Politics & Government

Voters Guide — A look at the 2016 statewide and judicial candidates

Early voting runs Feb. 16-26.
Early voting runs Feb. 16-26. Star-Telegram

The Star-Telegram sent a Voters Guide questionnaire to all the candidates appearing on the Tarrant County ballot in contested races this year. Take a look at Tarrant County’s sample ballots. And here’s what the statewide and judicial candidates who responded had to say.

Texas Railroad Commissioner

Republicans

Wayne Christian No response

Gary Gates No response

John Greytok No response

Ron Hale

Age: 34

Occupation and/or main source of income: Private Security Consultant/ Licensed Engineer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Cypress

Campaign (public) phone number: 281-861-4872

Your campaign (public) email address: Info@RonHaleforTexas.com

Web site: http://ronhalefortexas.com/

Education background, including all degrees: Tomball College/ TBFAA To many certification in private security to name them all over last 18 years.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Defeated Harris County $200 million bond to repurpose the Astrodome, but I run the nonprofit Save the Astrodome Group. Member of SPJST, Houston Young Republicans, Northwest Houston Pachyderm former board member, Greater Houston Pachyderm member

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Texas Senate District 15

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I am a licensed engineer at NZ Control Specialists Private Security Company. NZ specializes in anti-terrorism consulting for the Oil and Gas industry. Over 18 years I worked my way up from an installer, system designer, and planner to Director of Operations at NZ Control Specialists. I have helped businesses of all industries and sizes ensure the safety of their customers and employees with top of the line security products. My background and experience in design and installation has allowed me to recruit and hire top talent to represent NZ Control Specialists in the private security field.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Approval during Sunset in 2017 solve it by elect me the most knowledgeable person in the race, Technology lag by introducing new technology and making Tx RRC more efficient, and Public perception being knowledgeable in Oil & Gas and what the industry means to Texas and how safe it is must be explained to the residents of Texas by an experienced Commissioner.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Thank you for your time in reading about the candidates for this race. When you talk about a regulatory body for 37% of Texas economy you must elect a experienced and knowledgeable candidate. If the Texas RRC is abolish by sunset the counties are in a world of future trouble from dealing with what Texas RRC does.

Doug Jeffrey No response

Weston Martinez

Age: 40

Occupation and/or main source of income: TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONER

OIL & GAS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST/ANALYST; LEAD TELECOM OSPE DESIGN ENGINEER

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: San Antonio 40 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 210.816.2018

Your campaign (public) email address: info@WestonForTexas.com

Web site: www.WestonforTexas.com

Education background, including all degrees: BACHELORS BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION; TEXAS CERITFIED MEDIATOR; AT&T ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Vice Chair Alamo Community Colleges Bond oversight committee. This was the first bond to be completed on time and under budget in the San Antonio Region. Which expanded all existing campuses and built the only new college campus built in the United States at the time. We worked with business, political and community groups across the region. Former Private School Board President which combined Classical and Biblical education methods

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Current Texas Real Estate Commissioner Appointed by Governor Perry and confirmed by the Texas Legislature now serving under Governor Abbott; Elected Republican Party of Texas Executive Committee Member

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. 1: My first had Oil & Gas experience as a business owner, where I worked with Operators and land owners within the confines of the regulated oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale. 2: My 4 years experience as Texas Real Estate Commissioner gives me a unique perspective & knowledge of the process and the role of a commissioner. No one else running has the experience of serving on a commission that functions similar to the Railroad Commission. 3. I have always fought for the promotion of conservative principles.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1: Keeping the EPA from keeping people of Texas out of work. My oil and gas experience has taught me how to fight to get Texans back to work by fighting the EPA’s ridiculous federal overreaching rules. 2: Increase Transparency and Decrease fees: As Texas Real Estate Commissioner appointed by Governor Perry and Serving under Governor Abbott, I have worked with other Commissioners to exactly this successfully for Texas Realtors and will work for the same on the Railroad Commission. 3. Successfully Navigate Sunset: My Experience as a Current Texas Real Estate Commissioner has taught me the process which will allow me to ready to do the job on day one. While increasing trust internally and externally.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am blessed to have conservative leaders across Texas supporting me along with the Oil and Gas leaders. Visit www.westonfortexas.com for an entire list. Here are the bullet point reasons that make me ready to serve on day 1. My first had Oil & Gas experience as a business owner, where I worked with Operators and land owners within the confines of the regulated oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale. 2: My 4 years experience as Texas Real Estate Commissioner gives me a unique perspective & knowledge of the process and the role of a commissioner. No one else running has the experience of serving on a commission that functions similar to the Railroad Commission. 3: I have always fought for the promotion of conservative principles.

Lance N. Christian

Age: 44

Occupation and/or main source of income: Geoscientist in the Groundwater Advisory Unit, Railroad Commission of Texas

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Austin, 25 years, 1 month; Originally from Plano, Texas, 19 years, 7 months

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-443-1032

Your campaign (public) email address: geochristian2001@yahoo.com

Education background, including all degrees: B.S. Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1994; B.A. Geography, University of Texas at Austin, 1995; M.S. Program (unfinished), University of Texas at Austin (research published in Chemical Geology, 2011); Effective Communications Certificate, 2011; State Licensure: P.G. 10342

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Volunteered in three University of Texas Explore UT open houses for the Department of Geological Sciences and the Department of Geography, 1997 – 2000. Lectured during the Texas Waters Workshop for Teachers sponsored by the ESI, the University of Texas at Austin. November 2003. Assisted with 14 ESI outreach lecture series events, 2000 – 2003

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. As a state licensed geologist in the Groundwater Advisory Unit, I am the only candidate with Railroad Commission of Texas experience. I have more knowledge of the many programs within the RRC than any other candidate. I am a technically oriented person with no previous political experience that will analyze issues objectively, while serving no political interests. Additionally, I am the only candidate with an earth science education, which in an agency that regulates the extraction of natural resources from the state, provides me with a unique expertise to analyze scientific data and reports dealing with natural resource related issues.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them.Passing rules for unconventional fracture treated fields. These rules are still evolving and must be crafted so that these fields will be developed in a safe and responsible manner, insuring viable economic development into the foreseeable future. Investigating induced seismicity issues in North Texas. Connections between “fracking” and induced seismicity must be further investigated and definitive conclusions reached so that responsible regulation, if needed, may be passed. The impending Sunset Commission review. This review coupled with a depressed industry and the lack revenue generated from industry applications may affect the ability to self-fund agency operations and threaten future functionality.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I will continue to advocate for several current programs, including greater transparency and modernization, which the RRC has made great strides in improving. I would also like to call for a review of oil and gas regulations for refinements that may provide relief to struggling small operators. An example of a possible refinement is the current bond program, which does not provide much financial flexibility for small operators sometimes requiring the sequestration of a disproportionate amount of capital for the number of wells that they are managing. I would push for increasing the number of bond graduations within the program.

Democrats

Lon Burnam

Age​: 62

Occupation and/or main source of income: Retirement income from state employment. Unearned income from an inheritance. Retired regional city planner & non-profit director.

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth, Texas (62 years)

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-924-2016

Your campaign (public) email address: campaign@burnam4tx.com

Website: http://burnam4tx.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s, Government, University of Texas at Austin; Master's, City and Regional Planning, University of Texas at Arlington

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Full time volunteer for Public Citizen last legislative session (2015) in Texas. Served as Texas Anti Corruption Campaign Convenor during this time. Full time volunteer for Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Fall 2015 in Washington DC. Helped open North Texas Civil Rights Project office in Dallas Summer 2015. I have been involved with numerous environmental, civil rights and peace & justice organizations all my life. Served as Executive Director of Dallas Peace Center for 12 years.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: State Representative, District 90, 18 years. Service on House Energy Resources, the Environmental Regulations and the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. My experience as a state representative for 18 years and the knowledge I gained as a member of the House Energy Resources Committee will enable me to take a strong leadership role the day I am sworn in. I understand the intricacies of government and have proven myself to be a strong advocate for accountability and transparency. My primary opponents possess no relevant governmental nor energy sector experience.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The Commission should be renamed the Texas Energy Commission, and its mission should be clarified such that there is no question: this is the agency of Texas responsible for developing a comprehensive energy plan. Every decision will be based on two criteria; safety and science. It is imperative that Commission act responsibly and provide the policies, direction, and oversight that the agency requires for the appropriate and unbiased implementation and administration of its regulations, policies, and procedures. The Commission must be transparent and accountable to the public. If elected, I will insist that the Sunset Commission’s recommendations be implemented immediately.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. My legislative work has focused on consumer issues, anti-discrimination, fair taxation, education, and the environment. As a commissioner of the renamed Texas Energy Commission, I will work to develop a comprehensive energy plan for our state and ensure we conduct energy exploration in a safe and sound way.

For candidates for local offices, in 100 words or less, should local governments allow gun shows on public property they control? If not, are any new regulations warranted? For legislative candidates, in 100 words or less, should the Legislature act to get the state involved in the push for a constitutional convention as Gov. Greg Abbott is urging?

