One Hays County courtroom judge lost his seat Tuesday in his first race since a drunken driving conviction, while another retained his against a challenger linked to controversial national activist James O’Keefe.
Court-at-Law Judge David Glickler lost his re-election bid to Assistant District Attorney Chris Johnson, who clinched 60 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
Johnson campaigned heavily on Glickler’s 2015 arrest for speeding and swerving Interstate 35 between Kyle and San Marcos. Glickler refused breath or blood alcohol tests and later pleaded no contest to driving while intoxicated. He similarly refused a breath test in a 2004 traffic stop and pleaded to a lesser charge of reckless driving.
Glickler, 49, said he’s a different person now and the mistake had given him a level of compassion for the people who come before him in the courtroom. But Johnson, 43, hammered Glickler for being barred from hearing contested DWI cases for more than half of his term.
Meanwhile, 428th District Court Judge Bill Henry defeated challenger Benjamin Wetmore with 79 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
Wetmore, 38, is a former associate of James O’Keefe, an activist known for conservative political stunts that attempt to reveal media bias. Wetmore also represented the nonprofit American Phoenix Foundation, which secretly taped Texas lawmakers.
Henry, 55, the sitting judge since 2005, previously served as a Texas assistant attorney general, focusing on transportation cases, and assistant district attorney in Hays County.
No Democrats ran for either judge’s seat, so Johnson and Henry are expected to run unopposed in November.
Republicans for justice of the peace in the Dripping Springs area are facing a runoff after the primary whittled the four-way race to two contenders.
Lawyers John Burns and Robert Avera won 45 percent and 30 percent of the vote, respectively, over Bill Davis and Jason Carter, in the Republican primary to replace retiring JP Terry Kyle. A contender must get more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright.
The runoff is May 22. The winner will likely clinch the seat, as no Democrats are running for it in November.
The JP duties range from presiding over misdemeanor court cases to certifying circumstances when there’s a death.
Avera, 42, grew up helping on the family ranch in Dripping Springs before spending seven years fighting forest fires in the Rocky Mountains. He later moved home, where he now runs a law practice and helps with the local fire district.
Burns, 64, has four degrees, including a JD and a Ph.D, and past lives as a medical researcher and Navy commander. Raised in a military family, he lived in five states before he was 10. He settled in Hays County in 2013, where he practices law.
In the San Marcos area, Justice of the Peace Maggie Hernandez Moreno easily defeated challenger Lisa Hernandez DeLeon, 64 percent to 36 percent, for the Democratic nomination for the seat in Precinct 1, Place 2. No Republican are running, so Moreno is expected to keep the seat in November.
Moreno, 35, won the seat in a special election in 2016 after the death of her mother, who formerly held it for 12 years. She is a criminal justice student at the University of Texas at San Antonio and previously worked as a public health and prevention specialist for the Department of State Health Services.