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.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Law Office of Kathy Lowthorp, Attorney/Owner
Campaign phone number: 817 939-4529
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.votelowthorp.com
Education background, including all degrees: B.A. Business, Dallas Baptist University & J.D., Texas Wesleyan School of Law
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am involved with church and volunteering non-profit organizations, such as Mission Arlington. I have been a volunteer coach YMCA for numerous sports. I am a member of Arlington Rotary Club.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am the only candidate with law enforcement experience as a former Military Police Officer and K9 Handler and patrol civilian police officer in Williamsburg, VA. I also have other criminal justice experience in security, investigations, and loss prevention. I have a business background as an area Vice President, who was responsible for over 40 franchise offices, overseeing profitability, recruitment, and training. I am the only candidate with an undergraduate in Business Administration. I am a criminal trial lawyer with adult and juvenile law cases for the past 14 years. My diverse background will allow me to be an interactive leader.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I want to enhance investigations of cases, starting with intake of cases as they are presented to the DA’s office. Stronger cases will lead to more pleas, in turn will be more fiscally responsible to tax payers. I also want to be more aggressive on gang violence and membership. I plan to establish tougher penalties, providing options to deter further gang involvement. I will further educate the Assistant District Attorney’s that handle DWI cases. I will have them all be certified in the Standard Field Sobriety Tests, which would minimize the trials of the poorly conducted DWI investigations.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do believe in term limits for the office that I am seeking and for most political offices. As long as there is not a term limit for the District Attorney position, I will continue to pursue providing my contributions as their leader.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: retired
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: 817.682.7493
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: sharenwilson.com
Education background, including all degrees: Texas Tech University, BA, Mass Communication; Texas Tech University School of Law, JD
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:
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
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? My unique qualifications are the breadth of my experience: former criminal prosecutor; former civil litigator; former criminal defense attorney; 23 years as a Criminal District Court Judge; Board Certified in Criminal Law since 1986; Chair, TX Criminal Law specialization exam; first female division chief in the Tarrant County DA’s Office; adjunct law professor; and the only candidate with death penalty experience.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The District Attorney must restore and maintain the public trust and confidence through fiscal restraint, transparency, and a committed work ethic. As a Criminal District Judge, I had the lowest budget of any criminal district court. I directed the judges in improving our court management system and making public our work load statistics. My court had the smallest docket. There should be a team of prosecutors who specialize in protecting the elderly from physical abuse, fraud and identity theft.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I commit to serving as District Attorney until I have accomplished my goals of restoring the public trust and confidence in the DA’s Office.
231st District Court
Jesse Nevarez (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: I am the judge of the 231st District Court
Campaign phone number: (817)800-0232
Campaign email address: 8553 N. Beach Street PMB#223, Fort Worth, TX 76244
Web site: Judgejesse.com
Education background, including all degrees: B.A. Economics and Finance - University of Texas at Dallas, J.D. - Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Involved in National Adoption Day, 8 of the last 12. years. I have been involved in National Adoption Day as a student, as an attorney, and as a judge. I have been a guest speaker at middle and elementary schools. I have served as a member the Board of Directors for the Family Law Bar Association. I have been a mentor in a mentoring program for kids.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am the incumbent. I have experience in handling many cases from simple to very complicated divorce, custody, termination of parental rights, and adoption cases, as both an attorney and a judge. I also have experience in cases involving juvenile law. I am a U.S. Air Force veteran and I have over 17 years of working in accounting for large corporations in payroll and tax. I was appointed last summer by the Governor and his committee to be the Judge of the 231st District Court. This is a court of general jurisdiction with an emphasis in family law. I feel that my experience as a lawyer together with my military and corporate experience enables me to better communicate with anyone that comes before this court. I feel that I have the right temperament to be a family law judge.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I inherited a court with a large backlog of cases. I am currently scheduling backup trials and hearings to help address the backlog.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes I do plan to limit the number of terms I would serve to 3. No, I do not believe there should be term limits. I believe that Judges with experience bring an added value to the bench.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney with Goodman & Clark
Campaign phone number: 817-460-8171
Campaign email address: JohnClark231st@gmail.com
Web site: www.JohnClarkForJudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: Nolan Catholic High School (1976, with Honors), Stephen F. Austin State University - Bachelors of Science Forestry (1980, Cum Laude), St. Mary’s School of Law – JD (1983, with Honors)
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Kennedale City Council 1999 to 2012, Mayor of Kennedale 2012 to present, Active Member of the Tarrant Mayor’s Council, Treasurer of SETT Partnership (South East Tarrant Transportation Partnership) 2012 to present, Past President of The Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Served as an officer or director of the TCFLBA for 13 years, Served four years on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Child Support, Worked in the local Legislative Office of State Representative Toby Goodman while he was in office
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I grew up in Fort Worth as the second oldest of eight children. I have been married to my wife, Rebecca, for over thirty years. We have raised two children who are both college graduates. I understand family dynamics because of my own experiences. Raising children has been of benefit to me in practice, because I understand the pressures on parents that come from outside the family that pull children away from the values their parents instill in them. I have practiced Family Law in Tarrant County for over thirty years. Through these years, and handling thousands of cases with people of all walks of life, I have gained insight to a wide variety of Family Law issues. In addition to trial experience at the District Court level, I have appealed Family Law issues to the Court of Appeals and The Texas Supreme Court. I have experienced years of development of the Family Code, and with that historical background, have gained a firm understanding of the current Family Code and the direction intended by the legislature.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I want to try to resolve the backlog of Family Law cases so that if a trial is needed, it can be heard as quickly as possible. I want to work with the people coming into the court so that they do not spend as much time waiting for a chance to be heard on the issues that they need the Judge to consider and resolve. I would like to schedule hearings and trials to use the time more efficiently and thereby have the chance to hear more cases on a daily basis.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The legislature has already set a term limit - seventy-four years old. If I served four full terms, I would be seventy-two years old. That would be the point at which I should not run again. That said, I think a judge should be able to serve up to the mandatory retirement age set by the legislature, as long as he or she has the energy, temperament, and mental acuity to do the job extremely well.
