Editorial note: This is the nineteenth 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.
Melanie Flowers, candidate in the Republican primary for the 247th District Court (Harris County)
Texpatriate: What is your name?
MF: Melanie Flowers
T: What office are you running for?
MF: Judge of the 247th Family District Court
T: What is your profession/occupation?
MF: Family Law Attorney for 17 years.
T: In just a few words, what does the office you are running for do and what are its responsibilities?
MF: This position is for a judicial seat that presides over family law matters, including, but not limited to, divorce, child custody, property division, parental terminations, adoptions, and child support.
T: If you are running against an incumbent (primary or general), do you think the incumbent has failed? If so, why specifically?
MF: I am not running against an incumbent. The judge is retiring after 20 years.
T: What would be your three biggest priorities if elected?
MF: 1) To stop the unconstitutional policy of this court of removing children from parents if they don’t complete a 4 hour computer course.
2) To reduce the backlog of cases in this court, which is the 2nd highest of all 9 family courts.
3) To utilize the new courtroom technology that remains virtually unused by this court.
T: What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)? Why should people specifically vote for you?
MF: Three things specifically distinguish me from my opponents. First, I am the most experienced attorney in this race. I am the only board certified family law expert. I am the only candidate that has been representing families for over 17 years. I am the only candidate that has tried family law cases and protected the constitutional rights of my clients to the court of appeals. Second, I will rule with wisdom. I am the only wife and mother (ages 12, 15, 25, & 27) running. I am a former home schooler and understand the importance of parental rights. I have also experienced the devastation of divorce and the hope and healing of remarriage. I have four well adjusted children and will use my life experiences in applying the law to the cases before me. Lastly, I am a proven conservative. I am the only Republican precinct chair. I have the longest and strongest Primary voting history of ANY of my opponents. I am the Vice-President of one of the largest Republican women’s groups and I have been endorsed by officers of just about every Republican womens club.
I ask you to vote for me because the families in Harris County deserve the best qualified judge available. The stakes are too high and this is not a learn as-you-go job.
T: What is the most important thing you have learned thus far in the campaign?
MF: To keep God first. To keep my eyes on Him and to declare His blessings over my life.