With Texas' March 4th primary less than a week away, we look at the race for the 336th District Judge. This year, the winner of the Republican Primary is the likely November winner, since there are no Democrats running for the job.
Both incumbent Laurie Blake and challenger Charles Butler say that experience is key when running for the position of district judge.
The signs have been up for months across Grayson and Fannin Counties of two candidates vying for one position, and both think they are the best candidate for the job.
"I’ve got 26 years of taking care of all kinds of cases criminal civil and a lot of different areas that I have been involved in,” 336TH District Judge Candidate Charles Butler says.
"I think the experience that I’ve had is tremendous, but also the work ethic that I have and the commitment to these law and order reforms," incumbent 3336th District Judge Lauri Blake says.
District judge Lauri Blake has served the last four years in the 336th Court. Blake says she is proud of the work she has done, administering a fair and balanced court that stands up to special interests, work that she says began before she even took the bench.
"A lot of people have worked on these before I took office, and I wanted to ensure that decisions were made on the law and facts and not who you knew and who you were," Judge Blake says.
She has earned a reputation as a no-nonsense judge who administers an efficient courtroom, but efficiency is what challenger Charles Butler says is lacking.
"Problems need to be solved by someone who can worry about the tax dollars, worry about spending them effectively, and worry about the court’s schedule so we don’t waste time," Butler says.
Butler was born and raised in Bonham and has spent nearly three decades practicing law in Fannin County. Butler says his knowledge of the area will be a great benefit if he is elected because the court is moving east next year, and will only serve Fannin County starting in 2010.
"They don’t sit here full-time, and so this will be the chance for Fannin County to have a full-time judge that sits there five days a week and give Fannin County a chance to be heard," Butler says.
Either way, both candidates stress this election will be decided long before November.
"March 4th will decide who is their next district judge in the 336th," Judge Blake says.
Early voting for the March 4 primary ends this Friday. There is no democratic candidate running for the position.