Editorial note: This is the third in our series of electronic interviews with candidates in contested primaries at both the Statewide level and throughout Harris County. We have sent eight open-ended questions to each of the candidates. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.
Bruce Steffler, candidate in the Democratic Primary for 308th District Court (Harris County)
Texpatriate: What is your name?
BS: My name is Bruce Steffler.
T: What office are you running for?
BS: I am running for Judge of the 308th Family District Court.
T: What is your profession/occupation?
BS: I am an attorney.
T: In just a few words, what does the office you are running for do and what are its responsibilities?
BS: The 308th Family District Court hears cases falling under the Texas Family Code, such as divorce, child custody, child support, enforcement of child support and child visitation, adoption, name change and cases involving the Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS).
T: If you are running against an incumbent (primary or general), do you think the incumbent has failed? If so, why specifically?
BS: The incumbent judge of the 308th Family District Court is not working to reduce the cost and time now spent on a family law case.
T: What would be your three biggest priorities if elected?
BS: My three biggest priorities would be to encourage dispute resolution methods such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative law as an alternative to trial to the court; to more strictly manage case flow from filing to completion to reduce the cost of litigation; and to participate as a Family Intervention Court handling CPS cases where parents with addiction issues can receive treatment and oversight leading to the reunification of parents with their children.
T: What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)? Why should people specifically vote for you?
BS: I am a husband, father, grandfather, U.S. Army veteran, a licensed attorney specializing in family law for over 37 years, family law mediator and I am board certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I have the experience and maturity to treat all who appear before me with fairness and equality. People should vote for me because I am the only candidate who is board certified in Family Law, with the experience in litigation and mediation to effectively reduce the cost of litigation; who has the life and work experience to understand the issues facing litigants in court matters and who has an understanding of addiction issues, which more and more face our county.
T: What is the most important thing you have learned thus far in the campaign?
BS: I have learned that it is difficult to reach all voters with my message.