The County Gin reached out to each individual seeking election or re-election in the 2020 Joint General Election, requesting a short bio and photograph. All seeking office will be listed and only those who submitted the requested information will have a photo and bio.
Legend of Party Affiliations
Republican Party= (Rep), Democratic Party= (DEM), Libertarian Party = (LIB), Green Party (GRN)
James “Jim” Wright (REP) for Railroad Commissioner
Chrysta Castañdea (DEM) for Railroad Commissioner
I have over 30 years of experience working in and around the oil and gas industry, as an engineer and attorney. I know the complex technical and legal issues that face the industry. Flaring is the intentional wasting of our natural gas resources and has been illegal for over 100 years, yet oil companies lit on fire enough natural gas to power the City of Houston in 2019. When the current Commission fails to enforce our laws, it comes with significant environmental, health and economic consequences. My Republican opponent has been cited repeatedly and fined by the Commission he wants to lead. Texans deserve a Railroad Commissioner who will protect our precious natural resources and environment and keep this key part of our economy functioning; one who will enforce laws, not break them.
Matt Sterett, (LIB) for Railroad Commissioner
My name is Matt Sterett, and I hope you’ll vote for me on November 3, 2020. I’m native Texan. I currently run a small software company – we sell software to Oil & Gas companies, automating petroleum engineering (DCA) analyses. I care about Voters, Taxpayers & the Oil & Gas Industry. I hate it when the government wastes time, money & resources. For voters & taxpayers – if the RRC is wasting your time, money & resources. Join Me. So, we can stop the waste.
Katija “Kat” Gruene, (GRN) for Railroad Commissioner
Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht, (REP) for Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan L. Hecht was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1988 and was re-elected in 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2012. He is the senior Texas appellate judge in active service and was appointed Chief Justice in 2013. Since 2010, Chief Justice Hecht has been responsible for the Court’s efforts to assure that the poor have basic legal services. He has diligently worked to secure congressional and legislative support for legal aid to veterans and their families, victims of domestic abuse, and families in jeopardy of losing their homes.
Amy Clark Meachum, (DEM) for Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Judge Amy Clark Meachum is running to become the first woman ever elected Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court because Texans want to elect judges with integrity and common sense who will interpret the law fairly with the goal of obtaining the most just result. She has been the presiding judge of the 201st District Court of Travis County, Texas, since January 2011. She currently serves as Civil Presiding Judge for all the civil and family courts in Travis County and is the judicial liaison for the Administrative and Public Law Council for the State Bar of Texas. Judge Meachum grew up in the small Central Texas town of Lorena, and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she graduated magna cum laude with degrees in both political science and journalism. She then attended the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of the prestigious Texas Law Review and graduated with honors in 2000.
Mark Ash, (LIB) for Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Houston solo practitioner Mark Ash is running as the Libertarian candidate in the race. I strongly believe in protecting individual civil liberties and property rights for all. Every person’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that does not infringe on the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of another individual must be protected. All persons regardless of the person’s racial or ethnic background are equal before the law and must be treated with respect. Litigants who do not have a lawyer should be referred to legal aid groups. Also, the courts must make more pro se forms available online that are user friendly for litigants who can’t afford an attorney or do not want to have to pay for the services of an attorney.
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 (Unexpired Term)
Jane Bland, (REP) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6
Kathy Cheng, (Dem) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6
Justice Supreme Court, Place 7
Jeff Boyd, (REP) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7
Staci Williams, (DEM) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7
William Bryan Strange III, (LIB) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8
Brett Busby, (REP) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8
Gisela D. Triana, (DEM) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8
Tom Oxford, (LIB) for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3
Bert Richardson, (REP) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3
Elizabeth Davis Frizell, (DEM) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4
Kevin Patrick Yeary, (REP) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4
Tina Clinton, (DEM) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9
David Newell, (REP) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9
Brandon Birmingham, (DEM) for Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9
State Senator, District 18
Lois W. Kolkhorst, (REP) for State Senator, District 18
Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst is a fifth generation Texan, with ancestral roots dating back to the Texas War of Independence. Married to her high school sweetheart Jim, she is a dedicated mother and small business owner. Born and raised in Senate District 18, she attended public schools before graduating from Texas Christian University. Known by her colleagues for being a hard worker, Kolkhorst has passed legislation that impacts every code of Texas law, ranging from classrooms to cattle rustling. During the most recent 86th Legislature that ended in 2019, Kolkhorst authored and passed 107 bills, many of which focused on Hurricane Harvey recovery to help her severely impacted district. She also helped secure more than $3 billion for Harvey repairs and flood mitigation across her vast coastal district.
