Saturday, February 13, 2010

JP Court Race Heats Up

As if it couldn’t heat up any further, the two individuals listed on the Democratic Party ballot for Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, went at it again last Wednesday night.

I was telling a friend that I used to cringe when Democrats ran against Democrats in the primaries. I am now of a different mind. When there is controversy, controversy is a good thing. When it’s clean and not mean spirited, I think primaries are very healthy things for a party to have.

And it sure keeps you interested, and makes an otherwise non-controversial office like JP into an exciting thing.

So before we get down into the dirt, here are Judge Joel Clouser’s (the incumbent) and challenger Tony Sherman’s opening statements.

First Judge Clouser.

Now Tony Sherman.

Now the question and answer period for these two began rather tamely so I won’t burden you with that footage. Let’s just say that Precinct 2 doesn’t have the caseload (around 6700 per year) that Precinct 1 Place 2 has because Precinct 1 Place 2 has jurisdiction over the non-municipal county roads as well as US 59 as far as traffic court goes (something I am well aware of). And let’s just say that since the upper limit of $5,000 matters that the JP court could hear was raised to $10,000, JP cases have gone up and yes, both candidates think this is just about the right limit.

But then, Tony Sherman lit into Judge Clouser on the number of terms he has served, and the number of years he has served. Then he brought up the incident that got Judge Clouser an admonishment from the Judicial Conduct Commission. This raised in my mind the basic principal of debate: never ask an opponent a question when you don’t know what the answer is.

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