The SE Texas Record Aug. 16, 2016, 11:35am


There are lots of family businesses in Beaumont. Lovoi & Sons Pharmacies is one of them. Jasper Lovoi Sr. opened up a drugstore in Beaumont over 80 years ago. His son, Jasper Jr., now runs the company and his grandson, Jasper III, is also on staff, carrying on the tradition.

There's something endearing about parents and their children working together and perpetuating an enterprise from one generation to the next. In the private sector, that is.

In the public sector, it's not nearly as charming.

In the private sector, parents pass down to their children something that they've made themselves, something that belongs to them. In the public sector, should parents pass down something that doesn't belong to them, something that they have no right to?

A second- or third-generation Lovoi in the family business is one thing. A second- or third-generation Kennedy or Bush in government service is another.

Which is not to say that the next generation can't perform admirably. It's just that government service should not to be treated as a family business. There's no place for dynasties in a free republic such as ours.

That's why we can't help but look askance at the efforts of Baylor Wortham and Justin Sanderson to succeed their fathers as district judges.

We don't support the idea of public-sector fiefdoms. But there's more to our antipathy than that. As it happens, we were less than impressed by the magistracies of their fathers, 58th District Court Judge Bob Wortham and 60th District Court Judge Gary Sanderson, and fear that the acorns have not fallen far from the trees.

We also see troubling signs in the support that Baylor and Justin have garnered for their candidacies. The influential trial lawyers who bankrolled the campaigns of the fathers are also kicking in big bucks for the sons. That sounds too much like satisfaction guaranteed.

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