Michael Antalan, (DEM) for State Senator, District 18
Michael developed his work ethic and independent spirit while growing up along the Alabama Gulf Coast working in the fishing industry and the oil rigs off Dauphin Island. After graduating from high school, he served eight years in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Maintenance Officer during the Persian Gulf War, Iran/Iraq, and Desert Storm and three years in the Army National Guard. At a time when government leadership, morality, and America’s core values are being questioned, Michael promises to provide the honor and integrity that is essential to judicial service. “I’m not a career politician! I am a citizen who happens to be an Attorney with ideas on how to help make our government and its citizens coexist and operate more effectively for the future of our community. No decision is made lightly – and it will be made in accordance with the rule of law. This is the relationship between moral integrity, legal ethics, and the administration of justice that I will bring to Precinct 3.”
State Representative, District 85
Phil Stephenson, (REP) for State Representative, District 85
Phil Stephenson is Texas House Rep. for House District 85, which includes south Fort Bend, Wharton and Jackson counties. He has served 4 terms in this capacity. Phil is a graduate of Texas Tech where he studied accounting. He is the only practicing CPA in the Texas House with over 40 years of experience auditing government. Phil has served on the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee. His policy initiatives include comprehensive property tax reform, addressing insolvency in public retirement plans, and legislation to aid farmers. Phil has been an active Republican his whole life and served as Wharton County Republican Chair. He served on the Wharton County Junior College Board of Trustees for sixteen years, including as Vice Chair. Phil lives with his wife Sue in District 85. Together they have four children and ten grandchildren.
Joey Cardenas III, (DEM) for State Representative, District 85
I’m an 8th generation Texan, proudly born and raised in Louise. For more than three generations our family has called Wharton County home. The Cárdenas have deep Texas roots, tracing back long before 1848: from railroading, ranching, and farming to cotton fields and rice mills, we have been a part of Texas history. Over the last 20 years I have continued serving the community as a public-school teacher and through my involvement with various state organizations, where I have been able to be a voice for rural communities and coordinate with different state committees on issues like agriculture and education. I decided to run for office because there were many missed opportunities that could have benefited our communities. My platform consists of public education, rural development, agriculture innovation, and tax relief. Thank you for your consideration. It would be an honor to represent my home, as the next State Representative.
Michael L. Miller, (LIB) for State Representative, District 85
Most importantly – thank you for taking the time to read this voting guide. Personally, my wife and I have 3 children enrolled in the Lamar School District (one more at UT). We live, work, worship, pay taxes, and coach youth teams in our district. I am on the ground and active every day. Whether it’s working cows in Hillje, working a lease in El Campo, or building a farmstead in Richmond, our family is hands on. Across our diverse industries and lifestyles throughout the district, we share the common belief that government intervention and regulation does more harm than good. Over the past several years we have seen half measures and rhetoric that run contrary to creating more protection of all of our rights and freedoms. As your representative, first and foremost I will respect your individual right to life and personal property, as an individual or business.
Justice, 13th Court of Appeals District, Place 4 – Unexpired Term
Jaime Tijerina, (REP) for Justice, 13th Court of Appeals District, Place 4
Migdalia Lopez, (DEM) for Justice, 13th Court of Appeals District, Place 4
Justice, 13th Court of Appeals District, Place 6
Clarissa Silva, (REP) for Justice, 13th Court of Appeals District, Place 6
Nereida Lopez-Singleterry, (DEM) for Justice, 13th Court of Appeals, Place 6
District Judge, 23rd Judicial District
Ben Hardin, (REP) (Incumbent, Unopposed)
District Attorney, 329th Judicial District
Dawn Allison, (REP) (Incumbent, Unopposed)
Polling locations and times are below.