Cody Garrett No response

Grady Yarbrough

Occupation and/or main source of income: Retired teacher

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Tyler, Texas Lived at this address for 4 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 903-216-3131

Your campaign (public) email address: grady.yarbrough@yahoo .com

Web site: No answer

Education background, including all degrees: Batchelor of Arts Degree, Business education; Master of science Counseling, Guidance. Public school Admin. Certification.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Worked locally to Elect our Current president.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Sought the U S Senate in 2012. Loss the Run-Off election. Never held public office.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I believe that my training in the field of Education, prepared me to work with people of different views, and opinions. As a Teacher, and Counselor I worked with parents, and students with different views within the same family, therefore, working with members of the commission having dissimilar views from mine, would not be insurmountable.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. A) The safe recovery of Oil and gas from beneath the surface. I would demand that equipment used in this process be well maintained, and process worthy at all times. B) The Safe transportation of these products, by Rail, Pipeline, or by motor vehicle. This process requires the utmost of safety, as the petroleum products travels through densely populated ares where a malfunction in equipment could become a catastrophic Event. Therefore, inspection of equipment on a daily basis would be a top priority. a) Continuation of rec overy: At present the practice of FRACKING is being used to recover these products. I would ban fracking within a city of more one Thousand people. From this practice, Earthquakes have been noticed within the Metro-plex area, and the counties of Collins, Denton, Rockwall, kaufman, and Parker. If this practice continues, the areas mentioned will probably be declared a quake Zone, and Homeowners insurance premiums will increase to cover the cost of repairs to homes, and quite possibly, the Building codes within cities would have to be changed to meet the Earth Quake standards. These requirement will be an increase cost to homeowners. If elected, I will do my best to stop the fracking activity in the areas mentioned.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Thank you for the opportunity to respond: I spent most of my life as an educator, first as a Teacher of Business classes in the Chicago Public Schools, then as a Counselor, and as an assistant principal. I’m divorced, but I have 3 children, and three grandchildren, they are my inspiration.

Supreme Court Place 3

Republicans

Debra Lehrmann (incumbent)

Age: 59

Occupation and/or main source of income: Justice, Supreme Court of Texas

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Colleyville. Have lived in Tarrant County for 27 years.

Campaign (public) phone number: 512.477.7722

Your campaign (public) email address: dhl4txsc@yahoo.com

Web site: www.JudgeDebraLehrmann.com

Education background, including all degrees: A member of Phi Beta Kappa, I graduated with high honors from The University of Texas in 1979 and The University of Texas School of Law in 1982; I am a candidate for an L.L.M. in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law, 2016.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: In cooperation with my colleagues, I initiated National Adoption Day in Tarrant County. This critically important initiative highlights the need for loving adoptive and foster families to intervene in the lives of innocent children who have been abused or neglected. I extended this project beyond an annual event by conducting Adoptions Days on a monthly basis. This project has been extremely successful. I am also interested in ensuring that the legal system not add to the cost and conflict that parties endure as litigants. Therefore, I am involved with various projects that emphasize the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution that help litigants resolve their issues in a less adversarial setting. These methods include mediation and collaborative law, but may not include arbitration.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: District Judge, 360th District Court in Fort Worth; Family Law Judge in Tarrant County 22 years.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office: Having served on the Court since being appointed by Governor Perry in 2010, I am very serious about strictly and conscientiously apply the law. I have written on a vast number of complex legal matters including oil and gas, contract interpretation, commercial, corporate and securities law, tax and torts. “As former members of the Supreme Court, we are vitally interested in a strong and respected Court. We know and admire Justice Lehrmann, and are unanimous in our support for this talented jurist. Texans deserve to retain a justice with impeccable credentials and unwavering devotion to the administration of justice.”

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them: 1) When I began my service on the Court, there was a backlog of 34. By the end of my first year, the backlog was down to 4, and for the first time in history, it is now down to zero. 2) Texas deserves well-qualified, hard-working jurists who apply the law in a methodical, deferential and scholarly way. 3) There is a problem throughout the judiciary with judges who substitute their opinions for the law or constitution. My priority is to exercise judicial restraint and decide cases by relying upon the intent of the constitution and the law.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you: I am a scholarly jurist and a strict textualist who believes in judicial restraint and who never legislates from the bench. Proof of the respect my colleagues have for my work: all members of the Court have joined my majority opinions over 90% of the time. I am consistently among those justices who have written the most majorities; last term I tied with Justice Guzman for writing the most majority opinions. It is because of my dedication to the rule of law and my love of the work that I hope to have the privilege of continuing to serve.

Michael Massengale

Age: 43

Occupation and/or main source of income: Justice, First Court of Appeals

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Houston, Texas (17½ years)

Campaign (public) phone number: 956.244.3557 (campaign manager Travis McCormick)

Your campaign (public) email address: MassengaleCampaign@gmail.com

Web site: www.michaelmassengale.com

Education background, including all degrees: Southwest High School, Fort Worth (1990); Dartmouth College (A.B. in Government, 1994); The University of Texas School of Law (J.D. with honors, 1997); New York University School of Law / Dwight D. Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration Appellate Judges Seminar—New Judges Series, New York, NY; Economic Institute for Judges, Week 1, George Mason University School of Law Judicial Education Program, Arlington VA

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Eagle Scout; Commissioner, Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families (Executive Committee & Chair of Training Committee); American Law Institute (elected member); St. Thomas More Society; Former president, Federalist Society Houston Lawyers Chapter; Former chair, Houston Bar Association Harris County Law Library Committee; Former judicial liaison, Houston Bar Association appellate section council

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Justice, First Court of Appeals (2009-present); Precinct chairman, Harris County Republican Party

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I am the only candidate who is board certified in civil appellate law (or any other area), and as a former litigation partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., I am the only candidate who has practiced a wide range of civil litigation at the pinnacle of the legal profession. I have a proven record of faithfully applying a conservative judicial philosophy, in contrast to my opponent who is the most frequent dissenter against the conservatives on the Texas Supreme Court. For example, in two cases she was the only judge who would have held tort reform statutes unconstitutional.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The Supreme Court must look beyond the borders of Texas to engage on important constitutional and other legal issues that affect us in Texas; as a former Federalist Society chapter president I have the background to be a leader on this front. The Court needs justices with a proven judicial philosophy and exceptional legal ability, and my record demonstrates my qualification in this regard. The Court should commit to consistently clearing its docket on an annual basis, and I have a proven work ethic as well as experience managing dockets and legal staff to help achieve this goal.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am a Christian and a lifelong conservative. I was raised in a military family. I attended Wedgwood Middle School and Southwest High School and earned my Eagle Scout award in Fort Worth. My mother lives in Cleburne and still works in downtown Fort Worth. I am happily married to an eye surgeon. This is an important race that gives voters the opportunity to elect a proven constitutional conservative with strong Fort Worth ties. I have been endorsed by Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, Texas Right to Life PAC, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and many other trusted conservatives.

Democrat

Mike Westergren

Age: 69

Occupation and/or main source of income: lawyer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Corpus Christi, Texas Except for college and law school in Austin, all my life

Campaign (public) phone number: 361 765 6828

Your campaign (public) email address: P. O. Box 3371, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Web site: www.westergren.com (not set up for political race as yet)

Education background, including all degrees: Juris Doctorate, University of Texas School of Law, 1970; Bachelor of Arts, University of Texas at Austin, 1967; Associates of Arts, Del Mar College, 1965

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Many years of public service, including working with the Children’s Heart Institute, Volunteer Council at the Corpus Christi State School, Corpus Christi heart Association, Coastal Bend Council on Alcoholism, Metro Ministries, Consumer Credit Counseling Service for South Teas, Child Abuse Council of South Texas, Nueces County Juvenile Gang Task Force and the Corpus Christi Teen Court.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Justice of the Peace, 1973-1977; Nueces County Attorney 1977-1984; 214th District Court, 1984-2000. Have run for Supreme Court twice before most recently in 1998.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have had a long and some say distinguished career in public service. I seek to bring balance to the highest court which has been under one party rule for over two decades.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. As suggested above the Court has been under one party rule since the 1990’s. I believe it is time for a person of my background and experience to make a contribution to the process of the Court.

Supreme Court Place 5

Republicans

Paul Green (incumbent) No response

Rick Green

Age: 45

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney, Speaker, Author,

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Dripping Springs - 18 years.

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-361-7116

Your campaign (public) email address: campaign@rickgreen.com

Web site: RickGreen4Texas.com

Education background, including all degrees: University of Texas School of Law. B.B.A. Finance, Angelo State University. Wylie High School, Wylie, Texas.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Texas State Representative from 1999 to 2003 with proven conservative record and awards from virtually every conservative organization in Texas. Founder and President of Patriot Academy; Numerous Tea Party groups, home school and educational choice efforts, pro-life and pro-family organizations. Speaker and trainer on the Constitution and founding principles for around 100 tea party groups across the nation, speaking for David Barton’s organization WallBuilders.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Texas State Representative from 1999 to 2003. Ran for Texas Supreme Court in 2010, took first place in the primary out of 6 candidates. Lost the runoff by small margin.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office: The specific need at this time is a constitutional watchdog focused on restoring separation of powers and protecting constitutional rights such as religious liberty, due process, & 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. I have spent the last 20 years in the study, teaching, and protection of these core principles of our republic. I have the right experience and the right values for this particular time in our history. Many politicians talk a good game about respecting the Constitution, but I have two decades of a proven record defending the Constitution.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. My goal on the Supreme Court is to defend the U.S. and Texas Constitutions in an environment where respect for constitutional limitations of government too often give way to political expedience. Virtually all problems fall under this category. I am a strict constructionist and originalist. Those who advocate for a “living, breathing Constitution” that can be changed on a whim by 5 lawyers on the bench have created instability, confusion, and chaos that leads ultimately to tyranny. This is the greatest problem facing our court system. I hope to prevent this by being a constitutional watchdog on the Supreme Court.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Chuck Norris, Dr. James Dobson, David Barton, Ag Com. Sid Miller, Kelly Shackelford, Jonathon Saenz, Cathie Adams, Judge Paul Pressler, Judge Rene Diez, Cathie Adams, Carol Everett, Julie White McCarty, Reps. Krause & Zedler & Simmons & a host of other (see www.RickGreen4Texas.com) leaders across the legal, religious, political, and educational spectrum are saying we need Rick Green’s expertise and experience on the Texas Supreme Court because our constitutional liberties are being challenged in the state courts like never before.

