Republicans Face no Challenge from the Democrats in Judicial Races

DENTON - Only one Democrat is running against a Republican judge in district judicial races in Denton County where six judicial district seats are up for grabs.

Dianna Weitzel is the only Democrat who is challenging a Republican candidate in a district judicial race in Denton county with the hope to grab a rare win after the incumbent, Jonathan Bailey, decided not to run for the re-election.

Weitzel is an attorney with experience in civil, family, collaborative, and criminal law.

“I've always wanted to be a judge ever since I started law school, and with the incumbent not running again, I thought my chances would increase since there isn't an incumbent,” Weitzel said. “There is such a huge presence of democrat candidates in other areas; the house district, the senators, commissioners, and that's going to help us turn Denton blue.”

According to the official Denton county website, the number of district judicial seats increased from three to six since 2004. Still, the number of Democrats challenging for them has continued to remain low.

Eshbaugh-Soha is a Political Science Department chair at the University of North Texas and believes the Democrats aren't challenging the Republicans because they don't stand a chance.

“Part of the motivation to run in an election is whether you have a chance to win. It takes a lot of time; it takes a lot of energy. If you have no chance of winning, what's the point of running?” said Eshbaugh-Soha.

Eshbaugh-Soha says that the Republicans have a massive advantage in these races. He believes that being an incumbent is a massive advantage and says the only real challenge these candidates are only during the Republican Primaries.
While Eshbaugh-Soha believes that the Democrats do not stand a chance against the Republican judges right now, he predicts the Democrats might be thinking long-term.

“What the Democrat party might be doing is not necessarily pushing people to run but certainly try to recruit candidates and get people who are members of the Democratic party who might consider running for the judgeship,” said Eshbaugh-Soha

With this tactic, Eshbaugh-Soha believes that the Democrats might stand a chance in the future when these seats become competitive.

Dianne Edmonson is a Republican County Commissioner for Denton County, and she says Republicans don't face a threat in the county because of their excellent work over the years.

“Our judges are doing a very good job, and that's why they don't draw opponents, sometimes they do, but often they do not, and that speaks well to the quality of judiciary here in Denton County,” said Edmondson.

Early voting in Texas begins on Oct. 13th and ends four days before the election date, on Oct. 30th.