Our Judges and Candidates

Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations

Texas Supreme Court
Debra Lehrmann
Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 3

Justice Debra H. Lehrmann has served on the Supreme Court of Texas since June 21, 2010; prior to this appointment, she served as a family law trial judge for 23 years. She serves as the Court’s liaison to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, the Texas Association for Court Administration, the State Bar Family Law Section, the Family Law Council and the Texas Attorney-Mediator Coalition. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Judge Lehrmann graduated with high honors from The University of Texas in 1979 and The University of Texas School of Law in 1982. She is currently working on her LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law.

Prior to her judicial service, Justice Lehrmann practiced law with Law, Snakard & Gambill in Fort Worth, Texas. She handled complex family law matters, including cases involving intellectual property, real estate, corporations and other business entities, mergers and acquisitions, securities, oil and gas, tax, torts, and other highly technical matters. She also handled a broad scope of child and other family related matters including child protection and domestic violence; prior to that, she worked as the Lead Prosecutor and Director of the Enforcement Division of the Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office.


Paul Green
Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 5

Justice Green was elected to the Supreme Court of Texas in 2004. Before joining the Court, he served for 10 years as a Justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio.

A native of San Antonio, Justice Green received his business degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974 and his law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1977. After law school, Justice Green, a third-generation lawyer, joined his father in a mid-sized litigation practice and remained there for 17 years until he was elected to the Court of Appeals in 1994.

During his career as a lawyer, Justice Green served as president of the San Antonio Bar Association, director of the State Bar of Texas, and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He is a member of The American Law Institute and the American Judicature Society and is also a Life Fellow of the Austin, San Antonio, Texas and American Bar Foundations. Justice Green has been honored by St. Mary's University Law School as a distinguished law graduate, and as a recipient of the Rosewood Gavel Award for achievement in the judiciary.


Eva Guzman
Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 9

Eva Guzman joined the Supreme Court of Texas in 2009, making history as the first Latina to sit on the state’s highest civil court. The next year, the people of Texas elected her to a full term. And Eva Guzman became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in Texas. A proud Texan, Eva Guzman strives for excellence in her work on our state’s highest civil court. Justice Guzman believes “a judge’s highest duty is to uphold the Constitution.”

Before taking her seat on the high court, Justice Guzman served at two other levels of the state judiciary, authoring hundreds of published opinions as a justice on the Houston-based Fourteenth Court of Appeals and disposing of thousands of cases as judge of the 309th District Court in Harris County.

As the Supreme Court of Texas Liaison to the Texas Access to Justice Commission, Justice Guzman works hard to expand access to justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. She also chairs the high court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families, working with leaders across the state to improve outcomes for Texas’s most vulnerable children and families.


Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations
 

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Mary Lou Keel
for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2

Mary Lou Keel has presided over the 232nd District Court, a felony trial court in Harris County, since 1995. She served as an assistant district attorney in both the trial and appellate courts for seven years. Judge Keel began her legal career as a briefing attorney at the First Court of Appeals, an intermediate appellate court. She has been board certified in criminal law since 1990. Her career has concentrated on Texas criminal law and has combined trial and appellate work, making her uniquely qualified to serve on Texas' highest criminal court.


Scott Walker
for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5

Scott Walker graduated with honors from Dallas Baptist University. He received his Juris Doctorate from Baylor School of Law. Scott is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Bar College, an honorary society of lawyers who are among the best trained in Texas. Scott’s law practice has consisted of civil defense, veteran’s disability, criminal litigation, and appellate advocacy. Scott has written over one hundred appellate briefs and sat as first chair in more than forty trials in district courts across North Texas. Scott has had a great degree of success in both litigation and appellate advocacy. His experience makes him a perfect candidate for Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Scott Walker is a lifelong Texan. Scott Walker and his wife both descend from a long line of conservatives, and both have been conservative Republicans all of their adult lives. They have been married for 42 years. Scott and his wife are evangelical Christians and are active members in their Dallas area church. As a Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Scott will diligently uphold the laws of the State of Texas and the United States.


Michael E. Keasler
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 6

Michael E. Keasler, a fifth generation Texan, is a judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals---the state’s court of last resort in criminal cases. He has served on that court since January 1, 1999.