Democrat

Dori Contreras Garza

Occupation and/or main source of income: Justice, 13th Court of Appeals

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: McAllen, Texas, 22 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 956-655-9206

Your campaign (public) email address: P. O. Box 1457, Edinburg, Tx 78540

Web site: Justicedori.com

Education background, including all degrees: BBA in Accounting, University of Texas at Austin, 1980; Juris Doctorate, University of Houston Law Center, 1990

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Board member, Comfort House Services, 2008 - present; Woman of Distinction, Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2014; Good Sam Award, Good Samaritan Community Services-RGV, 2014; Board member 2008-2010, Chair 2011-2013, Good Samaritan Community Services-RGV; University of Texas-Pan American Executive Mentor Program, 2014-2015; Member, Hidalgo County Texas Democratic Women; Life Member, University of Texas Ex-Students’ Association; Past Board member, St. John’s Episcopal Day School, President, 2009-2010; Volunteer, St. John’s Episcopal Church and School; Frequent speaker at various schools in community; AVANCE Mother of the Year 2005

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Justice, 13th Court of Appeals, 2003 to present; In 1996, I sought election to Hidalgo County Court at Law Number Four. I lost the election in a run-off.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have served on the 13th Court of Appeals for thirteen years reviewing the appeals of thousands of cases. I have done the type of work that is done at the Texas Supreme Court. I have the skills, experience, temperament and work ethic necessary for the position.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1) Lack of cultural diversity. 2) Lack of political diversity. 3) Imbalance in decision making. For over twenty years, the justices that have served the state have been of the same judicial philosophy and party affiliation. The high court should reflect the changing demographics in Texas. I am running to correct this gender and cultural deficit and to add a different perspective to the debate of the issues that the Supreme Court reviews. The Supreme Court makes very important decisions that impact the daily lives of Texans. These decision makers should be representative of the state’s demographic and political makeup.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I take my job as an appellate court judge very seriously. I am prepared to serve the citizens of the state of Texas in a fair and just manner. I am aware that one of the primary concerns with the appellate process is the length of time it takes for cases to be resolved. I have worked hard for thirteen years on the court of appeals to dispose of cases efficiently and timely. I will do the same on the Texas Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Place 9

Republican

Eva Guzman (incumbent)

Age: 54

Occupation and/or main source of income: Judge

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Austin / Cypress 5 / 28

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-637-4223

Your campaign (public) email address: 815-A Brazos, PMB 279, Austin, Texas, 78701

Web site: www.EvaGuzman.com

Education background, including all degrees: L.L.M., Duke University School of Law, Durham, N.C.; J.D., South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX; B.B.A., University of Houston, Houston, TX

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: As the Supreme Court of Texas Liaison to the Court’s Access to Justice Commission, I am committed to expanding access to our courts for low-income Texans. I also work with leaders across the state to improve outcomes for children in foster care. I believe they are Texas’s most vulnerable children. In addition to bringing my vision to this important work, I lend my leadership and fresh ideas to other institutions within the legal community: Board of Trustees for The Center for American and International Law; Duke University School of Law Board of Visitors; Board of Trustees of South Texas College of Law; Executive Committee, Appellate Judges Education Institute/American Bar Association For more information, please visit www.evaguzman.com

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I have had the great privilege of serving on and being elected to: Supreme Court of Texas, Justice; 14th Court of Appeals, Judge; 309th District Court, Judge

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. As a Judge on the Supreme Court of Texas, I am the only candidate in this race with the necessary judicial experience and a proven commitment to faithfully uphold the Constitution and not legislate from the bench. I have a proven track record for sound judicial decisions, fairness, and integrity. I have previously served on the trial court and on the 14th Court of Appeals. I have ruled on thousands of cases and authored hundreds of published opinions on some of the most complex legal issues in our State. I consistently receive high marks in judicial evaluation polls.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The Court serves Texans well though we must always remain mindful of our overarching obligation to faithfully adhere to our judicial oaths. Beyond that, the Court should address how we can: 1. Expand Veteran’s courts so we may better serve our Veterans. 2. Improve outcomes for children in the child welfare system. 3. Improve access to the civil courts by low-income Texans.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I have been endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and many other conservative leaders. I bring to my work on our State’s Supreme Court a conservative judicial philosophy, strong work ethic, superior credentials and a firm commitment to excellence. I believe a judge’s highest duty is to uphold the Constitution and that commitment has shaped my service to my fellow Texans. If I am fortunate enough to earn your vote, you can count on me to uphold the Constitution. I believe policy decisions belong to you -- the People -- not 9 members of the judiciary.

Joe Pool No response

Democrat

Savannah Robinson

Age: 59

Occupation and/or main source of income: Trial and appellate lawyer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Danbury, Texas (16 years)

Campaign (public) phone number: 979-922-8825

Your campaign (public) email address: savannahrobinson@aol.com

Web site: Not yet implemented

Education background, including all degrees: 1974 – H.S. diploma, A&M Consolidated High School, College Station, Texas; 1979 – B.A. degree, Rice University, Houston, Texas (major: Architecture); 1981 – J.D. degree, University of Texas Law School, Austin, Texas

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: None

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have been working with the law and the consequences of the decisions of the Texas Supreme Court for over 30 years. Although I have great respect for Eva Guzman, the incumbent Republican candidate, she has been in the ivory tower for the last 15 years, and does not have the ground knowledge that I have. Its easy to be convinced by tricky intellectual arguments if you do not have a sense of how the arguments will play out in the lives of real persons, workers, employees and small businesses.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1)The role of the judiciary is to explain, and not to amend, the laws. 2) There is a great lack of confidence by the public in the judicial system. 3) Procedures should be streamlined in probate and family cases, and small claims courts. I propose to be fair to persons, small businesses, employees and workers, and to suggest rules changes that would be beneficial to a pro se litigant (someone handling their own case).

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. This is my first attempt at running for office. I am not slick, don’t thump a bible, and don't have a political organization behind me. Like my opponent, I am a Latina (my mother's maiden name is Trevino). My grandmother Trevino had a PhD in math. My grandmother Robinson was a nurse. My mother was a Veterinarian. I raise cattle and chickens as a hobby. I garden. I sew. I have a daughter, who I am very proud of. I'm divorced. I don't pretend to be smart. I have learned that working hard makes up for a lack of smarts. I work hard.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2

Democrat

Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (incumbent) No response

Republican

Mary Lou Keel

Age: 55

Occupation and/or main source of income: Judge, 232nd District Court

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Houston, TX; 33 years

Campaign (public) phone number: No answer

Your campaign (public) email address: judgemlkeel@gmail.com

Web site: www.maryloukeel.com

Education background, including all degrees: J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1985; B.A., University of Texas, 1982

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Member: Federalist Society; Texas State Rifle Association; National Rifle Association; Houston Bar Association; State Bar of Texas; Village Republican Women. Volunteer translator for Cuban dissidents online at TranslatingCuba.com and for the Houston Volunteer Lawyer Project. Past board member: Houston Read Commission and Texas Center for Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Judge, 232nd District Court, 1995-present.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have served as a felony trial court judge for 21 years and have presided over hundreds of felony jury trials. I also served Harris County as a prosecutor and represented the State in 279 criminal appeals. Before that I was a briefing attorney for the First Court of Appeals in Houston. I have extensive experience in death penalty litigation as a prosecutor and judge. I have been Board Certified in Criminal Law since 1990. I am offering 30 years of experience, knowledge and skill to advance the mission of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The three greatest challenges for the Court of Criminal Appeals are to (1) issue timely rulings (2) without the need for later rehearing and (3) make the rulings clear. I would address these challenges by drawing on my experience as a felony trial court judge, appellate prosecutor and briefing attorney and by working hard.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. The Court of Criminal Appeals has jurisdiction to hear criminal cases on appeal, nothing else. Most of its cases are felonies, and its most serious cases involve the death penalty. I am uniquely qualified for that work. As a felony trial court judge, my reversal rate is less than 2%. In the 2015 Houston Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll I was rated most outstanding among my peers for being impartial, following the law, working hard and ruling decisively. My experience as a briefing attorney and appellate prosecutor demonstrates my aptitude for handling criminal appeals.

