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One more race on the ballot

Due to the untimely death of Harris County Probate Judge Russell Austin last month, there will be one more race on the ballot this fall. As of yesterday, the Harris County GOP has chosen its nominee for that bench.

About 300 Republican precinct chairs anointed Georgia Akers, an associate judge in another probate court, to be on the Nov. 4 ballot for the job rather than Ruth Ann Stiles, Austin’s associate judge.

County commissioners are scheduled to vote today on who will serve in Austin’s place until voters make their selection. The commissioners can pick someone other than Akers. Stiles, however, said that without the nomination, “it would not be best” for her to take the interim job.

Democrats are scheduled to pick their nominee Aug. 14.

The word that everyone has heard is that former Harris County District Court Judge Kathy Stone, who served two terms on the 55th Court before losing in 1998, will be the Democratic nominee. Stone ran for the 334th District Civil Court in 2004 and was the top Democratic vote-getter in Harris County, drawing almost 48% of the total. She’ll make a strong candidate for this race. Far as I’ve heard, no one else is making a serious effort to challenge her for this.

UPDATE: Commissioners Court has chosen Akers to fill out the remainder of Austin’s term.

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  1. Lou Ann says:

    After the exposure of questionable activities on the part of Judge Austin and Judge Wood (, Harris County voters will hopefully take seriously this election. Involvement with probate courts has literally cost some families “the farm.” With such high stakes, this race is critical.

  2. Patrice M. Barron says:

    Charles: Enjoyed your article. FYI there are two other candidates I know of who are campaigning for the Democratic nomination for Probate Court No. 1: Martha Failing (a board certified probate lawyer) and myself (Hon. Patrice M. Barron, Former Appellate Justice (appointed by Gov. Richards). For your convenience Martha’s contact information is [email protected], 7135210026, my contact information is [email protected], 7138712027. If you have any questions feel free to contact either of us and have a great day, Patrice