff, the participant is promptly scheduled into a highly-structured treatment program tailored to meet their individual needs. The treatment plan consists of four phases, each with a specific treatment objective and identified goals. Most phases require regular attendance at Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sessions. A low risk program is available at the sole discretion of the staff and presiding judge. See http://www.tarrantcounty.com/direct/site/default.asp I am the one of three presiding felony judges working in the DIRECT program in addition to presiding over a criminal district court.
The Felony Alcohol Intervention Project (FAIP) is a post adjudication program for the high-risk repeat DWI offender. FAIP is designed to coordinate alcohol abuse intervention with judicial oversight, enhanced supervision and individual accountability. FAIP provides consistent and lengthy structure allowing the offender to benefit from the treatment experience. FAIP is the best vehicle within the criminal justice system for expediting the time between arrest for DWI and entry into treatment. It is designed to divert offenders out of the traditional criminal justice process and into appropriate rehabilitative alternatives. See https://www.tarrantcounty.com/faip/site/default.asp
Also see the SWIFT and Re-Entry Court programs at the Tarrant County website. All the felony criminal district court judges are participating in a variety of programs in conjunction with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney and Defense Bar to develop alternative incarceration programs to alleviate jail overcrowding and prison costs where possible, and attempting to solve the root cause of crime if it is associated with drug and alcohol addictions. We all can foresee budgetary limitations and we need to seek other alternatives instead of costly incarcerations.
Personally, I do not intend to stay in the position as Judge of the 432nd District Court for my entire legal career. I do enjoy the challenge of serving as a district judge, but I do have other goals I wish to accomplish.
County Criminal Court No. 1
Vice-President Student Government Association - Oklahoma Baptist University
President of Student Senate - Oklahoma Baptist University
Presiding Judge of Student Judiciary Board - Oklahoma Baptist University
Current President and over 15 years on board of Mid Cities Fine Arts Foundation - 501(c)3 organization that raises money for THS students - puts on THS Craft Fair.
Unsuccessfully ran for Bedford City Council in 2000
Appointed to City of Bedford Zoning Board of Adjustment in 2001. Served until 2012 and retired as longtime Chairman of the Board
Current Board Member of OnStage in Bedford
Member of Arlington Republican Club
Member of NE Tarrant Republican Club
Associate Member of Republican Women of North Texas
Volunteer for over 10 different non profit organizations in D/FW area
Term limits would not have served Tarrant County well in that office.
County Criminal Court No. 2
In the 2014 Tarrant County Bar Association Judicial Candidate Qualifications Bar Poll, the lawyers and judges in Tarrant County rated me “well qualified” for the office of judge of county criminal court 2. More lawyers and judges voted me “well qualified” than the “well qualified” votes received by all three of the other candidates for this position combined. My commitment to legal excellence is further demonstrated by my 18 consecutive-year membership in the College of the State Bar, which is an honor society created by the Supreme Court of Texas.
County Criminal Court 2 has an annual budget of approximately $500,000. I possess the business background necessary to manage this budget and to manage the personnel of the court. I earned a degree in Business Administration and have owned and run my own law office for the past 19 years. I have dealt first-hand with the wide variety of laws and human relations issues confronting businesses.
Lastly, I possess the demeanor, temperament, life experience and ethics necessary to be a strong, fair and even-handed judge. In recognition fo these traits, the President of the State Bar of Texas appointed me to serve two three year terms on the District 7A Grievance Committee that addresses grievances filed against lawyers by clients, judges or members of the public. After conducting hearings and considering evidence, the committee is authorized to take actions ranging from dismissing the grievance to recommending attorney disbarment. A calm demeanor, a respectful attitude, an understanding of attorney ethics and a well-rounded life experience were essential to a positive resolution of these important and oftentimes very emotional cases. I will bring these same traits to the office of judge of County Criminal Court 2.
