The Woodlands Edition | October 2020

CANDIDATE Q&A

2020 Voter Guide

Get to know the candidates running in the general election

COMPILED BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN, EVA VIGH & HANNAH ZEDAKER

Democrat D

Green G

Independent I

Libertarian L

Republican R

Incumbent

Montgomery County sheri

District judge, 457th judicial district

Occupation: sheri Experience: employed by Montgomery County Sheri’s Oce since 1994, sheri since 2017 www.randhenderson.org RAND HENDERSON

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment. MAHER HUSSEINI

Occupation: judge of the 457th District Court VINCE SANTINI

MARC M. MEYER

Occupation: attorney Experience: 10 years solo practice, board certied in administrative law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization www.meyerfor457th.com

Experience: judge, civil litigator, district court chief, trial specialist www.electvincesantini.com

R

D

R

D

What are the top challenges now facing the sheri’s department in Montgomery County, and how do you plan to address them?

Why are you the most qualied for this position?

The current top challenges of the Sheri’s Oce are specic to 2020. We have met and addressed the challenges of the pandemic virus through planning, collaboration and preparation. We continue to work with our community and utilize community policing principles to build trust during a period of civil unrest. We are blessed to receive tremendous support from our residents unlike many big city locations across the country. We are also monitoring the weather and the many threats of ood and hurricanes that plague our county. We are prepared for whatever may come next.

I am the only candidate in this race that has the honor of serving as judge. One day after winning almost 80% of the Republican runo votes, I got to work on building the 457th from scratch. Within two weeks we had a fully functioning court. As Judge, I preside over 1,200 cases involving all types of civil issues (including but not limited to business, property, insurance, torts, trade secrets and international law).

I have been a solo practitioner in the civil and administrative courts in Texas since opening my own practice in November 2009, and I am board certied in administrative law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Administrative law generally operates under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the same rules that govern a civil district court, except as modied by the Administrative Procedures Act.

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment.

What are the largest eects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the department? What changes need to happen to protect ocers?

What specic actions will you take to reduce the docket?

The virus has caused the Sheri’s Oce to take precautions similar to what all citizens have taken and we follow [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines designed for rst responders. Field- based personnel come into contact with the public throughout their work hours and they are provided with [protective] gear in addition to taking extra sanitation precautions. In the jail ... we monitor inmate and sta temperatures and require masks for everyone who enters the facility. The proactive planning of the jail sta has led to a very small number of positive sta and inmate cases.

As judge, I have kept my promises to hire a professional sta, work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and reduce the docket size by immediately issuing docket control orders once an answer is led. I immediately rule on motions for substituted service, default judgments and settlement agreements, without the need for submission. We also issue dismissals for want of prosecution, require mediation on all cases, stack our submission dockets and have four weeks of trial settings every month.

The problem in the civil courts in Montgomery County is there are not enough civil court judges to handle the caseload, so the addition of the 457th District Court is a huge step in reducing the backlog. As for specic actions, I would continue the example that Kristin Bays has set in handling her docket in the 284th District Court, and put together a team of quality individuals who will keep the docket moving.

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment.

Harris County sheri

Harris County constable, Precinct 4

JOE DANNA

Occupation: Harris County Sheri ED GONZALEZ

MARK HERMAN

Occupation: sergeant, Harris County Sheri’s Oce JEFF MCGOWEN

Occupation: Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Relevant experience: 35 years of law enforcement experience www.constablepct4.com

Occupation: master peace ocer Relevant experience: 27 years as a law enforcement ocer in Harris County www.dannaforsheri.com

Relevant experience: sheri; Houston mayor pro-tem; Houston City Council Public Safety Committee chair; Houston Police Department www.edgonzalez.com

Relevant experience: master peace ocer; crime prevention specialist; past president Texas and Texas Gulf Coast crime prevention associations www.vote4je.com

R

D

R

D

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .

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THE WOODLANDS EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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