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We endorse: state judicial picks

By Longview News-Journal
Feb. 18, 2014 at 11 p.m.


Most voters pay a great deal of attention to the races at the top of the ballot, but are stumped when they get to the judges.

This year, seven of the state's top judges are up for election, including four on the Texas Supreme Court. Candidates in three of those races are opposed, however.

Three spots also are opposed on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's top criminal court.

We don't have space to give you an extended view of these candidates but are pleased to share our picks based on our meetings and other research. All are in the Republican primary:

<strong>For Supreme Court chief justice:</strong> Nathan Hecht. Hecht has served on the court since 1988 and has proved a steady hand. He was appointed chief justice in 2013.

<strong>For Supreme Court, Place 6:</strong> Jeff Brown. Brown was appointed to fill Hecht's seat on the court. He has been a judge at various levels since 2001.

<strong>For Supreme Court, Place 8:</strong> Phil Johnson. An Air Force veteran, Johnson has been on the court since 2005.

<strong>For Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3:</strong> Barbara Walther. Walther has 27 years of judicial experience and was the presiding judge in the Warren Jeffs/FLDS trials.

<strong>For Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4:</strong> Kevin Patrick Yeary. Yeary has practiced before this court for most of his 22 year career, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

<strong>For Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9:</strong> W.C. "Bud" Kirkendall. Kirkendall served as a district attorney for 21 years before being elected as a district judge in 2005.

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