He received his undergraduate (1964) and law degree (1967) from the University of Texas at Austin. After two years in private practice, he joined the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, where he served for twelve years, tried over four hundred jury trials, and was a senior felony chief prosecutor in the Career Criminal Division. In 1981, he was appointed judge of the 292nd District Court in Dallas, a general jurisdiction trial court, by Governor Clements, was reelected four times, and served there for over seventeen years.

A lifelong Republican, at the age of ten, Judge Keasler campaigned door-to-door for General Eisenhower in his successful 1952 presidential campaign. Over the years, he has been active in and contributed to many Republican organizations and projects. He believes strongly in judicial restraint, and his written opinions clearly reflect this philosophy.


Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations
 

Texas Court of Appeals
Sherry Radack
Chief Justice, 1st Court of Appeals

Sherry Radack was appointed Chief Justice of the First Court of Appeals by Governor Rick Perry in December 2002. She was originally appointed to the Court in 2001 as a justice. She was elected Chief Justice in 2004. Prior to her tenure on the First Court of Appeals, she was elected in 1998 to serve as a civil district judge in Harris County and held that bench for three years.

Before coming to the bench, Chief Justice Radack practiced with Bracewell and Patterson where she focused on civil trial work, specifically contract, products liability, and claims of insurance fraud. She received a law degree from the University of Houston School of Law and a bachelor's degree from Rice University.

Chief Justice Radack is a member of the Texas Judicial Council, the Task Force on Indigent Defense, the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Council of Intermediate Appellate Court Chiefs, and the National Center for State Courts Council of Intermediate Appellate Court Chiefs. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Center for the Judiciary.


Evelyn Keyes
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 4

Justice Evelyn Keyes was appointed to the First Court of Appeals by Governor Rick Perry in May 2002 after fourteen years of complex civil litigation practice as an associate and partner at Clements, O’Neill, Pierce & Nickens, LLP and its predecessor firm and as a Special Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General John Cornyn. She was elected to Place 4 in November 2002 and re-elected to full six-year terms in 2004 and 2010. As a justice, she has authored more than 1700 opinions in civil, criminal, family, and probate law. The third most senior judge on the Court, Justice Keyes serves as Panel Chief of Panel C.

Justice Keyes earned her J.D. degree cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center, where she was Chief Articles Editor of the Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif, Phi Delta Phi, and Order of the Barons. She was awarded the Wall Street Journal Award for the outstanding comment and a distinguished service award for committee service. She also interned with the Honorable Carolyn R. King, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following law school, Justice Keyes served on the Boards of Directors of the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Houston Law Review, as well as on the Judicial Internship Committee. In 2014, she was awarded the University of Houston Law Alumni Public Sector Achievement Award.

Kevin Jewell
for Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 2

Kevin Jewell is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston Law Center, where he served as chief case note and comment editor of the Houston Journal of International Law. He is an equity shareholder at the nationally recognized law firm of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry. He has 23 years’ experience handling litigation in state and federal appellate courts. He has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1998, and consistently recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer since 2005. He has presented well over 100 oral arguments in appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Texas, all 14 intermediate Texas appellate courts, and United States Circuit Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits.

Throughout his career, Kevin Jewell has handled litigation at all stages of the appellate process, from post-trial proceedings to final disposition before all Texas courts of appeals, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has extensive experience in commercial litigation, employment issues, governmental liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, DTPA, and insurance coverage disputes. Kevin is a native Texan and an Eagle Scout.


Tracy Elizabeth Christopher
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 9
Experienced Judge and Legal Scholar:
  • 6 years as an appellate judge
  • 15 years as a trial judge
  • 13 years in private practice
  • Board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law
Honors, Awards and Accomplishments:
  • Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialist
  • Texas Bar Foundation Outstanding Jurist Award
  • Trial Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists
  • Member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee
  • Former Chair of the Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee

 Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations

District Courts
Kevin Fulton
for District Judge, 11th Civil District Court

As a child, Kevin watched as his family fought to escape the gang and drug infested streets of South Central Los Angeles by using the same tools that he has incorporated in his life as an adult…Faith…Family…Service. Immediately after high school Kevin served his country in the Army as reconnaissance in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Provide Comfort protecting Kurdish Refugees. After the military, Kevin served as a law enforcement officer while attending law school and eventually graduated with a Juris Doctor Degree with a notation for Distinguished Public Service

Kevin currently owns the Fulton Law Group PLLC and oversees a staff of up to 8 employees and approximately 10 contract attorneys. The firm handles complex civil trial and pre-litigation matters for clients throughout the state of Texas. This work also includes court appointments as an umpire in insurance litigation disputes, commissioner in eminent domain cases and as a mediator. This dedication has resulted in Kevin being listed by H Texas Magazine as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and by Super Lawyer Magazine as a Rising Star in 2016.

