(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 Ron Campana, and I am running for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 2. I raised my family in Precinct 1, and I have lived in the precinct for more than 30 years. I am the graduate of a public high school in the Houston Independent School District, and I graduated from Houston Baptist University in 1981. I earned a law degree from Houston’s South Texas College of Law in 1984. I have practiced law in Houston for more than 37 years, serving Texans in the areas of real estate law, business law, construction law, and government law. I have been involved with utility districts and the buildout of critical infrastructure to provide clean water and I have served as director and president of a local municipal utility district. I am also committed to efforts to find a solution to homelessness, having served as director of a nonprofit Houston area homeless shelter. I am grateful to be listed on the 2022 Democratic Primary election ballot as a Candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 2. You may find my website at www.roncampana.com.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The Justice of the Peace generally serves as judge of the small claims court involving amounts in controversy of $20,000 or less, evictions, and class c misdemeanors. It also presides over statutory hearings involving occupational driver’s licenses, truancy hearings, and mental health determinations.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
This Court has been impacted significantly by the pandemic. There has been a moratorium on eviction proceedings and an interruption in jury matters. The court needs an experienced person, and I believe this is a place where I can make a difference. I am the most experienced candidate, with a track record of more than 37 years in the practice of law and in the courts. On a personal level, I have worked as a volunteer in the community, and my work in the area of property owner’s associations and evictions on a pro bono basis is a reflection of my commitment to the ideal of public service. My mother’s background as a social worker instilled in me at a young age a sense of empathy, an interest in helping to engage with and ensure the wellbeing of others, and an interest in the various and complex social issues confronted by the members of our community. This particular bench will provide the opportunity for me as an experienced lawyer, with the necessary knowledge for this position, to ensure that the business of the people will be taken care of with justice, fairness, and equality for all who come before the court.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have been a resident of Precinct 1 for more than three decades, and I know it well. I have served the community as the director of a nonprofit shelter helping persons in need, and as a result, I have gained firsthand knowledge of the effects of homelessness. I have also held elective office. I was elected as Director and President of a Municipal Utility District in the Houston area providing clean water to the community. This position required me to oversee a public budget involving taxpayer dollars. I have been a practicing attorney for more than 37 years and have substantial experience in the Justice of the Peace Courts. I have the knowledge and experience to serve the community effectively.
5. Why is this race important?
This court is the most likely law court to be encountered by our citizens. It thereby has the greatest duty to perform at the highest standards of both the law and morality. Nowhere are the basic tenets of democracy more challenged than in the Justice Courts. Electing someone who is unprepared for or unschooled in these challenges, or indifferent to them, will result in a basic failure to deliver the promise of justice. I am prepared for the rigors of this position, educated in the issues, and committed to excellence on behalf of the people.
6. Why should people vote for you in March?
I am the most experienced person on the ballot. The last few years have been difficult and stressful for all members of our community. This court has been particularly affected. Precinct 1 and the community deserve the most experienced and knowledgeable person to serve as their Justice of the Peace. I am committed to making sure the business of the court proceeds in a timely and efficient manner. I ask the residents of Precinct 1 to vote for and support me.