WACO, TX – All four candidates for the District 19th Judicial Court race made their voices heard on Thursday afternoon.
The attorneys spoke at a candidate forum held by the McLennan County Republican Club in Waco.
All four are fighting to replace retiring Judge Ralph Strother, who has been in his position for 20 years.
“Big shoes to fill,” says Thomas West, Candidate for Judge 19th District Court.
Judge Strother is set to retire at the end of his term in 2020.
“His experience and wisdom will be missed,” says Michael Flynn, Candidate for Judge 19th District Court.
Candidates Thomas West, Michael Flynn, Kristi DeCluitt and Susan Kelly are looking to take over his seat.
“I truly believe in keeping that position in that court a conservative court,” says Kristi DeCluitt, Candidate for Judge 19th District Court.
“While I may not do things exactly like him, I still respect him and I value the way he’s run the courtroom,” adds Susan Kelly, Candidate for Judge 19th District Court.
The four attorneys spoke in front of dozens Thursday afternoon, selling themselves to McLennan County.
“It’s not about us, it’s about who we can help. I’ve been serving the citizens of McLennan County in the criminal law field for 30 years,” says West.
“I graduated from Baylor Law School 31 years ago, and so, I’ve practiced law both in the Army and McLennan County for 31 years,” says Flynn.
“I have been a public servant my entire 20-year career as a lawyer. I was justice of the peace for the largest precinct here in McLennan County for eight years,” says DeCluitt.
“I have what I believe [are] the three prongs of the best experience, the appellate experience which none of the other candidates have working at the court of appeals, then prosecution which I think a couple of them, maybe all of them have some prosecution experience, and defense attorney experience,” says Kelly.
All are ready to start tackling the hundreds of cases on the dockets.
“I know how to move the docket, and I know how to save the taxpayers money by moving that docket,” says West.
“I’d like to be able to bring my experience to be able to make the process more efficient and realize justice quicker,” says Flynn.
“I have run a court before. I know how to do it. I know how to run a docket, and I know how to be fair to everyone that comes before me,” says DeCluitt.
“I will not legislate from the bench and I will hold criminals personally responsible for their conduct,” says Kelly.
The primary is Tuesday, March 3.