297th District Court
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Assistant District Attorney -Chief Prosecutor assigned to the 396th District Court
City: Grapevine but mailing address is Southlake
Your cellphone and/or other primary phone numbers we need to reach you: 817-676-4275
Campaign phone number: 817-676-4275
Your campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org OR mail at Hagerman Campaign, P.O. Box 93011, Southlake, Tx. 76092
Web site: www.hagermanforjudge2014.com
Education background, including all degrees: B.B.A. in accounting from University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University) (became a C.P.A. in 1983), J.D. from South Texas College of Law.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Colleyville Lions, member of White's Chapel Methodist Church
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? For over 20 years I have served the citizens of Tarrant County as an assistant district attorney. Over fifteen of those years have been in the felony trial section of the district attorney's office and for over ten I have served as a chief prosecutor in three different district courts. With this experience, I have had the opportunity to observe first hand how an efficient, effective and fair court system should run. As a chief, I have supervised a team of prosecutors assigned to a court and have had ultimate responsibility for up to and over 2000 cases per year. I have also served as the chief prosecutor in charge of the narcotics task force. I have tried and/or prosecuted every type of case that will be heard in the 297th. In total, I have personally prosecuted 3917 Tarrant County felony cases according to the district clerk's office. That's more than my opponents combined. Additionally, I am a former C.P.A. which is important because this court is funded with $1.295 million in tax dollars. Finally, I am very familiar with the Felony Case Differential Management System which is the system used to docket and set all felony cases.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The 297th District Court has over 1000 pending settable cases. This is the number one issue in this court. This backlog must be reduced. Additionally, there are 502 settable cases with defendants in jail. Of those 502 cases, there were 299 actual defendants in jail as of February 3, 2014. I plan to emphasize trying or pleading these "in custody" cases as it costs the citizens of Tarrant County between $56.00 and $70.00 per day to house a defendant in jail. I will utilize the Felony Case Differential Management System the way it was intended and adhere to the setting and docket dates to reduce the total number of cases pending. Finally, I consider myself a judicial conservative and will follow the text of the Constitution and appellate opinions. I come to the bench with no agenda other than to do a good job for the citizens of Tarrant County.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The law provides for mandatory retirement at 72 for district judges. I plan to serve for as long as the voters believe I am doing a good job. Personally, I have no problem with term limits. Of course, the ultimate term limiter is the voters and they should always enforce their right to limit the term of any elected official if they think that official is not doing the job for which he or she is being paid.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney
Campaign phone number: 682-219-6390
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Education background, including all degrees: Associates Tarrant County College (1998), Bachelor of Business Management LeTourneau University (1998) (summa cum laude), Juris Doctorate Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2001)
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Board of Managers – Camp Carter YMCA; Member – Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate; Mensa
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am former enlisted and officer (1ST Lieutenant, USAR/TXARNG); member of Mensa; practicing attorney and business owner. I have dealt directly with criminals, prosecutors, and judges all across the state and have gained the respect from all for my knowledge of the law, my common sense approach to handling cases, and professionalism. I have the ability to separate myself from advocating for any person or groups of people and base decisions solely on the law.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The two top priorities of this court are the backlog of cases and the inflated budget. I believe that eliminating the backlog of cases awaiting trial will also decrease the cost of administering the court. If requested, I will provide details of my plan to address these issues.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I will not serve longer than 4 terms. If elected, and if I were lucky enough to be re-elected, I would be 68 years old by the end of my 4th possible term and I would like to enjoy time with my wife and my future grandchildren before I am too old. I think that judges should be limited in the number of terms they serve.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: First Assistant to the District Attorney of Wise and Jack Counties (271st Judicial District)
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: N/A
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education background, including all degrees: BBA – major petroleum land management from UT at Austin; JD – from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: In 2004, Senator Jane Nelson, acting as Governor for the Day, proclaimed me as a “Protector of Children” for my dedication in seeking justice for child abuse victims.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? There are too many pending cases and too many people in jail awaiting disposition of their case. As the next Judge of the 297th District Court, I will work hard, including having two (2) trials each and every week, if necessary, to reduce the number of pending cases and jail population. The only way to reduce the number of pending cases is for the Judge to be ready, willing, and able to go to trial.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I’m not opposed to term limits, if the Legislature decides to impose limits on the Judiciary. I’m not running to retire; and, I will remain as long as I can efficiently and effectively manage the Court, and the voters see fit to keep me.
Glynis Adams McGinty
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney at Law
Campaign phone number: (817) 717-0725
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.mcginty4judge.com
Education background, including all degrees : Juris Doctor – Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – University of Texas at Arlington
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I was a past delegate to the Republican Party State Convention. I was requested by the Fort Worth Republican Party to accompany State Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams around Fort Worth during one of his visits.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? While in college I worked as a legal assistant for a local attorney in private practice. While in law school I interned with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as well as working with indigent clients at Gulf Coast Legal representing women, who were victims of domestic violence. I have practiced criminal law in both Federal and State courts for the past 25 years in Tarrant County. I was appointed by the City Council of North Richland Hills in 1992 as an Associate Municipal Judge and continue to be appointed every year thereafter to the present. This position requires me to arraign defendants, preside over trials, sign warrants, sign blood warrants, and take pleas from defendants. Due to the high volume of cases handled in Municipal Court, I believe that this experience uniquely qualifies me alone for the next level of service as a District Judge for the 297th District Court of Tarrant County. I have also volunteered thousands of hours of community service as the Senior Teen Court Judge of North Richland Hills Teen Court (now Northeast Tarrant Teen Court) for the past 23 years.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The highest priority issue I plan to address as Judge of the 297th District Court is the high volume of pending cases in the Court. We currently have in place the Differentiated Court Management System, which is designed to promote the efficient progression of cases through the Court. I would immediately meet with the Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the Court along with the Court staff to put into place my expectations, and plans for the Court. If we work together we can alleviate the backlog. I anticipate this will require a lot of work on everyone’s part, especially myself. I don’t know anything else but hard work!
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe that voters are in a unique position to determine how long an elected official should serve. I believe as long as I am effective as a Judge, and the voters elect me I will serve the citizens of Tarrant County to the fullest of my potential.
432nd District Court
Ruben Gonzalez (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: District Judge
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: NA
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.judgegonzalez.com
Education background, including all degrees: University of Texas at El Paso, B.A. Political Science, Minor Military Studies, (1987), Creighton University, Studied for M.A. in International Relations, 30 hours completed degree not completed. Creighton University, School of Law, J.D. of Law (1995)
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
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:
- 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
Issues and qualifications: I believe that I am qualified for this position because of my education and experience as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, judge and former military officer. My cumulative experiences give me a broad range of experience and knowledge to draw from as a judge when dealing with many people; it makes me more effective and decisive as a judge. As for my legal experience, I have an in depth background and expertise in criminal law as a former prosecutor, defense lawyer and now a judge. I have been a lawyer for over 17 years; I have prosecuted, defended or presided over approximately 250 jury trials in state and federal courts. As a judge, I have presided over 110 jury trials and none have been overturned due to an error committed by the court. Recently, the Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously affirmed a Capital Murder case I presided over; the decision involved 20 points of error raised by the defense. The Court of Criminal Appeals confirmed no error occurred in the trial as announced in its decision.
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.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? My particular background, skill and experience that makes me qualified to serve in this office is the appreciation I have for our system of government because of the broad experiences - positions I have accomplished. It has been one of my life’s greatest honors to serve in this position as Judge of the 432nd Judicial District Court. I am fortunate in my life to see our Nation’s government and its focus to serve the “The People” to preserve protect and defend the Constitution against all foreign enemies as a military officer, and as a Judge whose focus is on preserving, protecting and defending a citizen’s rights one case a time. In other words, my perspective has gone from a global perspective to one person at a time. And, I am here and proudly say our government works. Although there maybe discontent and argument between the parties and each of us as individuals; our government, like us, is not perfect but it is a Union that moves into the future with the hope of a better tomorrow.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The biggest issue facing the judiciary, hearing criminal cases in Tarrant County, is the continued growth in its population. We have seen an increase in the amount of cases matching the population’s growth in Tarrant County. However, there is not an increase in the number of felony criminal courts; to help keep pace with the increase in the volume of work the Courts, the Courts hearing criminal cases will need to collaborate and develop new strategies that have been employed such as the DIRECT and FAIP programs.
