November 4, 2008 was not only a big night for the national stage, but locally as well.
Nine felony district courts were up for election. Democratic challengers won 8 out of the 9 criminal judicial races.
The results are as follows:
174th District Court was vacant because Judge George Godwin is set to retire. The Judge-Elect is Ruben Guerrero.
176th District Court- Judge Elect Shawna L. Reagin
177th District Court – Judge Elect Kevin Fine
178th District Court- Judge Elect David Mendoza
179th District Court- Judge Elect Randy Roll
337th District Court- Judge Elect Herb Ritchie
338th District Court- Judge Elect Hazel Jones
339th District Court- Judge Elect Maria Jackson
35st District Court- Judge Mark Kent Ellis
Judge Ellis of the 351st District Court was the only Republican incumbent to hold onto his bench. Several of the newly elected candidates are fixtures down at the criminal courthouse and others are fresh faces.
It goes without saying that Harris County voted out top-notch, qualified judges like Judge Roger Bridgewater and Judge Caprice Cosper. On the other hand, I think it is fair to say that other courts were due for a change. At this point, we can only hope our new judges are ready to maintain in some courts and create in others, a forum where a citizen can receive a fair trial.
We’ll see what happens.