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Endorsement watch: Civil courts, part 2

Finishing what they started the day before, the Chron endorses three of the four remaining Democratic civil district court judges for re-election.

Civil District Court 133: With 30 years’ legal experience under her belt, Democratic incumbent Judge Jaclanel McFarland was a strong candidate when first elected in 2008. But with a life story that ranges from a cotton farm in north Texas to studying at Oxford University and serving on the Baylor University Board of Regents, she was also a prime candidate to be a uniquely Texan judge. Over the past four years, Judge McFarland has not let us down, proving that she has the work ethic and dedication that we like to see on the bench – with a good measure of small-town friendliness.

Civil District Court 151: Since his election in 2008, Judge Mike Engelhart has been a leader within the Harris County Civil Courts, spearheading e-filing initiatives that save time at the courthouse and money for taxpayers. Inside the courtroom, this Democrat has stood out as one of the hardest-working judges, writing thoughtful opinions where many others would issue quick rulings. Board-certified in personal injury law and fluent in Spanish, Judge Engelhart is among the top judges in the county, if not the state, and deserves another term on the bench.

Civil District Court 164: Before she even graduated law school, Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan made headlines for her legal skills, winning national and global moot court competitions at South Texas College of Law. Since her election in 2008’s Democratic sweep, her court has had its own fair share of news, from overseeing the ground-breaking injunction against gang members trespassing at the Haverstock Hills apartment complex to the Treasures strip club public nuisance case. Smoots-Hogan has an energy and friendly disposition that serves Harris County well.

They also endorse the two Republican incumbents running for re-election, one of whom is an appointee, and not too surprisingly the Republican running against Elaine Palmer for the 215th civil district court.

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