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.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Generally, I believe there should be term limits to all elected positions because of the possibility of abuse of power, the question is how long. I think that if we do not allow the elected officials to growinto these positions how can we avoid the loss of knowledge to have an effective government? By attempting solve one problem we create another, and at the highest levels of government we cannot afford to have too little knowledge or do we simply accept that the bureaucrats (professional government personnel) will be the keepers of the corporate government knowledge. It seems we will need to have a highly informed populace to make decisions and keep informed on the productivity of the elected officials is probably the best answer. And in so doing limit the terms of the officials who are not performing or have abused their authority by voting them out.
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.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Assistant District Attorney with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. Felony Prosecutor.
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: 817-565-5534
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: stevegebhardt.com
Education background, including all degrees: Graduated from TCU with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Speech Communications in 2001. Graduated from South Texas College of Law in Houston in 2005 with a Juris Doctorate (JD).
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I have served as an Assistant Election judge as well as a poll watcher for several Republican primary elections, I have volunteered as a Sergeant of Arms for the Senate District 10 March 2010 Republican Convention, I have volunteered on numerous conservative candidate campaigns including block walking, calling voters, and working polling sites. I am currently on the board for the UCC Weekday School here in Fort Worth. I regularly speak each semester at Paschal High School and TCU about Criminal Prosecution.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? For nearly 8 years as a public servant I have been committed to enforcing the law in the courtroom, and protecting the lives of the innocent by punishing those responsible for committing acts of violence. I have tried over 75 jury trials that include multiple life sentences as well as successfully convicting a squatter who broke into an Arlington couple’s home. I have tried several cases that have never been litigated to a jury in Tarrant County including the squatters trial mentioned above as well as possession of a Hoax Bomb. Cases of first impression require a litigant to explore novel ideas and arguments to be conveyed to a judge and jury. As a prosecutor we are always in the courtroom. This daily experience requires one to make split second decisions not only legally but also factually for a particular case. These decisions are very similar to the decisions a judge is called upon to make at a moments notice.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The 432nd District Court has a significant number of cases waiting for a resolution. As recently as February 11th, 2014 the 432nd District Court was the 8th most back logged court out of 10 District Courts in regard to settable cases. The longer it takes to resolve a criminal case the more expensive a case becomes to the taxpayers of Tarrant County. I will immediately take steps to reduce the number of settable pending cases in the 432nd District Court if elected. Another issue facing this court is consistency. Victims and defendants rely on judges to fairly and consistently apply the law to the facts of their cases as well as hand down consistent punishment. I believe the 432nd District Court lacks consistency in this regard. As judge, I will be fair and strictly and consistently apply the law to the facts of each case as well as hand down a consistent punishment for similarly situated defendants.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I have not even contemplated how many terms of office I would seek if I win this judicial election. With that said, I firmly believe there should be term limits for judges.
County Criminal Court No. 1
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney
Campaign phone number: 817.300.5769
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: davidforjudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: Trinity High School - Class of 88; Oklahoma Baptist University - B.A. in English, Cum Laude, Class of 92; Baylor School of Law - J.D., Class of 94
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:
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
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? From an early age, I have been a problem solver. As a child in elementary school in the 70s, I competed with others my age in problem solving competitions. That experience translated in later years to taking on leadership positions. Whether it was helping my High School choir teacher convert her music library into a computer database in the late 80s, or presiding over both my University's Student Senate and Student Judiciary Board to address campus issues in the early 90s, I have, from a young age been called to lead. Since graduating from Baylor Law School, I have continued to take on leadership positions, including starting my own law firm at the age of 26, presiding over a 501(c)3 non profit board that raises money for High School Students, and chairing a city board for the City of Bedford that provides relief for citizens and businesses suffering unintended hardships due to city code enforcement. Combine this leadership training with my 19 years legal experience handling and trying criminal cases, I am perfectly suited to take on the role of Judge of County Criminal Court #1.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I want to take my small business experience and inject some common business sense into our court system in Tarrant County. In 2 of the last 3 years, our misdemeanor courts have only cleared between 88% - 85% of new cases being filed. This means the backlog increased by 12% - 15% in those years. This backlog wastes taxpayer dollars, and delays justice for defendants and victims alike. There is no reason a misdemeanor case should take more than 2 years to be tried as is often the case in some of our Tarrant County courts. I will bring efficiency and fiscal responsibility to our courts if elected.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? While I do believe that career politicians can become entrenched in political life, and end up answering to lobbyists instead of their constituents, I believe that issue is a more serious problem for legislative office holders. Term limits for legislative offices might be the best solution to lessen the impact of lobbyist influence. However, in local judicial races, incumbents may have a distinct advantage, but it is not because of lobby money, but instead the voters' tendency to favor candidates they know. I believe the will of the voter should not be infringed upon, especially when challengers are on a level financial playing field. Judicial challengers are vying for the same pool of dollars that incumbents are, and those dollars are coming from people that know and work with them, not professional lobbyists. For those reasons, I would serve as many terms as the voters see fit.
Age: Will be 58 March 14
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist in private practice since 1987. Law firm website: www.ballhase.com
Campaign phone number: 817-860-5000
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: donhase.com
Education background, including all degrees: Texas Tech University; B.A. in Political Science and Journalism, 1978; Texas Tech University School of Law; J.D. 1981
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Chair of Texas Supreme Court’s Fort Worth Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee since 1990; President of Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association 1999; Robert O. Dawson Award 2007; Eagle Scout, Troop 50, Fort Worth; Rotary; St. John the Apostle United Methodist Church, Arlington; Tarrant County Bar Association; Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; Arlington Bar Association; Texas Super Lawyer, 2009-present; Arlington Republican Club and other Republican clubs
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? In 1981, Tim Curry gave me my first job out of law school prosecuting in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. CCC 1 was the first court to which I was assigned. My first jury trial was Judge Duvall's last jury trial. After that, I was assigned to other misdemeanor courts, as well as Juvenile, Appeals, and Felony courts. In 1986, I became a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist. A year later, I left the DA's Office with two other senior prosecutors and began private practice in Arlington. In 1999, I was president of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA). In December, 2007, I became the one private practice attorney to receive the Robert O. Dawson Award for my efforts to improve the criminal justice system. [The S-T did a story about the award at that time.] In 2013, I was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to be on the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC). I have extensive trial experience and am the only Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist and former Tarrant prosecutor in this race.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I want more transparency at the criminal courthouse. Felony courts have judicial dashboard: https://ijis.tarrantcounty.com/judicialdashboard/ Misdemeanor courts should too. Historical perspective should be easy to see; not just current snapshot. I will insure that all defendants wanting court appointed attorneys are screened to be certain they are eligible. They should re-pay the County. Those stats should also be posted on the dashboard as well. If other judges won't go along with this, I will post my own Office of Attorney Appointment numbers—this has been done in past by a now former Felony judge. Bringing more transparency to the criminal courthouse will allow the public to see which courts have the biggest backlogs, and which courts are most efficient. Backlogs need to be reduced. Best candidate to do this is someone who has actually experienced both perspectives: prosecutor and defense.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I had not thought of this. I am trying to win my first election. If I do win, I would probably like to serve 3 terms and leave the bench at 70. As for term limits, voters can do that. I would hate to have seen Judge Mills term-limited some time back. He is a role model misdemeanor judge: fair, hard-working, kind, considerate, but tough when he needs to be.
