As you know, in addition to selecting a Democratic nominee for County Commissioners Court in Precinct 1, precinct chairs everywhere in Harris County will get to select two judicial nominees, for newly-created courts. There are six people who have expressed an interest in the new 507th Family District Court. Five of them have submitted judicial Q&As to me for prior candidacies; the sixth will send in responses separately. I had considered soliciting new Q&A responses from the candidates that I knew about, but ultimately decided that there was not likely to be much difference in the responses, so I’m going with reruns from those past candidacies.
Sandra Peake was a candidate for the 246th Family District Court in 2014; she also ran for the 257th Family Court in 2010. Here are the responses she sent to me for the 2014 primary.
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
My name is Sandra Peake, and I am running for the 246th Family District Court
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This Court hears family law related cases: divorce, child custody disputes, child support establishment, enforcement and modification, adoptions, name changes, post divorce property disputes, etc.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am running for this particular bench because the Judge York is not seeking re-election. I wanted to have the experience of running for an open bench.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have practiced before these Courts for the past 30 years and am sensitive to the unique issues that arise in family law cases, particularly giving consideration to the culturally and religiously diverse families who make up a significant proportion of the population in Harris County. The citizens of this county deserve consistent application of the law, courtesy and fairness. I am up to the challenge of ensuring judicial excellence by ruling decisively with impartiality; and, by respecting the time constraints of the litigants and their lawyers.
5. Why is this race important?
All of the races on the ballot are important. However, those races which are more likely to impact an average family, it is more likely than not that the average person will have occasion to have a case pending in family court because of the high rate of divorce and the number of children being raised in single parent households. Children will primarily reside with a parent or extended family member. Parents will get divorced, need post divorce changed circumstance modifications, enforcement of their existing orders. The definition of the family is constantly evolving and the statutes defining the family relationship will eventually evolve as well.
6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?
I think people should vote for me in the primary because I am an experienced family lawyer with over 30 years of experience handling the type of typically handled by family court judges. I have also mediated and number of cases and endorse alternate dispute resolution as a means of opening up the lines of communication between disputing family members. I believe I have run a principled practice with focus on not only the client being represented, but with goal toward how this particular family can be salvaged so that going forward, there is a working relationship if at all possible, for the children’s sake.