[Harris County Democratic Party Chair Gerry] Birnberg said he also asked two state agencies whether he could prevent lawyer Lloyd Oliver from running as a Democratic candidate for judge. Oliver is under indictment for illegal solicitation of clients by a lawyer. He is running for judge of Harris County Criminal Court No. 3, the bench vacated by Republican Judge Don Jackson, who was convicted last month of a misdemeanor charge of official oppression. Lawyer Judith Snively also has filed for the Democratic nomination.
Having been informed by the secretary of state’s office and the Commission on Judicial Conduct that the indictment did not disqualify Oliver’s candidacy, Birnberg said he will seek a resolution from the county party’s executive committee authorizing him to inform voters of Oliver’s “criminal circumstances.”
That executive committee meeting is tomorrow night, and as a precinct chair I will be there and will vote for that resolution. But as a blogger, I don’t need to wait till then. I hereby formally endorse Judith Snively, whose Q&A is here, in this primary for judge of Harris County Criminal Court #3. Lloyd Oliver also ran in 2008, losing that primary to now-Judge Ruben Guerrero. At that time, I can recall meeting nearly every other judicial candidate that was in a contested primary, but not Oliver. If you’re a Democrat, please vote for Judith Snively in this race. We couldn’t do anything about Dave Wilson, but we can make sure he’s the only bad apple in the bunch.
On a related note, the Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials put out a press release about the many judicial primaries.
Because so many candidates were inclined to seek the Democratic nomination for dozens of judgeships in 2010, elected leaders created a process for screening and recommending candidates to help insure that the quality and diversity of those nominated bring strength to the Democratic Party.
Membership in the Coalition is limited to non-judicial Democratic elected officials who represent Harris County voters. The roles of several offices held by Democrats, such as the Harris County District Clerk which serves all District judges, and the Office of County Attorney, representing all County officials and departments, makes their participation problematic; however most non-judicial Democratic leaders are participating.
Very careful screening of judicial candidates by panels of elected officials has taken place over several months, with final decisions made after filing deadline had passed.
You can see their list of endorsees here. I will update the 2010 Elections page to indicate who received these endorsements. Obviously, no single endorsement is a be-all and end-all, and it will be interesting to see what recommendations some other groups, like the HGLBT Political Caucus, make. But consider this a first step to help you make some of these decisions.