Easter Seals of North Texas (Formally UCP of Tarrant County) - Board Member (2006 - Present)
(Annual Budget $6,000,000)
United Cerebral Palsy Association, Incorporated - Board of Director (1981-2002)
(Annual Budget $12,000,000)
Liaison to National Office for 6 States of UCPA affiliates (15)
Provided Affiliates with advice and support on Local Board and National UCPA issues • National Regional Board of Directors, (Southwest Region 1981-1991) - Elected
Long Range Planning Committee Member (1993-1995)
United Cerebral Palsy Association of Texas - State Board Member (1987-2000)
Primary Officer overseeing development of goals, programs, policy and budget
(Annual Budget $4000,000)
United Cerebral Palsy of Tarrant County, Inc. -Board Member (1974-2006)
Primary Officer overseeing development of goals, programs, policy and budget
(Annual Budgets $54,000/1980 & $1,000,000/1990)
Colleyville Lions Club -Member (2006- Present)
Business Development Center, American GI Form
Business Development Center American GI Forum Incorporated
Arlington Association of Concerned Citizens - Founding Member
St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Arlington, Texas
Parish Counsel Member (1980-1981)
Counsel set goals, policy and budget for Parish, Voted to build new church
Men’s Club Member (2000 - Present)
Monmouth College Alumni Board of Directors (1989-1994)
Judicial Committee of the Human Resources Committee of Fort Worth (Past Board Member)
Heard hearings of City of Ft. Worth Human Relations Code Violations
Certifications: Certificate of Course Completion - Open Meetings Act (March 19, 2007); Certificate of Completion of Judicial Education - March 2004; Certificate of Completion of Judicial Education - April 2005; Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Distinguished Service on the Faculty of the Family Law; Basic Training Course - (August 2005); Certificate of Appreciation - Kiwanis Club of Fort Worth Golden K (July 2004); Victory 100 Certificate from UCPA for 100 Volunteer hours/year - (1996-2002); Selected One of Tarrant County’s Top Attorneys - Fort Worth, Texas Magazine (Nov. 2001); Selected “Hometown Hero” - Star Telegram (June 1, 1999)
Certificate of Service- Served on Alumni Board of Directors- Monmouth College (1987-1994);
Presentations: Speech “Opening and Closing Arguments (Before the Court),” 31st Advanced Family Law Course. (August 2005)
County Criminal Court No. 3
Campaign phone number: (214) 914-1848
Furthermore, I have extensive experience as a criminal trial lawyer. I have handled serious cases such as murder, sexual assault of a child, aggravated assault, and capital murder. My opponents, on the other hand, have either no criminal trial experience or limited experience from focusing their practice on bail bonds and misdemeanors.
I believe I am the most qualified candidate for this position due to my comparative advantage in life experience as well as criminal trial experience.
Finally, as the son of immigrants that literally lost everything they had to Communism, I was raised in a home that treasured the opportunities that America gives her citizens. Both my mother’s and father’s sides fled to the south to escape the North Korean invasion. Leaving everything behind, both families started over with nothing and rebuilt their lives in South Korea. Eventually, they came to the United States to ensure that they will never have to worry about a government that will arbitrarily seize property from an individual or deny them the fundamental rights that belong to every person. I personally understand the importance of liberty and of equal protection under the law. That is part of my very existence and the reason why I am in the United States today. We ask our Judges to follow the law and to understand the importance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is no question that I am the person who will always hold those precious documents dear to my heart.
County Criminal Court No. 8
Tarrant County commissioner, Precinct 2
· Complete the Tarrant County Transportation Strategic Plan and continue to pursue vital transportation projects in Precinct 2 such as the SH360 South. I30/SH360 Direct Connect and I20/820N/287N Junction.
· Collaborate with Precinct 2 City leaders and other stakeholders to cultivate an appealing business climate that brings high paying jobs and draws as well as retains talents to Precinct 2.
· Continue to build an efficient and comprehensive truancy prevention model that can be duplicated county wide to improve graduation rate and academic achievement.
· Continue to work with Tarrant County leadership to successfully implement the Governing for Result Policy, which will lead to effective and efficient governance.
· Embrace diversity by working to expand the leadership capacity of women and minority.
· Continue to work to expand housing options, provide housing, transportation and healthcare services to seniors, and improve access to healthcare for low-income families.
Term limit can cut both ways. It can remove complacent elected officials, but it can also prematurely eliminate effective leaders. While term limit can achieve its intended purpose with other elected offices, I don’t think it should be applied toward the county commissioner role for one simple reason: since our work is so tangible to the people’s daily lives, the voters shall and can hold the County Commissioners accountable for our performance or the lack thereof. If I had to impose a term limit, I would choose 3 – 4 terms allowing the Commissioner time to pursue and achieve long-term objectives.
According to your editorial, my “resume includes an impressive amount of community involvement over the past 20 years.” Before becoming a teacher I worked in commercial real estate and marketing. As a special education teacher I readily embrace different cultures, adapt quickly, and believe in “can do” outcomes. I am an advocate for the men and women who serve our community in the Arlington Police Department, fire department, and our veterans. It is imperative to have an elected official whose word is their honor and is respectful of all cultures in their jurisdiction. There has not been one time during my campaign I have felt the need to promise a county job, county monies, or anything else for a vote or support. Nor, once elected would I use my position and county monies to attempt to obtain a seat on a board. I have respect for the current commissioners and judge on the court whose service is to be looked to for guidance and team work. I have been following the court for over two years and am familiar with the budget. It will not take me four years to come to speed with my duties nor will I need as the incumbent stated at an AISD board meeting that after 28 months studying truancy teachers need more training to help solve it as your newspaper reported April 18, 2013. Truancy is owned by the entire community not the consequence of teaching.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 2
I was taught hard work and personal responsibility by MY parents and we have taught the same ethics and principals to our boys and many others the past 20 years. I agree with our County Judge, Commissioners, Tarrant County Law Enforcement Assoc, DFW Conservative Voters, Arlington Police Assoc., Apt. Assoc. of Tarrant County, Arlington Board of Realtors, Vietnamese American Assoc.and many other Elected Officials, Dignitaries and Citizens that I am the right person to serve as Justice of the Peace because of my proven conservative life values, work ethics, management and leadership skills, and community involvement. A judge in this environment must have the proven ability to be able to manage, organization, and lead large volumes of people and processes. As a Sales Director of a Fortune 100 Company, I managed a team of 40 people whose record breaking monthly volume regularly exceeded $20 in sales. Because of my leadership and skills, I was selected as Employee of the Year out of 1,000 Employees.
