(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. Much more information about Democratic primary candidates, including links to the interviews and judicial Q&As, can be found on Erik Manning’s spreadsheet.
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
I am Judge Kyle Carter, a life-long Democrat and native Houstonian who has served as a District Judge in Harris County for the past 13 years. I am a married father of three, and I wake up every day excited to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I am asking for your vote for the 14th Court of Appeals, Place 2.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The Fourteenth Court of Appeals was created in 1967. The Court is composed of a Chief Justice and eight (8) justices. It has intermediate appellate jurisdiction of both civil and criminal cases appealed from lower courts in ten (10) counties of Texas (see below); in civil cases where judgment rendered exceeds $250, exclusive of costs, and other civil proceedings as provided by law; and in criminal cases except in post-conviction writs of habeas corpus and where the death penalty has been imposed. Counties served: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Waller, and Washington.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I have been a District Judge for 13 years, and am running for this position to continue making a positive difference in the lives of all Texans and serving them through the law. During my time on the bench, I have seen first-hand the need for experienced and qualified justices on the Courts of Appeals. The decision of just one appellate justice has the potential to affect millions of lives. I want to be there making those decisions, and in so doing, improve the lives of all Texans.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have served as judge of the 125th District Court for the past 13 years. I am board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I have won awards for my work both on the bench and in the community. Recently I received the South Texas College of Law Public Service Award, as well as the Outstanding Judicial Leadership Award from the Texas Association of District Judges. I have twice been unanimously elected to serve as President of the Texas Association of District Judges. Prior to serving on the bench, I was an associate at the Carter Law Firm. Additionally, I served as general counsel to the Texas House Committee on General Investigations and Ethics as well as the House Committee on Urban Affairs.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is extremely important because appellate justices make decisions that affect millions of people's lives. It is vitally important to have justices who understand the trial process and have served as trial judges. Trial judges understand what has taken place at the trial court level and that the court record is more than just words on a page. The appellate courts are policy courts whose decisions have wide ranging influence on how trials are conducted and the law is applied.
6. Why should people vote for you in March?
People should vote for me in the March Primary because I will continue making a positive difference in the lives of all Texans. I am a life-long Democrat and am the most qualified and experienced person in this race. I am an award-winning, board-certified trial judge who has the experience, the record, and the resources to win this race in November. Over the past 13 years I have demonstrated that I am a highly skilled judge who treats everyone who comes before me with equality, dignity, and respect. Additionally, I have a passion for serving those in need in our community. I have created two charitable organizations, Judges at Work in Schools and Judges Out in Neighborhoods and will continue my community work while serving on the Court of Appeals. Vote for better access, better equality, and better justice for a better Texas; vote for Judge Kyle Carter for the 14th Court of Appeals Place 2.