Ray Wheless

Age: 63

Occupation and/or main source of income: State District Judge

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Lucas, Texas (eight years)

Campaign (public) phone number: 2144035770

Your campaign (public) email address: ray@judgeraywheless.com

Web site: www.judgeraywheless.com

Education background, including all degrees: GED, Associate of Arts Degree, Victorville Junior College, Victorville, CA; California State University at San Bernardino, CA.; University of Texas at Austin, Doctor of Jurisprudence

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Current service: Chairman of the Specialized Courts Advisory Council to Governor Gregg Abbott and President Elect of the Texas Association of Drug Court Professionals. Past service: President of the Plano Metro Rotary Club; President of the Plano Bar Association; President of the Collin County Bar Association; Public Member, Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners; Member, Texas Parental Rights Advisory Panel to Governor Rick Perry; Member, Texas Center for the Judiciary DWI Curriculum Committee

Offices you have sought and/or held before: District Judge (2009 to present) Judge, County Court at Law NO. 4 Collin Count, Texas (2000 to 2009); Precinct Chair; District Attorney, State Representative

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have presided over 500 jury trials and have never been reversed on a case tried to a jury. Twenty years legal experience (AV rated); District Judge (2009-current); County Court at Law Judge (2000-2009). J.D. University of Texas School of Law; Licensed to practice in two states; The only candidate with criminal private practice, prosecutor and judicial experience. Board Certified in two areas; the only candidate with both criminal and civil jury trial experience in both Federal and State courts. The only candidate who has represented an accused citizen in an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. This court is facing potentially larger workloads because of recent discoveries involving convictions based upon unreliable scientific evidence. New studies suggest that mixed-DNA testing might have resulted in unreliable testimony and bite-mark analysis might have resulted in wrongful convictions. This court hears writs involving alleged wrongful convictions. The work load is huge, but will increase. If I am elected, my solution is for me to work harder to review these cases as quickly as possible

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. My father left school in the 3rd grade, my mom in the 8th. I left in the 10th. After two years of working in the West Texas oil fields, I joined the Air Force, earned a GED and began college at night. After my Honorable Discharge, I finished college. My wife, Cyndi, and I have been together thirty years. We have two sons. We were married, had our sons baptized in and have attended the same church for most of our shared lives. As a Constitutional Conservative, I will follow the Constitution. I will not legislate from the bench.

Chris Oldner

Age: 48

Occupation and/or main source of income: Judge, 416th Judicial District Court

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: McKinney, Tx. for 13 years

Campaign (public) phone number: No answer

Your campaign (public) email address: judgeoldner@chrisoldner.com

Web site: www.chrisoldner.com

Education background, including all degrees: Texas Tech University School of Law - Juris Doctorate, 1993; Baylor University - Bachelor of Arts, 1989; Plano East Senior High School - High School Diploma, 1985;

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Professional: Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; Mary Kay Bickett Judicial Excellence Through Education Award for 2011 – Texas Center for the Judiciary; Exemplary Judicial Faculty Award for 2010 – Texas Center for the Judiciary; Sergeant at Arms Award, Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court 2014; Board of Governors, American Judges Association 2014-present; Chair-elect - Judicial Section, State Bar of Texas 2015-present; Director – Judicial Section, State Bar of Texas 2014-present; Co-Chair, Judicial Disproportionality Workgroup, Texas Supreme Court Permanent Commission on Children, Youth and Families’ Court Improvement Project 2013-present; Chair, Curriculum Committee, Texas Center for the Judiciary 2010-2012; Criminal Law Advisory Commission – Texas Board of Legal Specialization 2012-present; Chair, Texas Children’s Justice Act Taskforce, 2013-2014; Chair, Legislative Affairs Committee, Texas Children’s Justice Act Taskforce 2011-2013; Chair, Judicial Advisory Committee, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas Benchbook 2011; Texas Center for the Judiciary Board of Directors 2010-2012; President, Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court 2011-2013; Community: Collin County Health Care Committee Advisory Board 2010 - present; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Advisory Board 2002 - 2009; Board of Directors, Collin Intervention To Youth (C.I.T.Y.) House 2000-2005.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Judge, 416th Judicial District Court, 2003-present; Judge, County Court at Law 5, 2000-2003.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. My fearless integrity and an entire professional career committed to the improvement of the criminal justice system, as a prosecutor, judge and teacher. I am the only candidate that has extensive involvement statewide in improving the administration of the criminal justice system. From addressing disproportionality, to training experienced judges, to addressing legislative issues, to training the bar, no other candidate in this race can come close to my accomplishments. In the 15 years I have spent on the trial bench, I am consistently the top rated judge in Collin County, rated far better than either of my opponents. I want to take this expertise to the Court of Criminal Appeals and continue to improve the system.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1. Keeping up with rapid advancements in scientific fields that require not only proper appellate review, but also accommodation within the rules of evidence. 2. Reinstalling widespread confidence in the court after legitimate criticism for the actions and opinions of some of its members. 3. Improving the indigent defense system, including adequate funding, so that every defendant has effective representation.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am a criminal law expert, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, the highest rated judge in Collin County and an award winning presenter in criminal law continuing education for judges. I have never been reversed in an appeal from a felony case despite handling thousands of cases.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5

Republicans

Scott Walker

Age: 62

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Residence in the DFW area for 45 years.

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-478-9999

Your campaign (public) email address: scott@lawyerwalker.com

Web site: scottwalkerforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor of Business Administration-Dallas Baptist University; Law degree-Baylor Law School.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have been self-employed all of my adult life. My law practice is primarily a criminal litigation and appellate practice. I have tried over forty felony jury trials and my success rate is over 50%. I have written over 70 appellate briefs, and also have a high rate of success in my appellate practice.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. I feel that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has done an outstanding job. The majority of the Judges are very conservative, as I am. Therefore, I can't point to three critical problems facing the Court in the near future. The one issue in the Texas State justice system is the fact that there are prosecutors in this State that are using criminal prosecutions to carry out political vendettas. Doing so is an abuse of the system. As a judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals I will do my part to keep this practice from taking place in the future. I will always vote to grant any petitions for discretionary review on cases that appear to be politically motivated, and the rule on the issues fairly and justly.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. As a Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Scott will diligently uphold the laws of the State of Texas and the United States. He strongly believes in the separation of powers. Scott Walker is ardently opposed to legislation from the bench. As an appellate judge, Scott Walker will not be soft on crime, and will always adhere to the Constitution. If elected, Scott Walker will diligently perform his duties as a judge with the highest degree of ethics, morals and values.

Brent Webster

Age: 35

Occupation and/or main source of income: Assistant District Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Austin area, 15 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-850-4250

Your campaign (public) email address: brent@websterforjudge.com

Web site: www.VoteWebster.org

Education background, including all degrees: The University of Houston Law Center -- Houston, Texas Doctor of Jurisprudence; (The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, Texas - Visiting student for a semester) (Pennsylvania State University, School of Law, London Campus London, U.K. - Semester Abroad); Southwestern University -- Georgetown, Texas Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; (American University, Visiting Student Washington, D.C.)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: CURRENT INVOLVEMENT: Board of Directors, General Counsel, Keeping Under Christ College Ministry; Board of Directors, CG Victory Kids Camp (Christian Kids Camp affiliated with Camp Gladiator Boot Camps); Crossroads Community Church (Children’s Church Leader (K-5) and worship leader), Austin, Texas; Active Donor to Pro-life organizations and Pregnancy Resource Centers. POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT: Delegate to the Republican State Convention: 2000, 2004, 2008*, 2010*, 2014 (*In 2008 or 2010 I was an alternate instead of a delegate but was seated at the convention.); Republican Precinct Convention Chair for most of the years served as delegate; Delegate from Harris, Williamson and Travis County; Campaigned extensively for multiple Republican candidates in the past 20 years. PAST COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Co-founder and Outreach Minister, Terranova Christian Church, Georgetown, Texas; Contemporary Worship Leader, Discovery United Methodist Church, Hutto, Texas; Mission Trips Leader in Asia, East West Ministries; Moot Court Judge at the Final round of Baylor Law’s 2008 Moot Court competition; Guest Speaker and Legal Expert, Southwestern University.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: N/A

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. First, I’ve practiced Criminal law since 2006, and I have very diverse criminal, trial and appellate experience. I’ve handled everything from misdemeanors to murder and I’ve written appeals. I’ve even had civil jury trials, giving me a diverse, balanced perspective. I currently served as the General Counsel for the Williamson County District Attorney’s office. Second, I’ve volunteered my legal skills to fight for the First Amendment rights of Christian students. I have a deep understanding of the Constitution and will be a strong advocate for the First and Second Amendment.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Texans For Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Home School Coalition, Julie McCarty (President of NE Tarrant Tea Party) Cathie Adams, Trayce Bradford of Eagle Forum, and others have vetted my race and endorsed me to be the next judge in Place 5. I’m running because I believe our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights are under attack in America, and its important that we have judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals that will protect those rights, from overreach by our government.