Occupation: Judge, 297th District Court
City: Fort Worth,
Campaign Telephone: 817-501-6603
Campaign e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.everettyoungforjudge.com
Education: Paschal High School - 1968; Texas Tech University - BA Government - 1972; Texas Tech University School of Law - Doctor of Jurisprudence - December 1974
Current and Past Civic Involvement: Eagle Scout Boy Scouts of America; Fort Worth Police Department Citizen Certificate of Recognition; Optimist Club Respect for Law Award; Sertoma Club of Downtown Fort Worth 1976 - Present; Fort Worth Jaycees 1976 - 1983; Tarrant County Bar Association; Troop Committee Chairman - Troop 17; Boy Scouts of America - 1989 - 2012; Former Member - St. Stephen Presbyterian Church; Member - St. Paul Lutheran Church
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am the only candidate in this race with any judicial experience. I have been a District Judge in Tarrant County for 25 years since 1988 presiding over hundreds of felony cases such as murder, capital murder including numerous cases of capital murder when the State has sought or obtained the Death Penalty, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, organized criminal activity, possession and delivery of controlled substances, DWI, family violence and stalking. I have always attended far more than the required hours of continuing legal education each year offered by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Center for the Judiciary. I have been awarded a certificate in criminal law by the College of Judicial Studies of the Texas Center for the Judiciary. I have been a licensed attorney in Texas for over 38 years. In addition to over 25 years service and experience as a District Judge I served as a prosecutor and assistant city attorney for the City of Fort Worth from 1975 to 1977, and as a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Worth from 1977 to 1980. I have the proper judicial temperament necessary to perform the duties of a Judge and the dedication to continue to serve the citizens of Tarrant County as a public servant for the next term.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? All ten of the County Criminal Court have jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases but for the past 15 years all family violence cases have been filed in only one of the county courts. There is a need for another court to begin hearing family violence cases to help that court. I am willing to hear family violence cases and I have the judicial trial experience necessary having heard felony cases like these. I plan to be a full time judge of the court remaining at the courthouse each afternoon until closing time each day and being available to the attorneys who have business to handle in the court each day. I plan to bring my criminal trial experience gained over the years to serve the citizens of Tarrant County in this office.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I would plan to voluntarily limit the number of terms that I would serve in this court to no more than two terms. While many voters think about and may favor term limits for members of the Legislature and Members of Congress, I do not believe that there should be term limits for judicial officers since that would result in a great loss to the wealth of judicial experience and training which is gained by a judge over the years. For instance Tarrant County has been very fortunate to have had a highly regarded judge serve in the judiciary for 38 years who will be retiring at the end of the year.
Term limits would not have served Tarrant County well in that office.
County Criminal Court No. 2
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney and part-time judge
City: North Richland Hills
Campaign phone number: 817-886-4430
Campaign email address: campaign@GillforJudge.com
Web site: www.gillforjudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: Washington & Lee University, Bachelor of Science; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude;
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans- Tarrant County Executive Committee; National Rifle Association - Life Member; Tarrant County Bail Bond Board member; Rotarian; First Colleyville member; Director of City National Bank - Corsicana
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Having handled over 2000 criminal cases as either judge or attorney, I have the depth of experience to decide cases fairly. And I have never “legislated from the bench.”
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? We need to continue the record of good financial stewardship by this court. And we need to reduce the recidivism rate among the many youthful offenders who come through the court.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe that voters should decide when a judge needs to be replaced. At this time, I do not have any plan as to how many terms I would serve.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Lawyer - Have a solo law practice
Campaign phone number: 817-925-2230
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: JoyceStevensforJudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: BS Magna Cum Laude - Major - Government, Minor - Business Administration - Texas Woman's University; JD - South Texas College of Law
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Past member of Optimists Club; Member and past president Republican Women of Arlington; Life Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation; Life Fellow of Tarrant County Bar Foundation; Member and past president, treasurer, secretary and guard of P.E.O. International.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am in my twentieth year of practicing law and my primary area of practice is Criminal Law. I enjoy working with the misdemeanor courts because many times the accused are first offenders, and there is an opportunity to move them away from a life of crime and help them become productive, tax-paying citizens. I am a people person. I have extensive experience in interacting with people, listening to their positions, showing empathy and concern and coming to a resolution. These skills will be very helpful as a Judge in determining the level of punishment that will be fair to the victim and the accused.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Running the court efficiently to keep costs down and save the county money; treating each person in the court with dignity and respect and applying the law equally to all parties.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? A judge should improve in the years after they are elected; however, this is not always the case. Sometimes judges will allow their ego and the power of the bench to interfere with their judgment causing erroneous decisions and unfair results. I believe that if a judge is not serving the citizens in a judicial manner that is approved by the voters, the voters have the opportunity to elect a new judge. I intend to serve as judge as long as I receive good reviews from the citizens.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney and counselor at law
Campaign phone number: 817-994-1323, 817-870-9198
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: careywalkerforjudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: Brewer High School 1973; East Texas State University, B.B.A. 1978; Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D. 1984.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: First United Methodist Church Arlington, Member 1998 to present; Finance Committee; Head Usher; Youth Ministry Volunteer, Youth Ski Trip Chaperone; Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans volunteer attorney; Legal Aid of Northwest Texas pro bono attorney; Downtown Arlington Rotary Club; Arlington Optimist Club, boy’s baseball coach; Lamar High School, Baseball Booster Club, vice president; Habitat for Humanity. Member: National Rifle Association, Golden Eagles; TSRA; Arlington Arts League; Various local Republican clubs.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? My 29 year legal career practicing criminal law qualifies me to be judge of County Criminal Court 2. I possess extensive criminal trial experience as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. As lead, first-chair attorney I have prosecuted criminals for the offenses of murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, burglary of a habitation, burglary of a building, possession of a controlled substance, and other offenses. As lead, first-chair attorney I have tried to a jury verdict almost every type of case handled in the count criminal courts including DWI, possession of marijuana, theft, assault, indecent exposure and prostitution. I practice law in the county criminal courts in Tarrant County on a weekly if not daily basis; I have handled thousands of cases in the county criminal courts that did not reach trial. My knowledge of the docket administration procedures and the diversion programs that work and that do not work in the county criminal courts is based on my personal experience in those courts for the past 29 years. This knowledge will enable me to transition from a practicing attorney to judge of County Criminal Court 2 smoothly without the necessity of a learning curve.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My highest priority issues are running an efficient court that timely moves its docket and being fiscally responsible with the taxpayer monies allotted for the administration of County Criminal Court 2.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not plan to commit ahead of time to limit the number of terms I would serve. I do not believe that there should be term limits for judges. Because judges are subject to election and may be removed from office by the voters, term limits do exist already to an extent. Attorneys give up the practice of law and the client base they have built over the years in order to serve in a judicial capacity. Very few attorneys would be willing to sacrifice their law practice to serve a limited time as a judge knowing that after a few years they would be required to leave office and begin the process of building a law practice all over again.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: attorney/law practice
