Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Four prosecutors walk into a judicial race . . .

It kind of sounds like the start of a bad bar joke, but, believe it or not, there are some other interesting things going on at the courthouse besides stories of Chuck Rosenthal scandals.

The Honorable George Godwin has chosen not to run for re-election in the 174th District Court, leaving an open field of contenders to replace him. I've got to admit a personal bias here. I'm a huge fan of Judge Godwin, and whoever does get the bench has got some pretty big shoes to fill. In my opinion, he's one of the last great judges who gave Harris County some of the character that we are famous or infamous for.

On the Democratic side, former-judge Ruben Guerrero is running against perpetual candidate Lloyd Oliver. Lloyd seems to run for something every election, usually targeting the most junior of judges as his opponent. Thus far, he's done about as well as Dick DeGuerin trying a case against Kelly Siegler (sorry, couldn't help one last jab that with analogy). The only thing more appetizing to Lloyd than a rookie incumbent is wide-open field, obviously. Breathe easy, Judge Bridgewater. Breathe easy.

But on the Republican side, four assistant District Attorneys are all competing against each other for the nomination (in alphabetical order so that it doesn't appear that I'm picking favorites):

John Jocher - Chief of the 209th District Court, and an all around nice guy. He's got the temperament to be a very formidable opponent in any election.
Kevin Keating - Appellate prosecutor who is highly respected by his peers for his intelligence and knowledge of the law. He's the guy the trial lawyers call when they have a question about the law.
Bill Moore - Chief of the 232nd District Court, and also a very nice guy. Bill spent a lot of time in the Special Crimes division before returning to the trial division a few years back.
Terrance Windham - Chief of the 314th District Court, which is a Juvenile District Court. Terrance, I believe is the only candidate to have ever run for higher office before. He's a former military man who does a good job of inspiring loyalty in the "troops" he supervises.

All of the prosecutors that I've talked to genuinely like all four of the candidates, and appear a little torn at the moment about who to support for the position. Look for the A.D.A.'s to remain awkwardly quiet about this race until after the primary has settled the issue for them.

Gee, if only the D.A.'s office had something to distract them from this race to help alleviate the awkwardness . . . .

UPDATE: Marky Mark Bennett on his website has made his official endorsement.


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The Moose said...

I would really be torn between John Jocher and Terrance Windham.

Interesting to see who's going to get it.

JAGJO said...

Terrance has a lot of experience but he has also ran before.. more than once, for any position and one that had the least amount of competition and yet, still lost.He's been running for years and seems to not have a specific interest in which bench but just A bench. He has also flip flopped political parties. Jocher may be a great guy but his experience can not equate to Bill Moore's credentials. Nor can Keating's. Moore is the only candidate to have have served as deputy chief of Misdemeanor div, felony chief prosecutor in all 22 criminal courts and on the special crimes bureau. My bet is on Bill Moore. If the citizens of Harris County are informed and interested in a candidate that has the credentials, qualifications, passion for the judicial system and dedication to public service, they will vote for Moore. I think it is interesting in how people choose who they vote for. Some voters are pure straight up only interested in credentials and others vote as though it were a popularity contest. I personally do not care if the candidate is the most popular on a superficial level or the most animated , etc. I care about the qualifications, the experience and the expertise that can support and enhance that particular bench.

Mark Bennett said...


I just saw this comment. Bill Moore has been a felony chief in all 22 district courts?!? I didn't know that was possible.

DiFFeReNT said...

If you would like to learn more about Terrance Windham, please visit his campaign website at:

Sanjay said...

I just saw dthis comment Bill moore has been a felony chief in all the best .