Sid Harle

Age: 59

Occupation and/or main source of income: State District Judge

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: San Antonio; 59 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 210/269-0197

Your campaign (public) email address: sidharle@gmail.com

Web site: electsidharle.com

Education background, including all degrees: Austin College, University of Texas, Bachelor of Arts with Honors; St. Mary’s, University School of Law, juris doctor

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Board – YMCA, Bexar County DARE, San Antonio Police Athletic League, ARC (Drug, Mental Health, and Alcohol Treatment Center); North Central Rotary.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Current office, 226th District Court Judge and seeking Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I was appointed by Governor Bill Clements in 1988, ran and was elected 60 days later. I have run unopposed since that time. I have been number one in the Bar Poll since its inception in Bexar County, Republican Party Hall of Fame Award, National Forensic Science Commission, Chair of the Judicial Conduct Commission, Court of Criminal Appeals Rules Committee, and the Criminal Justice Integrity Unit, appointed by the Chief Judge-Court of Criminal Appeals. Prior to my appointment in 1988 I was a Criminal Defense Attorney with trial experience in all levels of criminal cases, including Death Penalty Cases. I was hired as a Chief Felony Prosecutor in 1983, and tried all types of cases, Death Penalty, murders, sexual assaults, child molestation, property, and drug crimes. I received more life sentences from juries on serious violent crimes. As a Judge, I have presided over more Death Penalty cases than any other sitting Judge, thousands of criminal cases. I have assessed thousands of years in sentencings and authored findings of facts and conclusions of law in hundreds of Writs of Habeas Corpus. I am a conservative with astrict constitutional judicial philosophy. I have a proven track record and there will be no learning curve when elected. I offer experience, qualifications, and substance. Proven Conservative with family valules.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The most important issues are the explosion of forensic science cases that will be appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals due to attacks on the underlying science, I am uniquely qualified to preside over those issues due to my experience in the trial of those cases and my service on the National Forensic Science Commission. The assault on individual liberties, and the Bill of rights must be curtailed, especially by the First Amendment and Fourth Amendments. I have the experience and gravitas to lead that fight and protect Conservative Values. The continuing encroachment by the Federal Government in violation of the 10th Amendment, and the 2nd Amendment must be fought by the State Courts. The next President of the United States will be appointing three or as many as four Supreme Court Justices, we must begin electing conservative Judges to advance through the System, all the way to the Supreme Court to maintain Conservative Values.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Married 35 years; 2 children; 2 grandchildren; and 5 rescue dogs. I am the only qualified and experienced candidate in the race. I would like to use my thirty years of criminal law experience for the benefit of all of the citizens of the great State of Texas.

Steve Smith

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Austin, Texas; 32 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 512.923.0544

Your campaign (public) email address: campaign@provenconservative4texas.com

Web site: www.ProvenConservative4Texas.com

Education background, including all degrees: JD with Honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1986; BBA in Finance, University of Texas at Arlington, 1983; Everman High School, 1980

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: My principle civic activity has been running for and serving on the Texas Supreme Court. In addition, I have provided a significant amount of free legal work on conservative public interest litigation.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Texas Supreme Court

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. Based on my past conservative record, voters can trust that I will support Presiding Judge Sharon Keller’s conservative leadership on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. I am a recognized expert on the Texas Constitution of 1876, have significant legislative experience that the other candidates lack, and am the only candidate in the race with prior high court experience. I served as a Texas Supreme Court justice and authored numerous opinions. My conservative judicial philosophy is an important qualification. My prior litigation experience includes litigating the Hopwood v. Texas case that eliminated unconstitutional racial preferences at Texas colleges and universities.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. First: Judges should interpret the law, not make new law. My conservative judicial philosophy mirrors that of Justice Scalia: textualism and rejection of the liberal “living constitution” theory. Second: There is an ongoing debate concerning whether the death penalty is constitutional. My view is that neither the United States Constitution nor the Texas Constitution prohibit the death penalty. Third: I believe that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals should be merged with the Texas Supreme Court. Such a merger would improve the state’s jurisprudence, improve the efficiency of both courts, and make high court justices more accountable to the voters.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. After the 2014 elections, conservatives lost control of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Therefore, it is important that Republican primary voters elect a conservative in the race for CCA Place 5. As reflected on my campaign website, I am the only proven conservative in the race. Finally, I strongly believe that state judges should continue to be elected in partisan contests. Direct elections make the state judiciary accountable to Texas voters, allowing citizens to remove judges who are inefficient, unfair, or who legislate from the bench. Any other system of judicial selection moves judges further from necessary voter oversight.

Democrat

Betsy Johnson No response

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 6

Republican

Michael E. Keasler (incumbent)

Age: 73

Occupation and/or main source of income: Judge Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 6

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Austin, Texas, 17+ years

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-633-5508

Your campaign (public) email address: mekeasler@yahoo.com

Web site: judgekeasler.com

Education background, including all degrees: University of Texas at Austin, B.A., L.L.B.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Grand Prairie, 1964-1980 --- Vestry, EYC Sponsor, Senior High Sunday School Teacher, Chancellor, Lay Reader, Chalice Bearer, Choir; St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Dallas, 1980 to 1998 --- Senior High Sunday School Teacher, Confirmation Class Teacher; Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1999-present --- Worship leader; Men’s Wednesday breakfast Bible study group; Tarry House, 2004-present; Headliners Club, 1999-present; Grand Prairie Rotary Club, 1973 to 1998; Rotary Club of Austin, 1999 to 2006; Board of Directors, Children First Center, 1989-1992; Thomas B. Hunter Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite; DeMolay Legion of Honor

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Assistant Dallas County District Attorney; Judge, 292nd District Court; Judge Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. (1) 48 years of criminal law experience --- 2 years in private practice, 12 years as a prosecutor, 17 years as a trial judge, and 17 years on the State’s highest criminal court; (2) leadership positions at every phase of my career; (3) the clarity, consistency, and common-sense of my judicial opinions; (4) my demonstrated work ethic; and (5) my national experience in judicial teaching and scholarship. For example, I co-wrote and taught a curriculum on handling capital cases to high court appellate judges assembled from across the country and have taught the National Judicial College’s ethics course for 25 years.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. (1) Updated DNA protocols possibly requiring re-testing of numerous samples; (2) mental illness issues in criminal cases; and (3) capable representation of post-conviction defendants. As a member of the Court’s committee supervising continuing legal education grants, my colleagues and I are currently addressing each of these by funding training for judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Fifth generation Texan; seventeen years as judge on Court of Criminal Appeals; was Dallas senior felony chief prosecutor and tried 432 jury trials; appointed district judge by Governor Clements, reelected four times; served as Chair of the State Bar Judicial Section, ABA Trial Judges' Ethics Committee, Dallas District Judges, and Dallas County Juvenile Board; Dean of Continuing Education for Texas judges; has taught at National Judicial College since 1992 and served on its Faculty Council: member, American Law Institute; teaches ethics and constitutional criminal law to judges nationally; married to the former Nancy Lawson, a classroom teacher, for forty-six years.

Richard Davis

Age: 57

Occupation and/or main source of income: Lawyer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Marble Falls, Texas; 5.5 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 512-756-5117

Your campaign (public) email address: lizlandrum@austin.twcbc.com

Web site: Face Book at: www.facebook.com/RichardDavisForJudge

Education background, including all degrees: Juris Doctor Degree in 1982 from Baylor University School of Law; Undergraduate at Baylor University, admitted to law school under the “90 semester hour program”.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Current: Guest lecturer at Baylor Law School Practice Court Program. Past: Board of Advocates, Judge of Mock Trials; Various legal associations; Former member of Dallas Safari Club; Former member of Safari Club International; Former member of NRA; Assistant Coach, Pony League Baseball OHSA; Eagle Scout.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Candidate for Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4 2013-2014; Candidate for 33rd Judicial District Judge 2012-2013; Sherman County Attorney 1983-1984; Ector County Assistant District Attorney 1984; Ector County Assistant County Attorney 1985.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have handled numerous complicated cases both civil and criminal. My broad experience and length of career make me uniquely qualified to hold this office. My extensive trial practice gives me a needed perspective as to the impact and implementation of rulings from the court of criminal appeals. I have a greater and more varied legal perspective which is needed. My opponent if elected, cannot complete his term under Article 5, Section 1-a of the Texas Constitution, and the office will be declared vacant, and he will be removed from office.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. While the court must face the issues of indigent defense, scientific evidence and standards of appellate review, all of these issues depend on a fair and adequate representation to ensure that every citizen’s rights to a defense is zealously guarded.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment and am convinced that every citizen has a right self protection. If our system is to work, courts must follow the law without an agenda.

Democrat

Robert Burns

Age: 51

Occupation and/or main source of income: State District Judge; The Criminal District Court of Dallas County.

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Dallas. In Dallas for 43 of my 51 years.

Campaign (public) phone number: 214-653-5904

Your campaign (public) email address: robert@judgeburns.com

Web site: www.judgerobertburns.com

Education background, including all degrees: 1990 Juris Doctor; Southern Methodist University, Dallas; 1986 Bachelor of Arts, Austin College, Sherman, Texas; 1982 Richardson High School, Richardson.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Presiding Judge over Dallas County’s Divert Court – a preadjudication drug treatment court that allows first time offenders to get their case dismissed and their record cleared. Six years of service on the Dallas County Juvenile Board. Two terms as the Local Administrative District Judge.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: District Judge, Dallas County. In office since January 1, 2007.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. My prior experience (before taking the bench in 2007) as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and having done appellate work give me a perspective that my opponent does not have.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Basic fairness for both sides in our criminal justice system. Too many rights are not protected by labeling them “harmless” or “waived.” After presiding over two exonerations and then reviewing the procedural missteps that led to those wrongful convictions, it's very clear that appellate courts that overlook procedural unfairness contribute to the problem of wrongful convictions. Second: Speedy trials help both sides – victims and those people wrongly accused who languish in our pretrial detention systems. Third: our bail requirements are outdated and unfairly punish the poor and the mentally ill.

