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Mike Fields

I’ve been wondering when someone will write a story about Mike Fields, who had been a respected Republican criminal court judge in Harris County before losing in the 2018 sweep and is now running for Attorney General as a Democrat. Well, here it is.

Mike Fields

As a former Republican judge in Harris County, Mike Fields hopes to cater to a broader swath of voters than his more progressive competitors in the race for the Democratic nomination for Texas attorney general.

“I really do think the center is where most Texans are,” Fields said. “I think the majority of citizens, who are not hard partisans, want their leadership to adhere to those things that unite us, not focus on those wedge issues that divide us.”

Fields served as a criminal court-at-law judge for 20 years before he was unseated in 2018 in a Democratic sweep that flipped all remaining judicial seats in the county. Earlier that year, he had split with his fellow Republicans to side with poor defendants advocating for affordable or cash-free bond for low-level offenders.

After his re-election loss, no longer in a career in which he was expected to be politically neutral, Fields said the bail issue helped him to see that his views better aligned with the Democratic party than the GOP.

“When I joined the party to run (in 1997), it was a different party, led by different people who saw the value in compromise,” Fields said. “And now it seems that things have just gotten so polarized and some of the issues have become such hot button issues that it’s hard to recognize this Republican Party.”

[…]

Unlike the other candidates, Fields noted that he has first-hand experience in the office: He spent about a year and a half working in the attorney general’s prosecution assistance division starting in 1995.

“The first thing I do is dismiss all of those frivolous lawsuits against the Biden administration and others that tied up Texas resources, tilting at windmills, and rescind a lot of the memos that have been sent out in support of far-right issues that really have nothing to do with the attorney general’s office,” he said.

Also unlike other candidates, Fields said he won’t be making Paxton’s legal troubles a highlight of his campaign. Paxton has been under indictment since 2015 for felony securities fraud charges and is facing an FBI investigation after being accused of corruption by his top aides last October; he’s denied any wrongdoing.

“I have spent my life in this judicial process affording people the benefit of their presumption of innocence — I don’t want to stop now,” he said.

He acknowledged, however, that for his own campaign, “not being under criminal indictment is certainly a plus.”

The “longtime former Republican who is now running as a Democrat because his former party has lost its mind” angle is a great hook, which is why I’m surprised I hadn’t seen one of these stories before. Fields is an appealing candidate in a field with multiple appealing candidates – Joe Jaworski, Lee Merritt, and Rochelle Garza. (There’s a fifth candidate, Stephen “T-Bone” Raynor, about whom I know nothing.) I may or may not try to reach out to statewide candidates for primary interviews, but if I do I’ll be interested in talking to him. For now, I’ll just say that there are a lot of good choices on the ballot. And all of them would be a billion times better than Ken Paxton, and at least a million times better than any of Paxton’s primary opponents.

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4 Comments

  1. jason says:

    This guy is so full of crap. He is a true blue republican who just needs an elected job. I don’t care weather dems fall for it, but he is soooo full of crap. I can speak from personal knowledge.

  2. C.L. says:

    I don’t think it’s every taken me 20+ years to figure anything out (save for the opposite sex)….

    The fact that it took that long for Mike Fields to realize the GOP mission statement didn’t align with his own internal beliefs may be a tad disingenuous.

  3. Kibitzer says:

    WHO HERE IS REPLETE WITH WHAT?

    Re: “I can speak from personal knowledge.”

    Okay, so this Kibitzer hasn’t even read the article yet, but started with the comments instead after scanning the title and lead.

    Here is an instanter reflex from the fairness sinew…. think knee jerk:

    “jason” makes a denigrating statement about this particular candidate, invokes “personal knowledge” as the basis for the condemnatory opinion, but posts under a pseudnym and provides no fact, nor any other supporting information or source, or hyperlink.

    And that is supposed to help primary voters in their decisions?

    There is nothing wrong with posting under a pseudonym, of course, but “jason” can surely do better and more than airing verbal farts.

  4. mollusk says:

    From the Glass Half Full Department –

    This reminds me of the 80s and 90s, when some Democratic officials in Texas switched over to the R side in order to win elections.