Early voting began yesterday (Monday, May 16) for the May 24th runoff election.
The most important one, by far, is the Republican race for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place Two, which pits Harris County District Judge of the 232nd District Court, Mary Lou Keel, against Ray Wheless from Dallas.
I've known Judge Keel since I first started at the D.A.'s Office. I have tried cases in front of her as both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. She defines the very idea of the tough but fair judge. She calls balls and strikes on issues of the law and draws from her decades of legal experience. She knows the rules of law and procedure off the top of her head and she is Board Certified in Criminal Law.
She would make a tremendous addition to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Her opponent has run a disappointingly misleading campaign. He has tried everything in his power to distract from the very obvious fact that Judge Keel is the more qualified candidate for the position. He has tried to tap into Party Politics rather than examining ability for the job. He and his surrogates have run an extremely misleading campaign that has tried to tie the actions of a neutral Grand Jury to Judge Keel.
The irony is that anyone with even the slightest understanding of the law would remember that Grand Juries are now selected from a neutral jury pool (as Judge Keel had been doing long before it was mandated) and have no personal ties to the Judge of the court. Wheless and his cronies have tried to argue otherwise. While politicians might fall for that type of argument, it is a shame to see that a man seeking the job of Justice of the Court of Criminal Appeals would be so intellectually dishonest.
Please tell your family and friends around the State to remember to vote for Judge Keel in this statewide race. She had the largest amount of votes back in March, but we all know that the biggest enemy to a qualified candidate is low voter turnout in the runoff.
Make sure you vote too and spread the word.