Second Court of Appeals Place 3

Republican

Dabney Bassel

Age: 58

Occupation and/or main source of income: Lawyer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth-32 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-989-6485

Your campaign (public) email address: dbassel@dabneybassel.com

Web site: dabneybasselforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: B.A.-Trinity University; J.D.-Baylor University School of Law

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: My civic involvement has first focused on causes that seek to improve the legal profession. For example, I have worked for that goal by being an officer, director, and serving on numerous committees of the Tarrant County Bar Association and as the president of the local Inn of Court that has the mission of promoting ethics, civility, and professionalism in the legal profession. I also consider my work for Republican Party causes and candidates to be an expression of my civic involvement.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I have never held elective office nor run for elective office.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. Only those with a conservative judicial philosophy who refuse to legislate from the bench should be judges. I hold that principle dear. A judge must also have the skills to do the job. My skills are demonstrated by a 30-year legal career handling complex appeals and a board certification in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. That specialization is held by less than 1% of the lawyers in Texas, and I am the only person in this race who holds the Civil Appellate Certification. I frequently write and speak on legal issues to both lawyers and the public.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Every Justice on the Court of Appeals faces two primary challenges—deciding appeals correctly and deciding them timely. The first challenge requires: 1) careful consideration of the arguments; 2) care in the research, analysis and writing of an opinion; and 3) an open-mind to the views of the other justices. The second challenge requires the dedication of whatever time is needed to ensure the parties have their appeals resolved timely and correctly. This court is often the last opportunity that a person has to correct an injustice at trial. It is critical that the court’s decisions are correct.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Of the five people in this race, I offer the Republican Primary voter the best choice. I bring to the race a unique combination of the skills and experience needed by an appellate judge, service to the legal profession, a conservative judicial philosophy formed by study and experience, and a history of actual service and support of Republican causes. That combination offers the Republican Primary voter the most complete candidate in this race.

Mary Colchin Johndroe

Age: 58

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney at Cantey Hanger LLP

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth for 29 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-877-2810

Your campaign (public) email address: mary@maryjohndroe.com

Web site: http://www.maryjohndroe.com/

Education background, including all degrees: Baylor University School of Law – J.D.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow; Tarrant County Bar Foundation, Fellow; Women Influencing Business – Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce; Arlington Chamber of Commerce – Business Development Advisory Council; Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas;  National Association of Women Business Owners, Supporting Member; The Women’s Center, Council of Honor; The Women’s Foundation of North Texas;  First Texas Council of Camp Fire Blue Ribbon Award; YWCA Tribute to Women in Business Award; Great Women of Texas, Woman of Influence; Fort Worth Business Press Great Women of Texas Alumni Group; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tarrant County, Charter Member, Attorneys for Littles

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Women’s Bar Association, Board Member

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. What distinguishes me from the other candidates is that I have decades of lead attorney experience successfully resolving hundreds of cases at all levels of the legal system over a wide breadth of law, including eminent domain, construction, contract, property rights, personal injury, and business disputes. The problem-solving and analytical skills developed as a result make me the candidate focused on substance, as opposed to procedure or politics. Repeatedly named one of Texas’ Top Attorneys, I am also long recognized as AV Preeminent. I am a former Adjunct Professor at Texas A & M University School of Law.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. (1) Case overload, (2) fair representation, and (3) budgetary constraints. I would address the first issue by increasing the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, by referring matters to attorneys known to have an expertise in the main substantive area in a case. I would address the second issue by expansion of the pro bono representation program in the Court, by coordinating efforts with the Texas Bar Foundation and pivotal law firms in the community to secure representation from junior attorneys. The third issue would involve an analysis of staffing needs and allocation.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am an unwavering Republican, believing in Integrity, Impartiality, and Fairness in the courts and have expressly pledged my commitment to these traditional values in my campaign. I am a well-grounded, diverse practitioner, not a career politician. I have a genuine enthusiasm and love of the law which I hope to use in service of you on the Court.

Elizabeth Kerr

Age: 59

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth, for 31 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817.574.7005

Your campaign (public) email address: kerrforjustice@gmail.com

Web site: kerrforjustice.com

Education background, including all degrees: Rice University (English / Art History Double Major 1978); University of Texas School of Law (J.D. 1982)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Board member, St. Peter’s Classical School; Vice-President, Fort Worth Republican Women; Chair, Community-Engagement Committee, Fort Worth Republican Women; Volunteer, Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition; Member, Pro Bono Screening Committee for the Second Court of Appeals; Former Chair, Tarrant County Bar Association Appellate Section

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. People should be able to understand how an appellate judge interprets the law—and why. As a conservative, I pledge to not “legislate from the bench” but to apply the law as written, explaining it straightforwardly and clearly. I’m widely recognized as a “plain English” writer, making legal documents understandable. I have applied this in my legal career, which has included experience not only in the private practice of law, but as a contributing editor to one our country’s foremost legal books (Black’s Law Dictionary), and as a law-school instructor.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. The Second Court is one of Texas’s most respected appellate courts, but also one of the busiest. Its caseload is a critical issue, and I would work hard to issue opinions quickly but thoroughly. Parties who are involved in lawsuits deserve to have their appeals decided promptly so they can get on with their business and their lives.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I’m a former Texas Women’s Chess Champion and was rated in the top 50 women chess players nationally. I’ve been married for 25 years and have three children. Fifteen years ago, I helped my husband battle back during multi-year recovery efforts after he suffered a severe stroke. Through our family situation I became keenly aware of how quickly life can change. We all deal with life’s adversities; how we handle these situations defines us. With my background in law and life, I recognize people’s need for certainty in their legal disputes, which I’ll provide while following, not making, the law.

William Anthony “Andy” Porter

Age: 42

Occupation and/or main source of income: Appellate Prosecutor, Office of the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Haslet, TX, 5 years, 10 months

Campaign (public) phone number: No answer

Your campaign (public) email address: Porter4Justice@gmail.com

Web site: www.facebook.com/Porter4Justice

Education background, including all degrees: Juris Doctor, with honors, Drake University, 1998; Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Austin College, 1995

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: President’s Citation for Service to the College, Austin College, 2012; Vice-President, Austin College “L” Association Alumni Board, 2011 - present; Dr. Kenneth Street Law Symposium planning committee, 2010 - present; President, Texas Association of Appellate Court Attorneys, 2008 - 2009; Chair, Teen Court Advisory Board of Texarkana, 2008 - 2009; Board Member, Texas Association of Appellate Court Attorneys, 2006 - 2009; Board Member, Teen Court Advisory Board of Texarkana, 2004 - 2009; Member, Baylor University Endowed Scholarship Society, 2004 - present; Board Member, Teen Court Advisory Board of Longview, 2001 - 2002

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I have not previously sought public office.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have more than 10 years of combined experience as a trial and appellate prosecutor, handling everything from misdemeanor to death penalty cases – including seeing through one execution. Criminal cases make up the majority of the court’s docket. I am uniquely qualified to handle the court’s heavy criminal caseload from day one. As a former senior staff attorney at the Sixth Court of Appeals, I worked on numerous civil, family, and juvenile cases. I helped shepherd that court’s docket into Texas’ most efficient. I would do the same as a justice on the 2nd Court of Appeals.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Inefficiency. The Second Court routinely ranks near the bottom of all appellate courts in terms of efficiency as measured by the Office of Court Administration. My goal is to whittle my docket’s submission-to-disposition average to below 60 days within the first nine months. Same-day Posting. The court’s opinions are currently not available online on the same day they are issued. Same-day posting should be mandatory. Outreach. Justices should be active partners in civic education, volunteering at local schools and talking about the court system. I frequently speak on the U.S. Supreme Court and would continue that after joining the court.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Justice is not a profession. Justice is a calling. Since age 12, I’ve known what my calling is: public service in the law. That calling led me to become a top appellate prosecutor, a sought-after scholar on the U.S. Supreme Court, and a skilled and polished writer. The next justice on the Second Court of Appeals should be a life-long Republican and true constitutional conservative who has dedicated his life to justice. I am that person. This is my calling.

For candidates for local offices, in 100 words or less, should local governments allow gun shows on public property they control? If not, are any new regulations warranted? The current state of the law provides firearms are not allowed inside a courthouse. My job as a justice on the court of appeals is to follow the law, not legislate from the bench. The courthouse is equipped with metal detectors, and the deputies of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office work hard every day to ensure the safety of everyone who visits the court.

For legislative candidates, in 100 words or less, should the Legislature act to get the state involved in the push for a constitutional convention as Gov. Greg Abbott is urging? As a judicial candidate, such action would be conducted by legislators and would not come within my constitutional and statutory obligations as a justice of the court of appeals.

Bill Ray

Age: 57

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney, private practice

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth 57 years, with the exception of college, law school, briefing attorney job in Austin, and military duties.

