Republicans continued their dominance of statewide judicial races in yesterday’s election, with Chief Justice Nathan Hecht and Justices Jeff Brown, Jeff Boyd, and Phil Johnson winning new six-year terms on the Texas Supreme Court. In the Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge Bert Richardson, Kevin Patrick Yeary, and David Newell all prevailed by wide margins.
Two sitting court of appeals justices were elevated to chief justice of their respective courts, creating immediate judicial appointment opportunities for Governor-Elect Greg Abbott. Justice Jeff Rose defeated former Justice Diane Henson in the race to take the open seat being vacated by Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Woodie Jones. Similarly, Justice Sandee Bryan Marion defeated Judge Irene Rios in the race to replace departing Chief Justice Catherine Stone on the Fourth Court of Appeals.
Recent appointee Justice Craig Stoddart and incumbent Justices Kem Thompson Frost and Ken Wise retained their positions on the Fifth and Fourteenth Courts, respectively. Incumbent Justice Dori Contreras Garza, a Democrat, narrowly retained her seat on the Thirteenth Court, defeating Republican challenger Doug Norman by just over 1,500 votes.
The only incumbent to lose an appellate-court race was First Court Justice Jim Sharp, a Democrat. Justice Sharp was defeated by Republican challenger, former district judge Russell Lloyd.