In preparation for March’s primary, we endorsed a number of candidates for local judicial office. Among those races, two advanced into a runoff. In both of those races, our preferred candidate in the first round advanced into the second round. Specifically, M.L. Walker for 247th District Court and Tonya McLaughlin for Harris County Criminal Court at Law #10. Additionally, we have made a new pick in the Republican primary for the 311th District Court. We have reiterated the endorsements from our March articles below:
247th District Court
M.L. Walker is the exact type of centrist the Family District Court needs far more of. Judge Bonnie Hellums, after many terms on the bench, is retiring, and three candidates have filed to succeed her in the Republican primary. Among these candidates, Walker is the only hold who holds both the experience and the pragmatism needed to be a good Judge.
We got the chance to hear from Melanie Flowers earlier, and have been thoroughly impressed by her devotion and passion involving the issues, but we do have some big concerns regarding her lack of experience. Likewise with another candidate, John Schmude, though without the impressed part. It is Walker who has years of experience as an Associate Judge in the Family District Court, though she also has the capacity to be a fair-minded and middle-of-the-road jurist. We think voters would be wise to choose M.L. Walker next month in the Republican primary.
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There are seven contested judicial races at the local level in the Harris County Republican primary. Three feature incumbents and four are open seats. One seat is on the Court of Appeals, three are District Courts and one is a County Court. All told, there are 21 candidates vying for all these competitive contests. The following are our recommendations, bearing in mind that the vast majority of our readership are not Republicans. Accordingly, we have abridged our arguments.
1st COURT OF APPEALS, PLACE 3
This race has three good candidates that would serve their constituents well on the Court of Appeals. Dan Linebaugh has been a prolific attorney for many years, Chad Bridges has very strong ties to the Fort Bend County community and Russell Lloyd has invaluable experience in the legal system not shared by his opponents. The choice is yours, but we must admit our biases. Unfortunately, we were unable to receive any correspondence from the candidates, which drastically limits the scope of our knowledge about any possibly divergent political or legal issues.
Given that none of the members of this board reside in Fort Bend county, we see no reason to necessarily reward strong ties to that community, though we do acknowledge that the constituents of the 1st Court of Appeals outside of Harris County have probably been under-served. However, the experience of Lloyd has truly caught our attention. As a former District Court Judge, he would not require any on-the-job training in this important post. Accordingly, we urge a vote for Lloyd.
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