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-698-9090

Your campaign (public) email address: bill@billraylawyer.com

Web site: billrayforjustice.com

Education background, including all degrees: Fort Worth Public Schools, R. L. Paschal High School 1977; Texas A&M University, BBA, Marketing 1982; U.S. Army Officer Basic Course – Armor AOB 11-82, Fort Knox, Kentucky 1982; U.S. Army Officer Basic Course – Judge Advocate General’s School (Correspondence) 1990.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I served my country in the armed forces from 1981-1992, as an Armor Officer and member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. I was in public service at the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin as a briefing attorney and a felony prosecutor at the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, and have been a special prosecutor in Tarrant, Bowie, Wise and Jack Counties. The majority of my career has been representing persons on a court appointed basis. Over 90 percent of my cases are court appointed. I have tried six death penalty cases in the last 15 years.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Tarrant County Judge, 1990; District 89 (now 99), Texas House of Representatives, 1992; Fort Worth City Council, District 7, 1997; Court of Criminal Appeals, 1998; Fort Worth City Council, District 9, 2003; 213th District Court, 2008

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have represented persons in 468 appellate matters in the Texas Appellate Courts. The cases range from misdemeanors to capital murder. This is almost twice the number of all other candidates in this race combined. Although the majority of my experience is in criminal matters, most of the cases before the Second COA are criminal cases as well. Juvenile cases, which are counted as civil, are in reality criminal cases as well. I am the only candidate that is Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law, and the only candidate that is Board Certified in more than one specialty.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. I don’t see a “critical” problem with the Second Court of Appeals. The Court maintains a high clearance rate, but given the fact that most of the cases are criminal in nature, and the Court’s current makeup is with judges that primarily have a civil background, I believe that my experience in criminal matters would benefit the Court better than my opponents who have primarily civil backgrounds.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. My extensive experience in appellate matters, almost twice the number of all my opponents combined, is the most distinguishing point in this race. My opponents are good people, and everyone has their long suit. However, the Second Court of Appeals is a working court, and experience in the workload most likely to come to the Court is paramount. Filing appeals most closely resembles the work the Court performs, and I clearly have the most experience in this instance. My website, billrayforjustice.com will enable one to view the number of cases filed in the appellate courts.

96th District Court

Republican

R.H. Wallace Jr. (incumbent)

Age: 72

Occupation and/or main source of income: Presiding Judge of the 96th District Court

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Keller, Texas - 19 years

Campaign (public) phone number: (817) 996-6670

Your campaign (public) email address: rhwallace1009@yahoo.com

Web site: www.JudgeWallace.com

Education background, including all degrees: U. S. Naval Academy - Bachelor of Science; Baylor University School of Law - Juris Doctor

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Past: United States Navy Academy graduate; Military veteran with active Navy warship service in Vietnam. Current: My family and I are active in community service and my wife and youngest daughter have done church mission trips. I am also active in Bar programs that provide legal assistance for low-income families.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Judge, 96th District Court from December 2010 to present.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. My courtroom is rated highest in efficiency and timeliness in the Tarrant County bar poll. As a military veteran, I have fought for our freedom and constitution. As a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division and as Assistant US Attorney (Reagan Administration), I prosecuted over 50 felony cases and received commendation from the Director of the FBI. With military experience, a criminal prosecution background and 25 years of private legal practice, I was appointed judge in 2010 by Governor Perry (with a recommendation by State Senator Jane Nelson.)

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. According to a recent poll conducted by the Tarrant County Bar Association of Tarrant County lawyers, my court was the highest ranked of the ten (10) civil district courts for rendering decisions and orders timely and decisively and administering court business efficiently.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I am a lifelong Republican. My endorsements include my fellow Naval Academy graduate Roger Staubach. My judicial philosophy is that the strength of America is in our Constitution. With this said, judges should apply the law, not make it. Personally, I am married to my wife of almost 30 years, Jena, have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. We are members of Hillside Community Church, Keller, Texas. Other endorsements include Congressman Roger Williams, former Governor Rick Perry, State Representative Charlie Geren, Mayor Betsy Price, Mayor David Cook, Mayor Laura Hill, District Clerk Tom Wilder, Tax Assessor Ron Wright, and Commissioner J. D. Johnson.

For candidates for local offices, in 100 words or less, should local governments allow gun shows on public property they control? If not, are any new regulations warranted? As a Navy veteran and conservative, I support gun owner rights in the U.S. Constitution and in our Texas state constitution. As a judge, I apply and uphold constitutional rights.

Traci DeAnne Hutton

Occupation and/or main source of income: Traci D. Hutton, PC, Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Grapevine – 22 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-442-9352

Your campaign (public) email address: traci@huttonforjudge.com

Website: wwww.huttonforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: Juris Doctor Texas A & M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law), Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance Texas Tech University

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Tarrant County Bar Association, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee with State Bar, Eldon B. Mahon American Inn of Court, Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association, Director, Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Tarrant County Probate Bar Association, National Institute for Trial Advocacy Certification, Certification of Participation Texas Judicial Summit, Metroport Teen Court Director and Judge, Certification of Mediation, Grapevine Rotary Club, Co-Secretary, Community Service Director, International Director, Colleyville Lions Club, Director and Life Membership Award Lions Organ & Eye Bank, Northeast Leadership Forum, Metroport Cities Partnership, Director and Secretary, Grapevine Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, Paul Harris Fellow Award, Rotary International, Community Service Award, Commissioned Yellow Rose of Texas by Jane Nelson, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, Colleyville Chamber of Commerce, Pi Beta Phi, Tarrant County Executive Committee past Precinct Chair, Resolution Committee, Delegate State Convention, Delegate Senate District 12 Convention, Rules Committee for Senate District 12 Convention, Election Judge, Tarrant County Republican Assembly, Northeast Tarrant County Republican Club, Director, Fort Worth Republican Women’s Club, Metroplex Republican Women’s Club, Arlington Republican Club, Republican Women of North Texas, Cowtown Republican Women’s Club, Federation of Republican

Offices you have sought and/or held before: held: Republican Precinct Chair 3361, sought: Grapevine Mayor and Grapevine City Council

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I’ve built a successful independent law practice and title company. I understand the burdens on our businesses, property rights and eminent domain issues. As a practicing attorney for more than 15 years in areas of law that impact family, business and property, I understand that a judge has power over life and death decisions, power over our liberty and personal freedoms, power over government restraint, our property, our land, our finances, and our health. As a single mother of three young adults, a United States Marine son and two daughters, I understand the challenges in raising children in today’s culture.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1) It is important for people to have access to the legal system where all parties’ rights are protected without the punitive costs of frivolous lawsuits, and it is vital to have judges who respect the rights of all parties at all stages of life. 2) I believe it is important to have transparency in the court system so that the public has access to the docket and cases so I will work toward on-line transparency for public access. 3) The court is responsible for a budget that I will manage efficiently so as to save taxpayer dollars.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I’ve had the distinct honor of being admitted to the Supreme Court Bar and sworn to practice before our US Supreme Court. The swearing in ceremony was a humbling experience - to stand in front of our Supreme Court justices taking my oath to protect the Constitution gave me a weightier appreciation of their decisions and how their decisions impact our lives. When elected, I will stay true to our conservative judicial philosophy. I will not legislate from the bench, and I will uphold the constitution as our framers intended.

348th District Court

Republican

Lisa Lumley

Age: 51

Occupation and/or main source of income: Partner, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff &

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth, 10 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-771-5777

Your campaign (public) email address: Lisa@Lisaforjudge.com

Web site: www.lisaforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: University of Florida (no degree); University of Texas (no degree); Louisiana Tech University (B.A. in Journalism, magna cum laude); Ohio State University (J.D., with honors).

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Former chair, Komen Race for the Cure (inspired by great-grandmother’s battle with breast cancer); Host committee, Public Figures/Private Art (to benefit Art Station, which uses art to help veterans, children and others facing emotional challenges); Instructor, Street Survival (founded to reduce the 40% of teen deaths caused by driving); Women Steering Business; Board, Fort Worth Petroleum Club; Officer, Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court (honor society founded to increase ethics and civility among lawyers).

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I learned my conservative values from my father, a decorated combat veteran. I grew up believing we must uphold the Constitution and respect the division of powers among the three branches of government. My 25 years of experience have earned me a reputation for depth of legal knowledge, hard work, and being tough but fair. I believe judges should make decisions promptly and in accordance with the letter of the law, to make sure our citizens and businesses do not get unfairly mired in litigation or surprised by a judge that is legislating from the bench.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. I believe the challenges can be grouped into two categories, although they are related: lack of efficiency at resolving disputes and lack of community support. The first challenge can be met by judicial resolve to be prepared for hearings, rule promptly, and always follow the letter of the law. The second challenge can be addressed by judges who have the work ethic, strength, and temperament to ensure that cases are handled promptly, that the public is not afraid to bring disputes before the court, and to make the tough decisions to dismiss frivolous cases.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. My qualifications are demonstrated by my accomplishments, including: being board certified by the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization; being chosen by the State Bar to help prepare the official jury questions that must be used by judges across the state; being selected by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy to teach lawyers around the country how to try cases; and having my peers rate me at the highest level of legal knowledge and professionalism. I am very much looking forward to serving Tarrant County as the next judge of the 348th.

Mike Wallach

Age: 61

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Colleyville, 16 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-366-4793

Your campaign (public) email address: mike@mikewallachforjudge.com

Web site: www.mikewallachforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: Eastern Hills High School 1973, Top Male Graduate; Texas Christian University, B.A. History & Political Science, 1975, magna cum laude; University of Houston, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1979, cum laude

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am a member of the governing board of Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, the premier pediatric burn hospital in the world. I am a Mason and have served in leadership roles in related organizations. I have been active in leadership roles in my local church organizations for over forty years. I am currently a member of Bear Valley Community Church in Colleyville.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I served for fifteen years as a Director, in various vice presidential positions, and as President of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, a statewide association of civil trial and personal injury defense lawyers. I have also served the State Bar of Texas in various committee positions, including the Committee on Pattern Jury Charges, and on the planning committees of various legal educational programs for both the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Association of Defense Counsel. I am also a member of several national and international legal associations of civil trial and personal injury defense lawyers.

