Today begins Early Voting for the runoff elections across the State of Texas. Unlike the early voting period for the earlier primary elections, this period of early voting only lasts for ONE WEEK.
Please, please, please do NOT procrastinate in getting to any local polling location and casting your vote, because there are two very important elections that need your attention in the Republican Primary.
Remember the Rules of voting in the Runoff for a Party Primary:
1. It is NOT a requirement that you voted in the earlier election in March to be allowed to vote in the Runoff.
2. The only reason you could NOT vote in the Republican Runoff is IF you voted in the Democratic Primary election in March.
So, don't use "well, I didn't vote earlier, so I can't vote now" as an excuse. You absolutely CAN VOTE and SHOULD.
Now, onto the Races:
COUNTY COURT AT LAW # 10 - Republican Primary Runoff
Former-prosecutor and current Criminal Defense Attorney Tonya Rolland McLaughlin is running against family lawyer Dan Spjut.
As I've said before, Tonya is the real deal and the Houston Chronicle described her as not only the most qualified candidate in the race, but the only qualified candidate in the race. Tonya has the experience and perspective of having worked for both the prosecution and the defense. She also works in the appellate law field, which keeps her knowledgable and up-to-date on the latest case law affecting criminal cases. She is widely respected by the judiciary, the prosecution and the defense and is the clear choice for the race.
Dan Spjut, on the other hand, doesn't practice criminal law, although he seems to feel qualified to run a court. I couldn't disagree more. He is a former police officer who seems to have tunnel vision that he would bring to bench. At a recent campaign event, Spjut heavily criticized Tonya for the mere reason that she had dared to practice as a criminal defense attorney. He expressed a disdain for the profession which is highly troubling. If we have a judge on the bench who thinks that the defense attorney profession is so disgusting, one can only imagine how he would feel towards the rights of the Accused.
Tonya Rolland McLaughlin needs your support and she deserves it, too.
311th DISTRICT COURT -- Republican Primary Runoff
Normally, I don't delve into races that aren't directly related to criminal law, but a Family Court bench does have tangentially related issues to what goes on at the CJC. Furthermore, this race is so important that it needs your urgent attention, as well.
If you follow the news, you have probably heard about embattled former-judge Denise Pratt. Her bizarre and unethical behavior during her brief stint as judge of the 311th caused her to ultimately have to resign her bench. Unfortunately, she didn't resign in time to have her name from the Runoff ballot and she is option to vote for. (NOTE: Pratt has announced that she has suspended her campaign, but we need to make sure that this message gets to all the voters.)
By contrast, Alicia Franklin is a highly qualified candidate who is liked and respected by all who deal with her. As I've mentioned before, I don't practice family law, but many of my friends do and they unanimously sing the praises of Alicia. Let me put it this way -- when I have my ex-wife and my last divorce attorney telling me that I need to vote for a candidate, I think I've come up with the very definition of a consensus!
Pratt shouldn't be on the ballot and this shouldn't be a contest, but it is. The same applies for the McLaughlin/Spjut race.
Get out there and vote People! This is an important one!