As an attorney, Kevin believes that all people, regardless of income level, should be afforded competent legal representation. To help those that cannot afford representation, Kevin has incorporated the frequent use of his legal skills to go into the community to provide pro bono legal services. Kevin also takes the time to visit subsidized housing communities to encourage disadvantaged youth to enter the legal profession and to return the knowledge gained back to their community. Kevin currently serves the community by sitting on the Board of several nonprofit groups and as President of the MLK Association of Texas.

Erin Lunceford
District Judge, 61st Civil District Court

Judge Erin Elizabeth Lunceford was appointed to the 61st Civil District Court by Governor Abbott on July 8, 2015. She took her oath of office on July 31, 2015, after practicing as a trial lawyer for almost 27 years. Immediately prior to her appointment for the last 16 years, Judge Lunceford was an associate/shareholder/managing shareholder of the firm Sprott Newsom Lunceford Quattlebaum & Messinger, where she primarily defended health care liability claims against physicians, nurses and hospitals. She has tried 33 cases to verdict, and handled 38 appeals, even successfully arguing a case in January 2015 to the Texas Supreme Court. She is an elected member of the Board of the Houston Bar Association and recently received the HBA President’s Award for her work as co-chair of the new Teach Texas Committee, which works with local 7th grade classes to teach the new book, Taming Texas, How Law and Order Came to the Lone Star State. Judge Lunceford is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and serves as a National ABOTA Board Representative. She is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and is also certified as a Medical Malpractice Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. Judge Lunceford graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1983 with a degree in Economics, and received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1988. She and her husband, Michael, have been married for 32 years and have two grown children.

In her first year on the bench, Judge Lunceford has presided over 22 jury trials (including trying the most jury trials of all the civil district judges in 2016) and prides herself in timely ruling on all outstanding motions and other matters pending in the 61st District Court.

William D. Archer
for District Judge, 80th Civil District Court

A fifth generation Texan born in Houston. Received Doctor of Juris Prudence from the University of Houston. Undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in both Economics and Business Administration. Has practiced Civil Law for more than 25 years.

Selected as an Attorney Representative by the 2004 Bush Campaign to defend the election in the pivotal state of Nevada.

Has performed numerous hours of volunteer work, especially with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. Previous Harris County Republican Precinct Chair. Member of the Houston Realty and Business Coalition. Previous Sunday school teacher.

Sharon Hemphill
for District Judge, 125th Civil District Court

I have represented clients in legal cases for more than 20 years in many counties all over the State of Texas including Harris County. I have also litigated cases in other States including but not limited to Kentucky, Ohio, California, and I have been licensed to practice in various Federal Courts, including Washington, D.C.. I transferred to the University of Houston where I obtained my J.D.. I also obtained my master's of laws degree (LL.M.) from the University of Houston.

I have lived and raised my family and I built my businesses including my law practice in Harris County since about 1980. I have represented parties who were on both sides of the docket, plaintiffs as well as defendants in many hundreds of cases. Further in addition to the foregoing civil trial work, I have handled numerous complicated family law cases as well as criminal cases.

Sarahjane "SJ" Swanson
for District Judge, 127th Civil District Court

Sarahjane (Davidson) Swanson is an experienced civil litigator and principal of Swanson Law Firm, PLLC where she represents both plaintiffs and defendants in civil, business, and real estate trials and appeals. She is AV Preeminent-rated (highest rating for ethics and ability), a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, was named a Top Lawyer in 2013, 2014, and 2015 by Houstonia magazine, and recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer by Legal Leaders/ALM in 2013 and 2014. Before forming her own firm, she was an associate and partner with two other boutique litigation firms, and prior to graduating from law school in 2002, had a fifteen-year career in the energy business, holding supervisory and management positions with two Fortune 50 energy companies.