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: 817-334-0747
Campaign email address: 400 E. Weatherford St., Fort Worth/ email@example.com
Web site: johnwhite.org FACEBOOK: John White For Judge CCC#2
Education background, including all degrees: May, 1969, The Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, Degree: B.A. May 1972, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, Texas, Degree: Juris Doctor
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:
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)• Regional Director (1997-2002) - Elected
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)• Chairman of Board (1996-2000) - Elected
• President of Board (1994-1996) - Elected
Primary Officer overseeing development of goals, programs, policy and budget
(Annual Budget $4000,000)• Vice President of Board (1992-1993) - Elected
• Secretary of Board (1990-1991) - Elected
United Cerebral Palsy of Tarrant County, Inc. -Board Member (1974-2006)• Chairman of Board (1982-1983) (1993-1995) - Elected
• President of Board (1980-1982) (1991-1993) - Elected
Primary Officer overseeing development of goals, programs, policy and budget
(Annual Budgets $54,000/1980 & $1,000,000/1990)• President Elect (1978-1980) (1988-1990) - Elected
• Vice President of Board (1986-1987) - Elected
Colleyville Lions Club -Member (2006- Present)• Co-Chair Membership Committee (2008)
Business Development Center, American GI Form• Secretary of Board (1980-1981) - Elected
Business Development Center American GI Forum Incorporated• National Board of Directors-(Southwest Region 1981-1985)
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)
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I have over 25 years of judicial experience and over 40 years of Criminal and Family law experience. I'm a father of 3 and grandfather of 6. I'm the only candidate in this race that has been both a Judge and a Prosecutor. I was Judge in Haltom City and Chariman/Judge of the Sheriff's Civil Service Commission for 10 years. I have the Conservative, Moral Character to serve as Judge. My legal background, community involvement, and experience with budgets has prepared me to be Judge. Judicial temperament and people skills are God given and over my years of practice and experiences, I have refined them to be a Judge who can affect young 1st offenders in a positive way, to direct them not to be repeat offenders and yet, to be stern when necessary. I'm endorsed by Sheriff Dee Anderson.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My priority issues would be to continue the respect CCC#2 has maintained for Defendants and Attorneys over the years, maintain a steady movement of the docket and be mindful of maintaining or reducing the annual budget of the Court.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? At 66 years of age, 2 terms would be my limit!
County Criminal Court No. 3
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney
Campaign phone number: (214) 914-1848
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://coleforjudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: B.S.W. (Bachelor of Social Work) University of Kansas, J.D., Whittier College School of Law – 1988.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Member, First Baptist Church Arlington; Mission Arlington; Charitable Bicycle Rallies – Numerous; Coach, Youth Soccer
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I have been an attorney practicing criminal law for 21 years, and the bench I am seeking is a criminal court bench. I was involved in the diversion program for drug offenders in Tarrant County as the appointed criminal defense attorney. The criminal court judges are responsible for coordinating the diversion programs. I have been a small business owner for over two decades. A judge is responsible for managing the budget for his court.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My first and highest priority would be to reduce any County Criminal Court Three backlog.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I would serve four terms. I do not support term limits. Judge Mills’ career, after three decades, is a testament to the fact that judges who are taking care of their court’s business do not need term limits.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney/Practicing Criminal Defense Law
Campaign phone number: 817.992.2539
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.alexkim.com
Education background, including all degrees: Undergraduate coursework, Wheaton College (IL)\; B.A. Economics, Baylor University (1996); Ph.D. Coursework, Tulane University; J.D, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2006)
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Coach in the Texas Youth Lacrosse League; Member, Colleyville Lion’s Club
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Prior to attending law school, I worked for a Global 100 Company, a Fortune 500 Company, and myself as a small business owner. I also worked in the non-profit sector, assisting people transition from welfare to the workforce. I believe that my experience working in an area not involved with the law gives me a unique perspective that any Judges lack I feel that I am better equipped than my opponents to understand how both a defendant’s and victim’s life are impacted by criminal acts and would be able to be a better Judge by applying this knowledge to the facts of the case.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My highest priority as a Judge is to apply the law, as written. Judicial activism is a problem that plague many courts, and I believe it is important for a Judge to follow the law. In my opinion, a Judge is a like an umpire at a baseball game. When I played baseball in High School, I never cared if the strike zone was small or large, as long as the strike zone was consistent each and every time I went to bat. The umpires that had changing strike zones frustrated the batters, pitchers, and the spectators. I plan to be a consistent Judge so that both the prosecutor and the defendant will know that if they come to my court, no matter who wins, both sides will be able to say they received a fair trail. This court has one of the bigger backlogs of the Tarrant County misdemeanor courts, but this can easily be corrected by hard work by the incoming Judge. Although judicial efficiency and economy is important, my priority will always be to ensure that the law is followed and to be a fair and neutral Judge.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I have not decided about how long I would like to serve. At this point, I want to serve the citizens of Tarrant County to the best of my ability, for as long as the citizens feel that I am the best Judge for this court. Judicial positions are somewhat different than legislative positions in that consistency and established procedure is often a good thing. The retiring Judge, Billy Mills, has been in this office for 38 years and is extremely highly regarded in the Tarrant County community because the parties know what to expect when they enter the court.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Justice, 2nd Court of Appeals; I am also in my 15th year as an Adjunct Professor at Texas A & M Law School
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: (817) 924-0584
Campaign email address: None
Web site: http://www.electbobmccoy.com/
Education background, including all degrees: B.S. Engineering Physics and M.S. Mathematics - Texas Tech University; J.D. (cum laude) - University of Houston
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Salvation Army Advisory Council, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Tarrant Area Food Bank volunteer, frequent speaker at Bar Association events and numerous other groups from nursing homes to the social clubs.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I was a trial judge for 8 years ('95-'03) and have been a Justice on the 2nd Court of Appeals since 2003. I have tried, as a Judge, over 200 cases to a jury verdict and authored over 1500 opinions containing thousands of legal issues as a Justice. I am also Board certified to try lawsuits as a lawyer, and have practiced here for over 30 years. I do not approach this job as a defense lawyer practiced in keeping people out of jail, or as a prosecutor practiced in putting them behind bars, but rather as a jurist very familiar with trying cases as a judge and being very familiar with the law. I am certainly aware that everyone can make a mistake, and equally aware that the laws need to be enforced and the people of Tarrant county protected. This is a position with which I am very comfortable and welcome any inquiries to my fellow Judges and Justices as to my work ethic, my ethical standards, and anything else of interest to the questioner.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? While on the Salvation Army Advisory Council, we adopted the slogan for the Army of “Doing the Most Good.” I adopted that slogan for myself also. This court handles primarily DWI's and I want to reach out to young people through our high schools about the realities of getting stopped for DWI. I will emphasize that this is not just a ticket. I want to educate young people on the ramifications involved, long term and short term, of a DWI's effect on their record, detention at the time of the stop, the Fort Worth "holding tank", on their ability to have a driver's license, insurance and costs, to say nothing of what is involved if there should be car accident, e.g. , Ethan Couch. I will go to any place or school that will have me, and speak, hopefully with a Police Officer and some young person that has been through the system in my court. I believe that education can make a difference.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not believe that there should be term limits for this office. When I am no longer effective, I will no longer seek office.
