After a runoff victory Tuesday, a family law judge with 22 years of legal experience will represent the Republican party as a candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.
Fort Worth judge Debra Lehrmann defeated Dripping Springs attorney Rick Green, a former state legislator, in the only statewide runoff on April 13.
"I feel so fortunate," Lehrmann said. "We had so much support throughout the state, and so many people realized that qualifications matter. I think the citizens of Texas are very, very conscientious, and I think they know that the Supreme Court of Texas is important and that we need justices who have experience."
After a March 2 Republican primary, Lehrmann and Green were the top two vote-getters in a field of six candidates. Neither earned more than 50 percent of the votes in March, triggering a runoff.
Lehrmann ran on her judicial experience, and had strong support from business organizations and law firms. She was also supported by Texans for Lawswuit Reform.
"Judge Lehrmann is an accomplished person whose judicial experience and legal knowledge would be valuable assets to the Texas Supreme Court," said Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC Chairman Richard Trabulsi Jr. "On the bench, she has proved to be a competent and fair jurist and has displayed the calm temperment and deliberate manner required of judges. She has an excellent reputation for diligence and integrity among lawyers, her colleagues in the judiciary and in the broader community."
Green campaigned as a conservative who opposed abortion and gay rights and supported prayer in public schools. He minimized his lack of judicial experience by emphasizing his understanding of the law-making process in the legislature.
Lehrmann has been a Fort Worth judge for more than 20 years, written two books on Texas family law and received an award from the Texas Bar Foundation for outstanding Bar Journal article in 2003.
She will face Democrat Jim Sharp in November for the seat of retiring Justice Harriet O'Neill on the Texas Supreme Court.