Sarahjane earned a B.S. in liberal arts from the University of Houston, and her J.D., cum laude, from South Texas College of Law. She is also a graduate of the 2014 Leadership America class. She is a member of CREW Houston (Commercial Real Estate Women), the Houston Realty Business Coalition, the Association of Women Attorneys-Houston, and formerly served as a trustee of the AWA Foundation.

Sarahjane is native of Harris County, and a long-time board and advisory board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a judge of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s Public Speaking Contest. She is a member of many Republican organizations including the Greater Houston Pachyderm Club, Village Republican Women, Texas Asian Republican Club, Daughters of Liberty, and the Texas Tea Party Republican Women.

Sophia Mafrige
for District Judge, 129th Civil District Court

Sophia Mafrige's 28-year legal career has delved into all levels of litigation, transactional and real/estate property matters. Graduating with her law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1988, which included a summer program in law at Oxford University, Mafrige became a licensed attorney with the State Bar of Texas that same year. Mafrige launched her own law practice in 1991 and has handled a comprehensive litany of civil litigation matters including commercial/contract litigation, condemnation, consumer law, personal injury, ad valorem tax collection and defense, family law, appraisal district protests as an Agent for property owners, probate, real estate title disputes, civil mediations, collections and transactional work. Throughout, she has represented individuals, corporations and small businesses on both sides of the docket in cases involving monetary amounts ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars.

Mafrige maintains a strong presence in community engagement. She serves as Commissioner and Chairman of the City of Houston Police Officers' Civil Service Commission, is a Fellow with the Houston Bar Foundation, participates with South Texas College of Law’s Advocacy Program, with the Houston Gala Committee for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and, is a member or alumni member of the following organizations: Houston Bar Association, Houston Realty Business Coalition, Association of Women Attorneys, Women Professionals in Government, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity and Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Mafrige is a lifetime member of St. George Orthodox Christian Church where she is currently an elected member of the Parish Council and has previously served as Parish Council President, Vice-President and Secretary for multiple terms in each role, and, was appointed in 2012 to the Legal Affairs Committee for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S.A.

Cindy Bennett Smith
for District Judge, 133rd Civil District Court

Cindy Bennett Smith is an experienced litigator with over 15 years practice in Harris County’s courts. She is also currently a Municipal Judge for the City of Tomball, where she has served since January 2015.

Cindy is licensed to practice in the State of Texas and in the Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western Federal Courts of Texas. She has handled cases in many Texas Courts of Appeals and in the 3rd and 5th Circuit Courts of Appeals. Cindy Bennett Smith has extensive practice in District Courts throughout Texas, ranging from personal injury and real estate cases to complex commercial litigation involving multi-national energy companies, class actions, and toxic tort claims.

Cindy has been a resident of Harris County for almost 40 years and is a graduate of South Texas (now Houston) College of Law.

Jeff Hastings
for District Judge, 151st Civil District Court

Jeff Hastings graduated magna cum laude from Cy-Fair High School in 1980. Jeff took night classes in order to graduate from the University of Houston, earning a degree in Business Administration in 1985. Jeff began law school at South Texas College of Law in 1988. While in law school, Jeff received the highest grades in his class for Federal Civil Procedure, Texas Civil Procedure - Pre-trial, Texas Civil Procedure - Trial and Post Trial, Criminal Procedure and Family Law. He also served as Business Manager- Editor on the South Texas Law Review and Vice President of the Christian Legal Society.

Jeff has been practicing law for more than 20 years, trying cases in both State and Federal Courts. He is admitted to practice in all Texas State Courts and all Four Districts of the United States District Courts in Texas. He is recognized by his peers for displaying the highest legal knowledge and skill and maintaining the very highest ethical standards. Jeff is also listed by H Texas Magazine as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America ®.

Don Self
for District Judge, 152nd Civil District Court

Don holds two law degrees, a JD degree and a Masters of Law degree in health law from the University of Houston. He has been practicing law for over 16 years in civil litigation representing individuals and businesses. Don is a licensed to practice in all Texas State Courts and the Federal Court in the Southern District. He is a certified advanced mediator/arbitrator, a certified attorney ad litem and guardian ad litem.