County Criminal Court No. 8
Charles L. “Chuck” Vanover
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Assistant District Attorney - Tarrant County District Attorney's Office
Campaign phone number: 817-271-3817
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.VanoverForJudge.com
Education background, including all degrees: Grapevine High School - 1986, Texas A&M University - 1990 (BS in Sociology, Minor in Business Management), Texas Wesleyan University School of Law - 2002 (Juris Doctor)
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Boy Scouts of America, Special Olympics, Alliance for Children, Shriner's Hospitals for Children, Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? My 11 years as a Police Officer and nearly 11 years as a prosecutor with the DA's Office, gives me a unique perspective from having worked with victims and offenders at all stages in the criminal justice system. I have handled over 5000 cases as a prosecutor and have developed a reputation for fairness and expert knowledge of criminal law among my peers.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I want to run a fair and efficient court in terms of docket management while exploring treatment and other programs to reduce recidivism.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I will base my decision on the number of terms to serve on my effectiveness in office. I believe that every election is a term limit as the voters get a chance to have their opinions heard.
James R. Wilson
Tarrant County commissioner, Precinct 2
Andy Nguyen (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Business Owner and County Commissioner
Address and how long you’ve lived at that address: 4300 Avila Drive City: Arlington 76017
Campaign phone number: 817-405-7272
Campaign email address: Vote@AndyNguyenNow.com
Web site: www.AndyNguyenNow.com
Education background, including all degrees: BA Business Management, University of Kentucky. First Lieutenant United States Army Reserves, Field Artillery
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Board Member of Salvation Army Arlington-Mansfield, Founding Board Member of the Southeast Transportation Partnerships, Board Member Arlington Chamber of Commerce, alternate Board Member of the North Texas Regional Transportation Council, member of the Arlington Rotary Club, former Executive VP Tarrant County Asian American Chamber of Commerce, former Chairman of the Board Vietnamese-American Community of Tarrant County, former Executive VP of the Vietnamese-American Community of USA, former Board Member of United Way Tarrant County, former Executive Board Member of the North Texas Council of Government, former Chairman of the Southeast Tarrant Transportation Partnerships, former Committee Chair of the Vietnamese-American Leadership Summit, Host of the Southeast Tarrant Business & Technology Conference, Public Speaker on Leadership and Public Service, Host of the Vietnamese-American Citizenship Talk Show on Saigon-Dallas Radio 1600 AM, Community Volunteers.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? As a former US Army Officer, a community leader and a business owner, I have the experience in leading and managing complex organizations. I know how to work with others to solve problems and create opportunities. Equally important, I am passionate about serving others. And the proof is in the pudding: SH360 South is near its final agreement; Truancy Prevention Program with Arlington ISD is in the works; the Governing for Results Policy, enabling effective governance, has been enacted; Tarrant County Check Register has been placed online; saved over $3 million in Precinct 2 expenditures while increased productivity by 300%; and I have been diligent in my duties, and open, accessible and responsive to constituents and stakeholders.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address?
· 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.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I don’t plan on limiting the number of terms I would serve as County Commissioner because I am driven by the achievement of specific goals and objectives. However, I would be surprise (hopefully pleasantly) if I ended serving more than three terms as County Commissioner.
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.
H. Suzanne Kelley
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Special Education Teacher – Arlington High School
Campaign phone number: 682.514.9313
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.hsuzannekelley.com
Education background, including all degrees: Lamar High School graduate, UTA – BBA in Management
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Vice Chair Arlington Parks and Recreation Board, Special Transportation Advisory Board, Vice President Arlington Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, Arlington Police Department’s August 2013 Volunteer of the Month, Arlington Police Department Commendation West District 2013, twice Rotarian of the Year, recognition from governor’s office for Volunteer of the Year for Boys and Girls Club, mentor in Project Bright Star, Finance Chair for Boy Scouts of America Cross Timbers, Adult Leader for Troop 520, Junior League of Arlington, Steering Committee Leadership Arlington, League of Women Voters, TAFE 2013 Teacher of the Year, AISD Financial Futures Committee, Vice President Arlington Republican Club, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), PTA, AHS Site Base Decision Making Committee, ASEPTSA
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.
What are the highest priorities issues that you plan to address? As a public school teacher, I know what it is to be accountable to the taxpayers, parents, and students. To find funding from other sources when there is not enough money in the budget for needs of my students. We, often, as a community look at the monies we put into the educational system only to measure success against state testing standards. I believe the measure should be in graduates going on to higher education, certification programs, productive employees, and active citizens of our community. As a business woman, I know the colleges, chambers of commerce, small businesses and workplaces are the places the jobs originate for our community. We need to have the environment for all people to pursue their dreams while creating economic growth. As county commissioner who has been a long time conservative Republican, first, I will focus on the responsibilities of the office of county commissioner while being accountable to the taxpayers. Secondly, I will bring my real world business experience with me as it relates to the budget and transportation, and lastly, I will never stop working to create a better climate in Tarrant County by promoting our common family values, diverse cultural heritage, faith, and freedom for all.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The voters have the power with their votes to limit the terms of elected officials. I believe in the voters.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 2
Mary Tom Cravens Curnutt (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Judge, Justice of the Peace-Precinct 2
Campaign phone number: 817.542.0839
Campaign email address: MaryTom@MTforJP.com
Web site: www.MTforJP.com
Education background, including all degrees: Arlington High School; Texas Christian University-BBA, Management; Tarrant Justice Court Training Center-120 hours Judicial Training
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Texas Health Resources-Board Member; Junior League of Arlington-Board Member (20 year member); Miracle League Fields-DFW Executive Director; Fleetwood Memorial Foundation-Manager; Republican Women of Arlington-VP Membership; Rotary Club of Arlington; Big Brothers and Big Sisters; Arlington High School PTA-4th VP. For a Full list of Community Service, Leadership and Employment visit www.MTforJP.com
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Being raised in a solid, Christian, Conservative family who has devoted their lives to serving the Arlington community, both personally and professionally, at almost ever lever for 5 generations, has given me the opportunity to know my community, be a part of my communities progress and, in turn, be well-respected and well-known by most all segments and generations.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Continue to provide a court that enables real people to solve real problems in a fair, efficient and inexpensive manner. I look forward to continued works with Commissioner Andy Nguyen on understanding Truancy, which is reaching epidemic proportions, and working with the entire community to ensure our future generation is an educated and productive member of our society.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? No. Yes because the election process itself are term limits in my opinion.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Self-employed real estate investor and paralegal
Campaign phone number: 817-235-7743
Campaign email address: P.O. Box 120988
Web site: www.barbaranashforjp.com
Education background, including all degrees : Arlington Career Institute, Grand Prairie, Texas – Certified Paralegal; Attended Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas; Polytechnic High School, Fort Worth, Texas
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Arlington School Board Trustee; Arlington City Council Member; State Representative District 93; Arlington ISD Education Foundation, Charter Member; Arlington Life Shelter Advisory Council; The Arlington Rotary Club; Republican Women of Arlington, 1st VP of Programs & Past President; First United Methodist Church, Board Trustee, Usher Captain, Communion Steward; Arlington Chamber of Commerce; Arlington Arts League; Arlington Charities Board of Directors; Texas PTA Life Member; Arlington Noon Optimist Club, Past President; Board of Directors of the Trinity River Authority; AWARE Foundation; Active Member of Republic Clubs in Arlington & Tarrant County; Arlington Woman’s Club; Encore Club
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? As Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, I would bring unique expertise including 40 years of business and community service both as an elected official and volunteer. As a State Representative, serving in the Texas House of Representatives during the 82nd Legislative Session, I not only read and voted on the legislation presented to us each day, I co-authored many important bills. I was especially proud of the “Alicia’s Law” - the Internet Crimes Against Children Law. On a daily basis, I was charged with making critical decisions about funding for all agencies, including the Department of Criminal Justice. This position of Justice of the Peace is the ideal job for me. I can combine my legislative experience in writing and interpreting laws, my paralegal training, reading and examining complex cases, and my lifetime commitment to serving my community. Serving twice on the Tarrant County Criminal Grand Jury for three months each term, gave me a legal perspective on the impact this legislation had on Tarrant County and our State.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Truancy and eviction cases are a large part of the workload in the JP Court. Truancy and the impact it has on the students, parents and school districts, would be my first priority. Having raised 5 children in this community, I have the temperament needed to settle truancy cases brought to this court. My years of experience as a business woman, elected official and community advocate all have grown from my constant curiosity and desire to increase my awareness and knowledge of the world around me and the laws that govern. As a real estate investor, I am well versed in the real estate laws of Texas. This experience will be significant to my success in building a people’s court where citizens will be treated impartially and respectfully based upon each individual case.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Until I am elected, I would not speculate on the years I would serve. I am not for term limits, that is up to the voters.
