Note: This entry is part of a series of written Q&As with judicial candidates who will be on the ballot in Harris County. I am also doing recorded interviews with non-judicial candidates.
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is Kyle Carter. I am an honest and hard-working democrat running for the 125th Civil District Court in Harris County Texas. I was born in Houston and have chosen to make this town home for my family. My father is an attorney who has mentored me and helped pass on the knowledge that an experienced lawyer can provide. My mother is a Methodist Minister, the Reverend Doctor Suzan Carter. Together, my parents have helped instill a sense of duty to my community.
As native Houstonian, growing up in Sharpstown, I attended Pat Neff Elementary and Sharpstown Middle School, before going to high school at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, where I graduated in 1994. In 1998, I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, with a B.A. degree in Government. Then, I attended South Texas College of Law and began practicing law in May, 2001.
Immediately after getting licensed, I became the lead lawyer on numerous cases. Over the years, I have overseen these cases to the satisfaction of my clients. Such experience has given me the opportunity to try several jury cases, bench trials and administrative cases, all to verdict. I have represented the private sector including a group of Lincoln Mercury Automobile dealers and Ford Motor Company in a case before the Department of Transportation. Further, I gained public policy experience when I became general counsel to the State Committee on General Investigating and Ethics, as well as, General Counsel to the State Committee on Urban Affairs.
I have also worked with health care providers to insure the highest level of service, credentialing, reporting, and compliance in the industry. Most recently, I along with my law firm have been successfully taking on the Workers' Compensation insurance companies before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and the Travis County District Courts, regarding reimbursements that ultimately affect the ability of working people to have access to quality healthcare in Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This Court hears cases such as personal injury cases, contractual disputes, property damages, and other civil matters. This Court does not hear criminal, family, or probate matters.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am running for the 125th Judicial District Court bench because I believe that the current Judge has lost his way. Having been instilled with the value of being a "man for others", I believe that my duty is to serve the people of this community, not just the big business interests.
The current judge is a remnant of the George Bush governorship, as he was appointed by then-Governor Bush in 1999. Further, this Judge has particularly low marks from the Houston Bar Association Judicial Poll, as completed by attorneys practicing in the Houston area.
My candidacy is going to change this. Harris County deserves better. I will be a Judge who is honest, smart and fair. Harris County needs a Judge like me.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
Please see the response to Question 1 above.
Additionally, I am a member of the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Young Lawyers Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Texas trial Lawyers Association, and Who's Who International Historical Society.
I donate my time and service to my community. I am a Freemason and a proud member of the Shrine of North America. I am also a proud member of Redbuds, Trees for Houston, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I have also participated in the HBA Habitat for Humanity project, and Operation Compassion, where I served food to the people impacted as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Finally, I am married and have two children that deserve the best, as all children do. As such, I am committed to making Houston the best place to live and raise a family.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because we need a judge that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Harris County has been mired in ethical complaints and other issues that have destroyed the credibility of our current elected officials. I am running to restore this credibility. My experience with the Legislature and particularly the Committee on General Investigating and Ethics has shown me that everyone suffers when our leaders become complacent. Everyone must get involved with this election and ensure that we have the right people elected for the job.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
People should vote for me in the November election because I am the only candidate dedicated to restoring honor, fairness and dignity to the Harris County Courthouse. The current legal system tends to favor litigants with the most resources. I believe that every litigant deserves access to the justice regardless of financial status. The citizens of Harris County deserve a Court that offers justice for all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation.
Further, I have chosen the path of service in my life, and believe that I better represent the people of Harris County. As an attorney, I fight insurance companies to improve the health care system in Texas, and have also worked with the Texas Legislature to provide ethics reform to our city and state. In my private life I believe in helping others, and am a member of several charity organizations. My goal is to become a judge that indentifies with and represents all of the citizens of Harris County. If you believe like I do that every person should be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, then please support me in November.
Dion Ramos, 55th Civil Judicial District Court.
Shawna Reagin, 176th District Criminal Court.
Al Bennett, 61st Civil Judicial District Court.
Judge Jim Jordan, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Mike Miller, 11th Civil Judicial District Court.
Andres Pereira, 190th Civil Judicial District Court.
Steven Kirkland, 215th Civil Judicial District Court.
Martin Siegel, Court of Appeals, 14th District, Place 7.
Randy Roll, 179th District Criminal Court.
Leslie Taylor, Court of Appeals, First District, Place 5.