Don practice areas are diverse and broad-based, ranging from simple to complex, multi-party litigation, including, but not limited to business, commercial disputes, commercial real estate, aviation law, personal injury, elder law, healthcare law, nursing home abuse and class actions. Don has handled cases representing plaintiff and defendant clients on a local and national basis. Don’s diverse and broad-based practice provides experience in depositions, pre-trial motions, trial, mediations, arbitrations and settlements in simple to complex, multi-party litigation.

Bruce Bain
for District Judge, 164th Civil District Court

Bruce Bain is an accomplished trial attorney with over three decades of civil trial experience. He has practiced in both state and federal courts. His legal affiliations include the State Bar of Texas, The United States District Court for the Southern District, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Houston Bar Association. Bruce has handled cases before civil district courts throughout Texas, before the Texas Courts of Appeals, and the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc.

He is a member of the State Bar College and has been recognized in Strathmore’s Who’s Who of Professionals. He has been lead counsel in thousands of cases, ranging from small controversies to high dollar cases. He is also a certified mediator with over 140 plus hours of mediation training. He performs at least four pro bono mediations per month as a community service.

Debra Ibarra Mayfield
District Judge, 165th Civil District Court

In 2015, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Debra Ibarra Mayfield as Judge of the 165th Civil District Court, and the Texas Senate unanimously confirmed her. Debra was Governor Abbott's first judicial appointment in Harris County.

Before becoming a State District Judge, Debra was the first Latina county court at law judge in Harris County. She was Judge of Harris County Civil Court at Law Number One, a bench to which the Harris County Commissioner’s Court unanimously appointed her. In subsequent elections, Harris County citizens twice re-elected Debra to continue her service. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.

Before becoming a judge, Debra was a partner in a civil defense firm where she handled lawsuits and appeals across the State of Texas. Part of the first generation in her family to attend college, Debra is an alumna of Texas A&M University and South Texas College of Law.

Debra has received numerous accolades for her public service. She was se-lected as a "Woman on the Move" by Texas Executive Women, awarded the "Public Service Award" from South Texas College of Law, and she was given the Amicus Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston. In 2015, Debra was named “Top Latina 40 and Under" by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas and as one of "Houston's 50 Most Influential Women" by Houston Woman Magazine. In 2016, the Houston Young Lawyers' Association honored Debra with the "Outstand-ing Mentor Award" for her dedicated efforts in mentoring young lawyers and students. She was also honored at the Texas State Bar Convention in 2016 for her significant contributions to the Hispanic legal community.

Katherine McDaniel
for District Judge, 174th Criminal District Court

Katherine McDaniel is a native Texan and a dedicated public servant. Mrs. McDaniel is currently a Chief Prosecutor where she is personally responsible for Capital murder and murder cases, as well as supervising junior prosecutors and staff. She has been a supervisor for over ten years and has adjudicated thousands of cases including many high-stakes cases ranging from child abuse to capital murder. With her focus on the rule of law and over 20 years of experience, Katherine has successfully served the Harris County community in many leadership positions including the Special Crimes Division, Major Narcotics, Child Abuse, Juvenile and the Trial Bureau. Katherine has shown her commitment to rehabilitation for low-level offenders by volunteering in the Harris County Drug Court Program.

Mrs. McDaniel has been nationally recognized for her work, including 2014 Prosecutor of the Year by the Texas Narcotics Officers’ Association and numerous other state and local distinctions. She is a noted national instructor on the topic of the Fourth Amendment and continues to speak in that capacity.

Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas and her law degree from the Texas Tech School of Law. Katherine volunteers with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and at her church in children’s programs including Sunday School and athletics. She lives in Spring with her husband, a retired police sergeant, and their son.

Stacey Bond
District Judge, 176th Criminal District Court

Stacey Bond began her legal career serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County under Johnny B. Homes, Jr. She worked as a prosecutor in the Trial Bureau for almost seven years, trying serious felony cases including capital murders, murders, aggravated robberies, high level drug cases and aggravated sexual offenses.

She was subsequently recruited to join Hinton, Sussman, Bailey & Davidson, L.L.P., a white collar boutique firm. While there, she handled both federal and state white collar criminal investigations and offenses involving environmental, financial and corporate matters. In 2007, she was named a partner in the firm Hinton Bailey Bond, L.L.P.

Stacey Bond is Board Certified in Criminal Law. She is a member of the College of the State Bar. She has exclusively practiced criminal law during her 18-year legal career. She has tried more than 100 jury trials to verdict.

