Incumbent Judge Mary Brown, who was elected in the Democratic Party primary, opted to file as a write-in candidate after one report indicated she was somehow disqualified from filing to run in the Democratic primary in March.
This prompted two more challengers to join the race as write-in candidates, Michelle McKinney and Earl Jackson.
Brown, who has been in office since January 2015, garnered national media attention during the highly publicized custody battle of then-eight-year-old James Younger. The mother, Anne Georgulas, insisted her son identified as a girl named “Luna,” while the father, Jeff Younger, insisted the child was a boy.
Brown finally awarded full custody to Georgulas, with the caveat that Jeff Younger could have a say over medical procedures relating to sex-change operations.
McKinney highlights her board certification in family law among the credentials on her campaign website, and states that she plans to help preserve families and emphasize a commitment to justice and equality if elected.
According to Dallas County Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Stoddard-Hajdu, there is only one Republican running in the trio of write-in candidates, Earl Jackson.
Stoddard-Hajdu spoke with The Texan regarding the race and its unusual circumstances.
“This is a rare occurrence; we haven’t seen a race like this in many years, and have had to put our heads together to figure out how to tabulate the results of the race,” she stated.
Stoddard-Hajdu also said that Jackson carries the full support of the Dallas GOP and that he was getting more attention due to the unusual nature of the race.
“Because of the novelty of this race he (Jackson) is getting a lot more attention than he would in a regular judicial race,” she said. “We expect lower participation in this race just because of the process to write-in a name, but I also expect it will largely be party faithful and highly informed voters who participate.”
The Texan also reached out to the Dallas County Democratic Party for comment regarding whether they have a favored candidate and inquired about the circumstances that led to Judge Brown failing to run in the Democratic primary. As of publication, they have not responded.
The 301st District Court is a state family court with county-wide jurisdiction.
Whichever of the three candidates receives the most write-in votes in the November general election will be sworn into a four-year term beginning in January.
Early voting in the election is going on now through November 4.
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Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.