More importantly, I am the only Candidate that has judicial experience. Since May, I have already presided over close to 8,000 cases and have received over 120 hours of Justice Court Training. By the time the 2015 term begins, I will have presided in over 15,000 cases in one of the busiest courts in Texas and will have allowed "the people" to experience a fair, efficient, expeditious and economical Justice System.
Even though each case ultimately has a “winner” and a “loser,” when asked, all parties that have come through JP2 Court agree that they have been treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 3
Due to the relative recent changes in the rules and my position as chairman of the taskforce I am uniquely qualified as having a deep understanding of the letter and the intent of the rules for Justice Courts in Texas.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 4
Justice of the peace, Precinct 5
The program has three main objectives:
1. Students learn about the Justice of the Peace Court and the Constable’s Office;
2. Encourage students to seek higher education and enter the judicial or law enforcement profession;
3. and Civic Engagement, we encourage students to register to vote and participate in all elections and once they become young professionals to give back to their community and join a neighborhood association or PTA.
Chairman - Community Action Partners Council – City of Fort Worth
Cesar Chavez Committee – Fort Worth
Board Member - Hispano Exito (Fort Worth)
Advisor - North Texas Young Latino Leaders
Vice President – Tejano Democrats of North Texas
Psi Chi International Honor Society of Psychology – TWU Chapter
AmeriCorps Alumni – Citizens Crime Commission
Business Advisory Council – Easter Seals North Texas
Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee
Former Board Member – Manufacturers Association of North Texas Board
Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Committee
Former Vice President – Near Northside Partners Council Board
Logistics Workforce Committee – North Texas Commission
Felony/Misdemeanor Friendly Career Fair Committee – Re-Entry Initiative
Northside Weed & Seed Committee – Safe City Commission
Community Advisory Committee – TCC Trinity River Campus
Former Board Member - Texas Wesleyan University Alumni Association Board
AllianceTexas Hiring Fair
Community Leadership Development - CPRC
Regional Community Policing Institute - CPRC
Employment Symposium - Easter Seals & MANT
Leadership Class - Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber
John Peter Smith Hospital Joint Council
State Representative Marc Veasey Job Fair
Latino Academy - Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
DFW Veterans Job Fair
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Comin’Up Gang Intervention Program - Boys/Girls Clubs of Greater FW
AmeriCorps Program - Citizens Crime Commission
Building our Leaders for Tomorrow (BOLT) – Citizens Crime Commission
Safe Haven at Van Zandt Guinn Elementary – Citizens Crime Commission
Fort Worth ISD Hiring Fair
Career Day - FWHCC & Fort Worth ISD
Tarrant County Advocate Program
Step up for Kids - YMCA Metropolitan of Fort Worth
Justice of the peace, Precinct 7
Skills: All relative to resolution of disputes in subject matters before a Justice of the Peace Count (e.g. Landlord/Tenant, small claims, school cases)--Building Contractor prior to law school; Licensed attorney and trained in mediation, family mediation, and dispute resolution; Licensed Real Estate Broker; familiar with the Texas Education Code.
Experience: Real Estate Background having developed property including the Walnut Creek Development for the Trammell Crow Company; built and managed residential lease property; Attorney and Counselor at Law with experience in "School Law" including litigation before the Texas Education Commission; Community leader serving in several elected and volunteer organizations including KERA-PBS during its early years; Boy Scouts--Eagle Scout.
Criminal Cases: Electing Corbin as Judge will result in the restoration of impartiality, integrity, and competence to the court. Certainly, the impact on the record of students and their future opportunity for scholarships, employment, and entry into the military justifies a process that is fair, professional, and without Judicial bias.
Fair hearings require an “Impartial” Judge. There is a concern whether a Defendant may receive a “Fair Hearing” when the Judge receives compensation from the complaining school district filing the criminal case and further when the Judge does not disclose to the defendant the Judge's financial interrelation to school district. Current Judge--Justice of the Peace, Matt Hayes--is engaged in a business that has received over $150,000* during his three years in office from the three school districts that file criminal charges (Class C Misdemeanors) in his court. Hayes is listed as an owner, director, and officer on State of Texas’ records relative to Bramdak, Inc.dba Interquest Detection Canines of North Texas. (Data from Open Records officers at the Arlington, Kennedale, and Mansfield ISD).