Ryan Patrick
District Judge, 177th Criminal District Court

Ryan Patrick was raised in West Texas and graduated from Katy-Taylor High School. He attended Baylor University, where he served as Vice President of the Student Body during his junior year and graduated with honors in 2001. In 2006, Ryan graduated from South Texas College of Law and went to work for the Harris County District Attorney. On August 24, 2012, Governor Perry appointed Ryan to the 177th District Court, and on November 6th, Ryan was elected to a full four-year term. Currently, Ryan is the youngest District Court judge in the State of Texas.

In 2006, Ryan was sworn in as Assistant District Attorney. Ryan served in the Justice Courts, Juvenile Courts, as a Chief in the Misdemeanor Division, and in numerous felony District Courts. In 2008, Ryan was promoted to the Special Prosecutions Bureau. There, Ryan exclusively investigated and prosecuted drunk driving fatalities in Harris County. Ryan has been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving three times for his success in this field. Ryan finished his career with the District Attorney assigned to the Major Offenders Division, where he handled narcotics trafficking and money laundering prosecutions and directed the multi-agency prosecutions of Houston area “pill mills” and “doctor shopping.”

Phil Gommels
for District Judge, 178th Criminal District Court

Phil Gommels is a lifelong Republican and conservative with the experience and innovative approach we need as judge of the 178th District Court. Born in Copperas Cove, Texas, Phil is the son of two Army Veterans. In 2002—three months after 9-11—Phil went into the family business, joining the Army Reserves as a Combat Medic. He served eight years—including a period of active duty, stationed at Fort Bliss. While serving his country, Phil attended the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university, and then Southern Methodist University in Dallas for law school. Phil is a former prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Since entering private practice, Mr. Gommels has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Houstonia Magazine; and The National Trial Lawyers Association has listed him one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in the state of Texas. He serves on the boards of directors of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, as well as the Open Door Mission: a faith-based recovery facility dedicated to transforming the lives of the most severely addicted, destitute, homeless and disabled men in Houston.

Kristin Guiney
District Judge, 179th Criminal District Court

Kristin Guiney is a lifelong resident of Harris County. With a personal stake in the safety of our community, Kristin has decided to run for judge because she firmly believes that the criminal justice system should be guided by the rule of law and fairness.

Kristin has the experience to ensure that the criminal justice system works to give our community and its citizens justice. Kristin spent eight years at the Harris County District Attorney's office prosecuting virtually every type of crime that occurs in Harris County, including DWIs, sexual assaults of children, and capital murders. When she left the Harris County District Attorneys Office to open her own law practice, Kristin was the Chief Prosecutor of the 185th District Court.

Fred Shuchart
for District Judge, 215th Civil District Court

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960, Fred obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 from Duke University in Economics and German, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1985 from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, graduating "Order of the Coif" and "Order of the Barristers".

Fred started his career in Texas with Southwestern Bell later moving into private practice. Fred is currently a shareholder with the law firm of Cooper & Scully, P.C. Fred has tried cases in front of both juries and the bench even obtaining a defense verdict in Hidalgo County. He has been named “Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage” from 2007 to 2016 and named as a top lawyer in Insurance Law by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell in 2013 and 2014. He obtained Martindale Hubbell’s top rating of AV. Fred is licensed to practice law in Texas, Missouri and Illinois along with all federal courts in Texas.

Joseph "Tad" Halbach
District Judge, 333rd Civil District Court

Judge Joseph “Tad” Halbach was appointed Judge of the 333rd Civil District Court in October of 1995. He was elected in November of 1996 and then re-elected in each of the next four elections. During his 21 years on the bench, Judge Halbach has served as the Harris County Civil Administrative Judge and on the Harris County Juvenile Board. Until 2012, he was the Harris County Local Administrative District Judge, and a member of the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee. Since December of 2009, Judge Halbach has also been the Silica Multi-District Litigation Judge for the entire State of Texas.

An Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, Judge Halbach is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In 2013, he was selected as the Trial Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (“TACTAS”).

Since 1995, Judge Halbach has disposed of thousands of matters, tried hundreds of cases, and substantially reduced the size of the court’s docket. The members of the Houston Bar Association have consistently rated him as one of the very best civil district judges - a judge who works hard and is prepared, who demonstrates fairness and impartiality, who follows the law, and who is courteous to all.