William Shane Nolen
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Trial Attorney
Campaign phone number: 682-422-9250
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.nolenforjp.com
Education background, including all degrees: Arlington- Martin H.S., BBA-Business Management, Baylor University, J.D.-Law, Cal. Western University
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Current Vice Chairman, Planning & Zoning Board, Prior Chair, Community Relations Board, Prior Chair, Public Safety & Advisory Board.Young Men for Arlington, Member. Christian Legal Society, Vice-President 2003-2006. Legal Aid Society of Norwalk, Domestic Violence Program Director 2005-2006. Special Olympics, Volunteer 1995-2006. Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer 1995-2006.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Having lived in Precinct 2, with the exception of Undergrad and Law School, since 1983, I am nearly a lifelong resident of Precinct 2. I strive to ensure that each and every one of my neighbors has access to a qualified and fair Court. The legal community largely disregards the JP Court system, due to the lack of training and consistency that can be seen across the State. I've heard many other attorneys refer to the JP Court as the wild wild west, because you just never know what you're going to get when you step into a JP Court. As the Only candidate that is licensed to practice law, I believe that proper training leads to more consistency and more equity. Aside from my academic training, I have over a decade of legal experience, having tried hundreds of cases, from Galveston to El Paso across the State, from the JP level to the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. I believe that my unique background as a 30-plus year resident in JP 2, my active civic background, my academic and legal training, and my years of experience trying cases, makes me the ideal candidate to succeed retired Judge Davis.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I will tirelessly work to unify the 8 JP Courts in Tarrant County. It's imperative that each and every citizen in Tarrant County be able to know that fair and equitable justice will be served, whether they live in JP 1 or next door in JP8 or in my neighborhood, JP2. Only through extensive training and collaboration, will each and every citizen be afforded true justice in the justice court!
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The further involved in politics I become, whether Federal, State, or Local, I see how important it has become to ensure that each and every office is held by the strongest candidate. In many cases, it just seems that over the years, the passion and drive by those longer-term candidates, begins to fade. Because of this, I would support term limits for the JP Courts.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 3
Russ Casey (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Tarrant County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3
City: North Richland Hills
Campaign phone number: 817-501-1801
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.russcasey.com
Education background, including all degrees: Business degree form TCJC
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Member of MENSA, Texas Judicial Council, Past Chairman of Texas State Advisory Board to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, TCC Real Estate Advisory Board, past President of Northeast Republican Club, past Vice-President of Tarrant County Young Republicans, past member of City of Hurst Traffic Safety Commission
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? In 2012 I was appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to be chairman of the taskforce to redesign the Justice Court system in Texas. We were to combine the Small Claims Courts and the Justice Courts into one single court and write rules of civil procedure for the new Justice Court. It was one the largest court reforms in Texas history. The new rules took effect Aug. 31, 2013. (Ref: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/16/5087068/judges-get-more-leeway-in-handling.html
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The Justice Court for Tarrant County Pct.3 is currently running under budget and without a backlog. (Getting to this point was no easy task, and I would to credit the best staff in world. We implemented changes to the workflow system, and then with a lot of hard work we got it caught up and intend to keep it that way.) With my role in the creation of the new rules I have been tasked with helping to train judges with the changes. And since the charges are sweeping, I am tasked with keeping the Texas Supreme Court with any possible problems. Since an appeal from the Justice Court is a trial de-novo, possible conflicts or concerns are not always easily addressed through the normal appeal process.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? There are many arguments in favor of term limits, but they differ for each branch of government and the positions held. There is no replacement for experience. From Municipal Court to the Supreme Court, judges will tell you that you learn something new almost every day. Experience in the Judiciary is so important. Our founders were well aware of both sides of the issue and decided that the best way was for the citizens to decide whether they wanted to keep an official or not through periodic elections.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney and Owner of Law Office of Christina Fox, PLLC
Campaign phone number: 817.754.0035
Your campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.checktheboxforfox.com
Education background, including all degrees: LD Bell High School, Diploma; United States Air Force Academy, BS of Management; University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Juris Doctorate
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am and have been involved with doing pro bono legal cases in the community, participating in Lion’s Club, working in my church on various projects, and speaking to and mentoring youth. My favorite service to my community has always been as a strong role model. Particularly, mentoring and speaking to youth about my experiences growing up in Texas, going to the Air Force Academy, serving in the military, and being an entrepreneur and practicing attorney.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I believe my experiences in life as a leader and servant make me a good fit as a public servant in this court. More specifically, my degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Management, my service to this country overseas and stateside, my years of experience managing multimillion dollar budgets and leading large teams as a hospital administrator, and my strong knowledge of the law gained by attending law school and honed by my practicing and studying the law daily as a licensed attorney set me apart from the other candidates in this race. I want to use these skills to serve my community and restore our court by making sure that each judgment is based on the law being applied correctly in this court.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My highest priorities include: making sure that we restore the law being applied correctly and consistently; increasing the efficiency of our court and saving tax payers money; and making our People’s court more user friendly through expanded use of technology and providing high quality leadership for the team.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I think allowing new blood to come into most situations keeps things fresh and guards against complacency. My intent is to serve in the Justice of the Peace court for Precinct 3 and strengthen the court and its programs and then to allow someone else to carry on with these strong programs.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 4
Jacquelyn Wright (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Justice of the Peace, Precinct Four
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: 817 999-0556
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: Facebook.com/Jacquelyn Wright Justice of the Peace
Education background, including all degrees: Graduate of the National Judicial College
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: 24 years of Public Service, in one of the most diverse jobs out there; doing civil, criminal, administrative, and “help me judge” work
Issues and qualifications: Public service, proper adjudication of the cases before the court. Efficient management of the court's docket. Knowledge of the job duties. Living and working to the code of judicial conduct and ethics. Continuing education and moving forward with technology as is impacts the court.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? The 24 years experience. The on going education, service on the State Supreme Court's Rules Committee, service as an instruction for the Justice Court Training Center at Texas Statue University - San Marcos. Did I mention 24 years experience and a Graduate of the National Judicial College?
