(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?
My name is Ieshia Champs and I am running to represent Harris County as judge in the 315th Juvenile District Court.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The 315th Juvenile District Court handles two types of cases. Juvenile delinquency cases where youth, between the ages of 10-17, has allegedly engaged in delinquent conduct. In addition to cases involving the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (“CPS”), where there has been allegations of child abuse or neglect.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
A judge should represent the community they serve. As a Harris County native, a former foster child, a mother of five, and a Child Welfare Attorney, I understand just how impactful the rulings are that come from the 315th judicial seat. These rulings impact individuals, families, and the overall community. I know that with me on the 315th bench, I will have a positive impact by making holistic rulings. It’s not just about applying the law, but also looking intently into the facts in order to make a just ruling that benefits the life of the individual, the family, and the community. The community that raised me and gave me a second chance at life. Because I am a reflection of this community, I made the intentional choice to run for this particular bench.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
After graduating from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, I sought out a career with as a Child Welfare Attorney. I have litigated hundreds of cases where the best interest of the child is always the number one priority. I have engaged in several mediations, statutory hearings, and have mentored and trained new attorneys in the child welfare field. I have attended trainings and CLEs with appellate attorneys regarding child welfare, and have prepared for several jury trials. I have continued to sharpen my skills by taking CLEs and working with seasoned mentors who continue to challenge me on my journey as an advocate.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because Judges are the ultimate decision makers and those decisions are life altering. There should be someone on the bench who has the best interest of everyone as a priority. Electing the right candidate is paramount to the important decisions that will one day an impact on our community. That is why it is important for the community to get out and vote. The law serves The People. This is The People’s Race. I am The People’s Champ!
6. Why should people vote for you in March?
This is real life for me. I have been a juvenile in the system and an attorney representing the system. I am a candidate that has been in the position of almost everyone that comes before me. If elected, my decisions will be made by looking at each case holistically while listening to each set of facts and apply the law with compassion based off of the information in front of me. It is because of these experiences and compassion that I am the right candidate to preside as judge in the 315th District Court!