Grant Dorfman
District Judge, 334th Civil District Court

Grant Dorfman has served as the Judge of the 334th District Court of Harris County since his appointment by Texas Governor Rick Perry in October 2013. Prior to that time he was the in-house attorney in charge of litigation for Nabors Industries, the world’s largest land-based drilling contractor.

Judge Dorfman also served as the Judge of the 129th District Court from 2002 to 2008. He is a member of the faculty of the National Judicial College, in Reno, Nevada, and formerly taught pretrial litigation and trial advocacy as part of the adjunct faculty of the University of Houston Law Center. A native Texan, Judge Dorfman obtained an A.B. in Honors History from Brown University, a Master of Studies (M.St.) in History and Political Philosophy from Oxford University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. He moved to Houston after law school to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerry E. Smith of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and stayed to practice commercial litigation with two Houston law firms: Susman Godfrey and Ogden, Gibson, White & Broocks.

Renee Magee
District Judge, 337th Criminal District Court

Renee Magee was born in Texas City and was one of eight children. At a young age, her father's job took Renee and her family to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. During this time, Renee began swimming competitively at age 5-1/2. She eventually went on to represent Texas and the United States in the 1976 olympics in Montreal. (See Team USA below.) Renee returned to Texas in high school where she graduated from Clear Lake High School and went on to complete college and law school at the University of Houston.

Renee is one of the most respected in her field for being fair, honest and hard working. Throughout her athletic career and her career as a top prosecutor, Renee's drive and determination have humbly been on display. The same drive and determination that made her a young olympian and the same respected record she has earned as a prosecutor and district court judge will continue to benefit the citizens of Harris County upon her re-election.

Brock Thomas
District Judge, 338th Criminal District Court

Judge Brock Thomas currently serves as Judge of the 338th Criminal District Court of Harris County. He has served as Judge of the 338th District Court for nearly 10 years—August 2002 to December 2008 and again from January 2013 to the present. During his time on the bench, Judge Thomas has presided over thousands of the most serious felony cases that impact our community, including robberies, sexual assaults of children, murders, capital murders, and almost every other type of felony case imaginable. In addition to his duties as Judge of the 338th, he has volunteered his time to serve as one of the presiding judges of the Harris County Felony Mental Health Court Program since 2013. As part of that program, Judge Thomas presides over a docket with a special emphasis on assisting individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. He also previously volunteered his time to serve as Judge of the STAR II (Success through Addiction Recovery) Felony Drug Rehabilitation Court from 2005 to 2008.

Prior to his taking the bench, Judge Thomas served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office from 1993 until his appointment as Judge of the 338th in August of 2002. As a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office, Judge Thomas prosecuted all levels of criminal cases, from drug cases to capital murder. Prior to his appointment as Judge of the 338th in 2002, he served as Felony Chief Prosecutor in the 209th Criminal District Court. In addition to his experience as a former prosecutor, Judge Thomas also practiced criminal defense from 2009 to 2012 where he represented individuals in a wide range of criminal matters in Harris County and surrounding areas.

Judge Thomas is active in numerous professional and community-related activities. He currently serves as a member of the Judicial Advisory Council (JAC) for the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Mental Health America of Greater Houston, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Living Water International. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter) and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Judge Thomas is also a life member of both the 100 Club of Houston and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Mary McFaden
for District Judge, 339th Criminal District Court

Mary McFaden is a native Texan and a dedicated public servant who resides in Harris County with her husband, Casey McFaden, and their daughter, Fiona. Mary is noted for her legal expertise, prosecutorial zeal, and sense of fairness. She is hard hitting, hard working, and strives for justice. Mary earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Houston and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Lamar University. She did additional graduate work at Southern Methodist University. For the last 14 years, Mary has served Harris County as an Assistant District Attorney at the Harris County District Attorney's Office (HCDAO).

Throughout her entire career, Mary has focused on seeking justice for the citizens of Harris County and holding criminals accountable. Mary believes that the law as an institution is one of the foundation stones of a civil society. Mary McFaden is running for judge because she has the experience necessary to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the 339th District Court. Her commitment to excellence, her sense of responsibility, and her ethical character are needed on the bench. Mary's time to be a judge has come.