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Continued excellent public service. Keeping up with the changes in the law, the new Rules of Court, and technology.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? No I do not. There is nothing more valuable in my job, than experience. Experience is of the utmost importance.
Vickie L. Phillips
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Office Manager for Phillips Auto Brokers, Inc. I am also a Realtor.
Campaign phone number: 817-896-1008
Campaign email address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.phillipsforjp4.com
Education background, including all degrees: High School, Champion School of Real Estate. Texas Realtor
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I help with the children at our church, member of the Azle High School Choir Booster. I love to see our teens move forward with things they love to do.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I believe in long hours of hard work. Know what it takes to get the job done. I have the proper temperament, demeanor, and ethics that is needed for the office of Justice of the Peace.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Moving the docket, and helping the teens stay in school.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes on both parts of this question!
Justice of the peace, Precinct 5
Sergio De Leon (i)
Occupation & main source of income: Tarrant Co. Justice of the Peace, Pct. 5; current employer
Campaign phone number: 817-713-7920
Campaign email address: email@example.com
What in particular about your background, skills, and experience makes you qualified for this office? I am uniquely qualified for Justice of the Peace having served almost 12 years as the elected Constable for the same precinct and currently serving as Judge. This has given me invaluable experience as an administrator—preparing budgets and managing employees. As a former peace officer, I have years of law enforcement training that adds a valuable perspective as a judge. Additionally, I have completed the required training from the Texas Justice Court Training Center.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My highest priority is making sure that due process is followed and litigants get a fair and honest hearing. Additionally, I wish to continue our community program initiated with FWISD Schools called the “Honorary Juror Program” which was featured in the Star Telegram last April. The Justice Court sends invitations to every elementary, middle, and high school and asks for schools to send a group of students to serve as Honorary Jurors and observe live court proceedings.
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.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I serve at the pleasure of the citizens of Pct. 5. I do not believe in term limits, the voters have the right to limit the term of any office holder each election cycle.
Macario “Mac” Belmontes
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Family owned business.
City: Fort Worth
Campaign phone number: (817) 887-9750
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.macariobelmontes.com
Education background, including all degrees: Texas Wesleyan University
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement:
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
ð—¬ð—¢ð—¨ð—§ð—› ð—©ð—¢ð—Ÿð—¨ð—¡ð—§ð—˜ð—˜ð—¥ ð—ªð—¢ð—¥ð—ž
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
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? The role of the Justice of the Peace is that of arbiter of small claims disputes between citizens of Precinct 5. Additionally, the JP may deal with misdemeanor criminal complaints and renter/lessor disputes. My history and experience has been in helping raise up our community and citizens. I have worked with at risk youth, community policing, dispute resolution and making safer more livable neighborhoods. All of these skills and experiences would apply directly to the role of JP in our community. Also, I am fluent in both English and Spanish which is valuable in the JP court that serves the largest segment of the Hispanic population in Tarrant County.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Making our court fair, and impartial is my first and highest priority. I will also work to make sure the Pct 5 JP court represents the diversity of our community.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Generally speaking I believe term limits are a good thing. Judicial offices represent a potential exception to this rule as there is unquestionably an advantage to the community in a judge who has many years of experience and legal knowledge. I would therefore probably not support term limits for higher courts, appellate courts in particular, but at the JP level I think term limits are appropriate and believe a two or three term limit would be fair.
Justice of the peace, Precinct 7
Matt Hayes (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7
Campaign phone number:
Campaign email address: Matt@VoteHayes.org
Web site: www.VoteHayes.org
Education background, including all degrees: MBA in Management – High Honors, Oklahoma City Univ; BBA in Finance – Cum Laude, Univ of Houston at Clear Lake City; Associate of Arts – Science and Certificate of Business Administration, San Jacinto College; Officers Basic School, US Marines; Management and Leadership Course, Mobil Chemical Company.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: current – Finance and Marriage Teacher, North Elevation Church; Treasurer, Mansfield Area Marines; former – co-founder and President, Friendswood Advocates for Gifted and Talented Students; volunteer, local charitable events; many, many volunteer positions in local and state political party.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Being a Justice of the Peace requires two separate skill sets; being a judge and running an office. As Judge I have the ability to listen to people and quickly assess what really happened in a situation, determine how the law and any contracts apply and render a correct judgment. I have spent my life in leadership roles doing exactly that with employees, management, suppliers and customers. Unlike other Judges, a Justice of the Peace also is responsible for the clerks and the operation of the court. I have 30 years management experience making those very things happen. That is one of the reasons we have transformed this court into the most efficient and effective in the county, while handling the highest number of case filings.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The area this court can most impact the community is through the schools. We see 1500 to 2000 truant students and their parents each year. This speaks to the schools’ confidence in what we do, because they refused to file with my predecessor. Many of the students will return to school, earn a diploma and never be involved with the courts again. But we do have a significant number who have never been told they can be successful and have given up on themselves. We work to find programs and assistance to give them hope, often for the first time in their lives and point them towards a high school diploma and success in life. Our biggest initiative has been to hold court at Sam Houston High School monthly to make the court accessible to people who cannot get to the courthouse.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Justice of the Peace is one of the offices closest to the voters. We are elected by only a small part of the county. The puts accountability on the Judge to perform properly. Every election is an opportunity for the voters to impose term limits on their elected officials.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney
Campaign phone number: 817.475-4815 cell and 817.473-0068 office
Campaign email address: Ctcesquire@gmail.com
Web site: www.CorbinforJustice.com
Education background, including all degrees: University of Arkansas (B.A. in Economics); Tulane University, Graduate School of Business (M.B.A.); Texas Wesleyan University Law School (J.D.); George Washington University Law School (LL.M.--Litigation and Dispute Resolution)
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Former Mayor of Mansfield, Former Justice of the Peace, Pct. 7 (2007-2010); Board of Directors Alzheimer's Association--North Central Texas; Chairman--Charter Review Commission, Mansfield; Council Member--Municipal Judges Section, State Bar of Texas
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Background: Public service family background: Grandfather and Great Uncle U.S. Deputy Marshals slain in the line of duty, Father--Superintendent of Schools, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Self--former Mayor and Justice of the Peace.
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.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address: Civil Cases: Reduce the current practice of JP Pct. 7 Court holding three hearings (pre-trial, mediation, and trial) on each civil case to one hearing. “Justice delayed is Justice Denied” as well as costing each party needless expenses: time away from work, travel, and legal counsel.
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).
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes--2 continuous terms