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Lee Arellano

Early voting for runoffs begins Monday

From the Inbox:

Houston, TX, – Early voting by personal appearance for the April 13, 2010 Democratic and Republican Primary Runoff Elections begins Monday, April 5th. The Primary Runoff Elections will decide 15 contests in which a candidate did not receive a majority of the votes on March 2nd. Early Voting will continue until April 9th.

“Persons who did not vote in the March 2nd Primary Elections are free to vote in either of the Primary Runoff Elections but not both,” informed Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman, the chief elections officer of the County. However, Clerk Kaufman cautioned that individuals who voted in one of the March 2nd Primary Elections may only participate in the Primary Runoff Election of the party in which they voted.

Thirty-seven early voting locations will be available to Harris County’s registered voters from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for the duration of the early voting period. All voters participating in the Republican Primary or Democratic Primary Runoff elections will see a minimum of 4 contests on their ballot.

A report of the total number of persons processed for voting at each early voting site during the early voting period and the mail ballot requests processed will be posted on a daily basis on the County Clerk’s election page,, after the polls close beginning April 5th.

The same early voting locations as for the March primary will be in operation. A map with locations and hours is here. You can be sure that there will be no lines whenever and wherever you go.

For the record, I have endorsed Tanner Garth in the 234th and Lee Arellano in the 270th. They called me to ask for my endorsement – I’m a precinct chair – and I was planning to vote for them anyway, so I gave it to them. They’ve both since sent out email listing me as one of their supporters, so I wanted to mention it here as well.

Judicial Q&A: Lee Arellano

(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. There are a lot of judicial races on the ballot in Harris County this election, and so 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. I will also be conducting some in-person interviews of candidates who will be involved in contested primaries for non-judicial offices. Please see my 2010 Election page for a full list of Q&As and interviews.)

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

My name is Lee Arellano. I am a candidate for the 270th CIVIL District Court of Harris County, Texas.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

This is a court of general CIVIL jurisdiction that hears many types of cases; including, but not limited to, breach of contract, employment disputes, real estate matters, personal injury and death, insurance disputes, etc.

3. Why are you running for this particular bench?

There are about 100 Democratic candidates running for 65 judicial benches that are up for re-election in 2010. The Democratic Party Chair has spread out the 100 announced candidates among the 65 judicial benches and I was assigned to the 270th CIVIL District Court.

4. What are your qualifications for this job?

By the time of 2010 general election I will be in my 30th year as a licensed and practicing CIVIL trial lawyer. Over the last 20 years, as a court appointed mediator, I assisted hundreds of other lawyers and their clients resolve contested CIVIL cases in both state and federal courts. I am the only candidate in my race who is BOARD CERTIFIED in CIVIL Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Since 1974 I have also held a Texas Real Estate Broker’s license.

5. Why is this race important?

The 270th is primarily a court where one comes to recover money resulting from personal injury, legal or medical negligence, an insurance claim, an employee/employer dispute or any other type of monetary dispute. I have litigated or mediated all of these types of disputes, and many others. I have tried jury and bench trials to judges in state, county, Justice of the Peace, and federal district and bankruptcy courts. I have been involved in cases before Texas administrative agencies, state and federal courts of appeal and the Texas Supreme Court. The Democratic primary voter must send the most qualified candidate to run against the Republican candidate in the November 2010 general election, and I am the candidate who wants that job and is seeking your vote in the March 2010 Primary Election.

6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?

The judiciary is a co-equal branch of government and being a part of that great institution would be a honor and a great way serve the citizens of Harris County. I am a native Texan, born in Galveston and raised in the small industrial town of Texas City by a single mom who instilled in me the values of hard work, a good education and the importance of compassion. As a mediator my ability to really listen and discern the root causes driving people’s disputes has proven to be a valuable asset in getting cases settled and moved off of the courts’ dockets. I possess more than sufficient experience to thoroughly qualify me to be seated in the 270th Civil District Court.

As one of the 2003 co-founders of the non-profit group, Harris County Democratic Lawyers’ Association (, I have worked hard to build a solid Democratic networking organization. I am proud to say HCDLA now has many Democratic minded members, including a number of elected officials, judges, lawyers, business people, academicians and many candidates who seek public office. The members elected me president of HCDLA 5 times in the past 5 years and many have come out in strong support of my candidacy for the 270th. This list can be seen at My commitment to volunteerism is well known to our community, the Houston Bar Association and to the Harris County Democratic Party. From this experience, I now understand the impact that diversity and ethnicity has on our society as a whole and I will bring these experiences and lessons to the bench when I am given the honor of being elected judge of the 270th.

As judge, I will follow the law, respect this nation’s Constitution, the Texas State Constitution and all local laws. My candidacy offers the dignity, trust and respect that the citizens of Harris County expect to see in their judiciary. After years of mediating and handling contested civil matters, my record shows that I know how to best get this job done. My name is Lee Arellano and I am asking for your vote in the March 2010 Democratic Primary Election.