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. In addition to being certified in two civil trial specialties, being a member of the Texas Bar College, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a Charter Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation, being recognized by my peers as Texas Super Lawyer 2003-2015 (Texas Lawyer Magazine) and a Top Attorney 2003-2015 (Fort Worth Texas Magazine), I have tried three times as many civil jury trials (over 100)as the other candidates in this race profess,combined. I simply have substantially more real world trial experience.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1. Frivolous and meritless lawsuits. The Court should enforce the laws passed by the Legislature to minimize the slowing effect of those types of lawsuits so that legitimate disputes receive the attention they deserve. 2. Respect for the Judiciary. The Court should allow good lawyers the leeway to properly manage the progress of their cases while using the procedural tools necessary to require less diligent parties or lawyers to move their cases efficiently but fairly. 3. Judging, not legislating. Judges should enforce the laws as handed to them by the Legislature or the Supreme Court and not legislate from the bench.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I have advocated for tort reform for two decades, being one of a handful of private practice attorneys selected to draft the model legislation for what became Texas's landmark tort reform law in 2003. I also have the most substantial legal experience of the candidates in this race. Additionally, I married my high school sweetheart, Susan, forty years ago and we have three children, three grandchildren, and three grand dogs. In my free time, I support the charitable efforts of Shriners Hospitals for Children, where any child properly in need of medical care within the hospital's scope of services will be accepted regardless of the family's ability to pay.

Brooke Allen

Age: 39

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth for 39 years, other than

Campaign (public) phone number: 817.874.0043

Your campaign (public) email address: Brooke@BrookeAllenforJudge.com

Web site: www.BrookeAllenforJudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: Texas Wesleyan School of Law (now Texas A&M) - J.D. magna cum laude; Auburn University - B.S. in Business Administration cum laude; Arlington Heights High School; All Saints Episcopal School 1st - 8th grade

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Santa Fe Youth Services / Youth Advocates Program – Vice President of Board of Directors; Lions Club of Colleyville; Junior Women’s Club – Board of Directors and Department President; All Saints Episcopal School Alumni Board Association – Secretary and Treasurer; Special Commissioner for Condemnation in Tarrant County; Tarrant County Republican Party Exec. Comm. – Precinct Chair; Texas Delegate 2012 and 2014 (Senate District 10 Delegate); Fort Worth Republican Women – Vice President; Election Judge; Let’s Keep Texas Red – Field Representative; Texas Bar Foundation – Fellow; Tarrant County Bar Association – Board of Directors; Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court (promotes ethics and education in the legal profession); Texas Young Lawyers Association – Board of Directors

Offices you have sought and/or held before: No answer

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. My experience in complex litigation, focus on ethics and hard work, and record promoting Texas values make me the most qualified candidate. I have a diverse background litigating cases in areas of aviation, construction, and oil and gas; areas common in this Court. Texans deserve conservative judges who strictly interpret the laws as written, apply it fairly and equally to all parties before them, and never legislate from the bench. As a result of my experience, I’ve been honored as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and recognized as a “Top Attorney”, “Rising Star”, and “Attorney of the Year.”

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Our court system exists to ensure everyone access to equal justice under the law. The role of a judge is to apply this principle to all parties before them as quickly and efficiently as possible. As judge I will work hard every day to protect our civil rights and allow the Constitution and rule of law to be my guide. Retiring Judge Dana Womack has presided over the 348th District Court in this manner so there are no critical problems facing this court specifically. I look forward to continuing the precedent she has established.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. Prior to law school I worked for Black & Decker in the DeWalt Power Tools Division, and in my free time I enjoy playing softball and volleyball. My legal career and community service are very important to me, but what I’m most proud of is my family. I’m happily married to an undercover police officer and we have one young child. My conservative values come from my parents Joe Ulrickson, a small business owner and third generation Fort Worthian whose father, Albin Ulrickson, was an attorney in Fort Worth, and Jan Brefczynski, a retired project manager and graduate of TCU.

Democrat

Joe Drago

Age: 48

Occupation and/or main source of income: Lawyer

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Fort Worth, Texas – 48 years

Campaign (public) phone number: (817) 845-5528

Your campaign (public) email address: drago4judge@gmail.com

Web site: drago4judge.com

Education background, including all degrees: Nolan Catholic High School (1986); University of Texas at Austin – B.B.A – Marketing (1990); Baylor Law School – J.D. (1993)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Leadership Fort Worth; Scoring Committee for annual Colonial Golf Tournament; Patron Safety Committee for annual Colonial Golf Tournament; Volunteer Paschal Girls Soccer (2008-2010); Annual Judge at our adopt-a-school J.T. Stevens Elementary School Declamation Contest and Mock Trials

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have over 22 years of experience in all types of litigation—including representing clients involved commercial litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, and insurance litigation. For over five years I have worked on lawsuits arising out of Hurricanes Rita and Ike and recent hailstorms. My experience, work ethic and organizational skills make me uniquely qualified to handle and administer a large caseload to timely and efficiently protect an individual's right to be heard.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Too often people feel that the judicial system does not treat all citizens equally. As judge, I pledge to apply the law equally to all those who come before the court, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. The job of trial court judge is to correctly and evenly apply the law as set forth by the Texas legislature and the Texas and United States Constitutions. If elected, my decisions will be driven by the law, not by political convictions and rhetoric. There is no denying that the legal process can be long. In recent years, I've handled an extremely high volume of lawsuits. My experience, work ethic and productivity highlight my ability to bring efficiency and organization to the process.

Anything Else: I was born and raised in Fort Worth and practice law as a shareholder at Brackett & Ellis, P.C., a firm I am proud to call my legal home since graduation in 1993. My greatest joys in life are my two beautiful daughters – Renee, a senior at Cornell University pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering and Gabriella, a sophomore at Paschal High School who hopes to be a physical therapist someday.

360th Family District Court

Republican

Mike Sinha (incumbent)

Age: 61

Occupation and/or main source of income: Judge, 360th Judicial District Court

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Hurst, Texas 23 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-939-6453

Your campaign (public) email address: msintx@sbcglobal.net

Web site: judgemikesinha.com

Education background, including all degrees: University of Wisconsin, BA 1976; Oklahoma City University School of Law, JD 1981

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Handley Meadowbrook Lions Club, Eldon P. Mahon Inn of Court, Eastside Pony Baseball Board, Tarrant County Bar Association, Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Tarrant County Republican clubs

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Sansom Park Municipal Judge (1988-2010), Tarrant County IV-D Judge (1991-2000), Rhome Municipal Judge (2004-2010), 360th District Court Associate Judge (2000-2010) and 360th District Court Judge (2010 to present)

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have been a judge for more than 27 years. My time on the bench brings experience to this Court that is unmatched in this race. In addition to my career on the bench, I have spoken at family law seminars to both judges and attorneys. I have also been asked to appear as a guest speaker for family law classes at Texas A&M University School of Law (fka Texas Wesleyan). Additionally, I am the incumbent for this Court and have served this Court for 15 years and have received the Star Telegram Endorsement in previous elections.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. 1. Drug use in parents is becoming commonplace.The Court's primary duty is to assure the well being of a child. Beyond that, I believe we have a duty to offer resources for rehabilitation with the hopes of someday giving that child family reunification in a drug-free home. 2. Children are too involved in their parent's conflict. I encourage parenting education to allow parents to better themselves and provide a better home environment for their children. 3.Litigants need to be empowered to take ownership in the disposition of their property and the care of their children. I encourage non-adversarial solutions when possible.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I have had the privilege of serving as the Judge in the 360th District Court for more than five years. As the District Judge, I have approximately 2700 pending cases at any given time. During my time on this bench, I have had the confidence of the family law bar as evidenced by positive bar poll ratings and their overwhelming endorsement. I haven't had a jury trial in five years which affirms the confidence attorneys and families have in my ability to preside under the Constitution, Texas laws and equity. I am known for my appropriate judicial temperament.

Patricia Baca Bennett

Age: 49

Occupation and/or main source of income: Attorney

City of residence and how long you’ve lived there: Mansfield, Texas, 6 years

Campaign (public) phone number: 817-984-6411

Your campaign (public) email address: pbacalaw@gmail.com

Web site: www.patriciabennettforjudge.com

Education background, including all degrees: B.A. Political Science: University of Texas of Arlington; J.D. Texas Tech University School of Law

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Former Republican Party Precinct Chair, Past Delegate to the Republican State Convention, Member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church,

Offices you have sought and/or held before: n/a

In 100 words or less, please explain how your background, skills and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this office. I have a juris doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law. While attending Texas Tech, I was a writer and an editorial board member of the Texas Bank Lawyer. I have been practicing family law in Tarrant County for 21 years. I am Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law. I have extensive training in mediation and collaborative law which allow me to settle cases without resorting to litigation. I also have handled numerous contested family law matters including appeals, bench trials and jury trials.

In 100 words or less, please outline the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them. Currently, the court does not actually hear an appeal from the associate judge within 30 days as required by statute. I will follow the law. The current judge has stated from the bench that he does not have to follow the law and espouses what he calls the “do right rule,” wherein he says he can do what he thinks is right. I believe judges must follow the law and not make the law. I understand that there are equitable principles in family law, but there are constraints in applying those principles. I will protect the fundamental liberty interest of parents to make educational and health decisions regarding their children.

In 100 words or less, please add anything else you would like voters to know about you. I have been married almost 20 years. I have two handsome and brilliant sons. My older son attends St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Arlington. My younger son is autistic. I have a strong marriage that has survived the struggles facing families. I have dealt with families in crisis for 20 years as an attorney and I have had my personal struggles. I have understanding and compassion to deal with these families.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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