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Mark Kent Ellis
District Judge, 351st Criminal District Court

Mark Kent Ellis has served as Judge of the 351st District Court since January 1, 1997. Prior to his election Judge Ellis worked for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office from 1987 to 1993 and as an attorney in private practices specializing in criminal law from 1993 to 1996. He has devoted his entire professional career to the practice of criminal law.

Over the years Judge Ellis has established two specialized dockets devoted to helping mentally ill defendants succeed in the criminal justice system.  In 2004, Judge Ellis established the Harris Count CTI – Mental Health probation docket in conjunction with the prosecutors, defense lawyers, law enforcement, the probation department and the mental health authority.  Together the team has helped mentally ill defendants successfully complete probation 95% of the time.  In 2010, Judge Ellis established the Harris County Competency Restoration Project to address the difficult issues related to defendants found incompetent to stand trial due to mental illness.  Using a team approach as before 76% of our defendants in the Competency Restoration Project are succeeding without having been rearrested.

Judge Mark Kent Ellis is committed to following the law and providing fair and impartial justice to all victims and defendants.

Alyssa Lemkuil
District Judge, 507th Family District Court

Judge Alyssa Lemkuil was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve as the first judge of the newly created 507th Family District Court effective January 1, 2016. She was unanimously nominated by the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee as the Republican nominee to appear on the November ballot for the 507th.

Judge Lemkuil served as associate judge of the 308th Family District Court for over 3 years before being appointed to the 507th. As associate judge, she received high ratings in judicial evaluation polls from the lawyers who appeared before her. She is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars and enjoys helping attorneys learn about family law.

Judge Lemkuil is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Houston Law Center. She was a child support prosecutor with the Harris County Domestic Relations Office for 10 years and an attorney and mediator in private practice for 6 years. Judge Lemkuil and her husband have been married for over 15 years and have one daughter.

Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations
 

County Civil Court
Clyde Leuchtag
Judge, County Civil Court at Law 1

Judge Clyde Leuchtag is a graduate of Rice University and a magna cum laude graduate of South Texas College of Law, where he was a member of Law Review and graduated in the top 5% of his class. His legal career includes more than twenty five years of service with the Harris County Attorney’s Office, Baker Botts LLP, and in the Legal Division of Shell Oil Company.

Judge Leuchtag has had a lifelong passion for public service and is committed to practicing servant leadership. Judge Leuchtag has been a licensed Texas peace officer since 1992; was an independent mediator for the Houston Police Department since 2003; and was a part time civil hearings officer for the City of Houston Municipal Courts from 2012 until his appointment to the bench.

Judge Leuchtag has also been active in both Texas and Houston Bar Association committees and in community organizations that work with inner-city youth for more than three decades. Judge Clyde Leuchtag and his new bride Cindy are active members of City of Refuge Evangelical Presbyterian Church (where Clyde was baptized in 2013 and they were married on January 3rd, 2015) and are both active members of Bible Study Fellowship.  Together, they have 8 children and 8 grandchildren. Judge Clyde Leuchtag was unanimously appointed by Commissioners Court to County Civil Court at Law #1 in June of 2015. 

 Early Vote is Monday, October 24 - Friday, November 4
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8
Click here for more information and voting locations

County Criminal Court
Linda Garcia
Judge, County Criminal Court at Law 16

Judge Linda Garcia was unanimously appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court as judge of the newly-created Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 16 in December 2015 and took the bench on January 4, 2016.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Garcia was a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for over 15 years, where she tried over 70 jury trials to a verdict, served as a chief prosecutor in the Misdemeanor and Justice Court Divisions, and served in the Post Conviction Writs, Child Abuse, and Grand Jury Divisions. Judge Garcia also held statewide office for 9 years as a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, where she was responsible for release and revocation decisions for inmates, made recommendations to the Governor on death penalty cases, and served as the Board’s liaison to TDCJ-Victim Services Division and the Chairman of the Rules Committee.

Judge Linda Garcia and her husband, Tom, have been married for 18 years and have one son, Trent; the family are active members of and attend Annunciation Catholic Church.


The inclusion of any judicial candidates does not constitute an endorsement by that judicial candidate of any other judicial candidate.
Pol. adv. paid for by the Harris County Republican Party, Cynthia Siegel, Treasurer, 7232 Wynnwood, Houston, TX 77008.