The race for the 178th District Court has the newest Judge in the CJC, Republican candidate Judge Roger Bridgwater, defending his bench against Democratic attorney David Mendoza, Jr. (who does not have a website listed for him on the Harris County Democratic Party webpage).
I'm at a bit of a disadvantage here, because I don't know the first thing about Mr. Mendoza. I've checked out the internet for information with no luck, and I actually don't recognize him from his picture on the Democratic Party's website. I will say that after having been around that courthouse (in one form or another) since 1996, that it would be somewhat unusual for me to not recognize an attorney who practices there regularly.
But, stranger things have happened, and I don't mean to sell Mr. Mendoza short. If you know him and have dealt with him, please let us know your thoughts on him.
Judge Bridgwater, on the other, I have known pretty much since I first started working in Harris County. However, for the vast amount of time, obviously, I knew him as a member of the Defense Bar.
My experience with Roger Bridgwater as a defense attorney is one of great admiration and respect. He was one of the members of the Defense Bar that you could take every representation that he made to the State as the 100% truth. He was honest as the day was long, and he was a formidable adversary in trial. He was very soft-spoken, but prosecutors knew that they had better listen when he spoke.
There was actually something very Judicial about Roger Bridgwater long before he became a judge.
Judge Bridgwater has only been on the bench since July of last year. As the "rookie" Judge, he was virtually guaranteed an opponent, which is shame, because I expect great things out of Judge Bridgwater in his continued tenure.
I don't have much to report on his first year in Office, which is to be expected.
He hasn't had any major high profile cases or rulings that he's tackled quite yet, and he is probably considered to still be "transitioning" from the role of "attorney" to "judge".
If Judge Bridgwater is still in a "transition period", it is one that I expect he will come through with flying colors.
He's got my vote, and I hope to see him on the Bench for many more years to come.