BEAUMONT – The latest round of campaign finance reports show Baylor Wortham, a Democrat heavily funded by Jefferson County trial lawyers, significantly outraised his Republican counterpart in his successful bid to claim the 136th District Court bench.
Baylor Wortham is the son of former 58th District Court Judge Bob Wortham, who left the bench to become Jefferson County’s current district attorney.
He captured 47,770 votes for 55.54 percent to beat out Republican challenger Dana Timaeus.
From Jan. 1 to June 30, Baylor Wortham, who started his law career in 2006 as an assistant DA, raised nearly $71,000. From July 1 to Sept. 29, he raised more than $35,000, campaign finance records show.
Baylor Wortham finished strong, raising $54,505 in the last month before the election.
Some of the more notable trial lawyer contributions during that time frame include:
- A $2,5000 donation from Beaumont attorney Paul “Chip” Ferguson;
- A $1,000 donation from Beaumont attorney Kevin Laine;
- A $2,500 donation from Port Neches attorney John Leger, who is with the Ferguson firm;
- A $2,500 donation from Cody Dishon, another Ferguson Firm attorney;
- A $2,500 donation from Reaud & Associates;
- A $2,000 donation from Beaumont attorney Wyatt Snider and another $2,000 donation from his firm, the Snider Law Firm; and
- A $2,500 donation from Houston attorney Ryan Zehl.
Several area business owners also made large donations to Baylor Wortham, including coin seller Michael Fujenz, who donated $1,500.
As previously reported, attorneys for the Beaumont-based law firms Provost Umphrey and Reaud Morgan & Quinn contributed heavily to Baylor Wortham earlier this year.
Timaeus collected a total of $16,310 from Jan. 1 to June 30; $25,388.01 from July 1 to Sept. 29; and $12,112.34 from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29, campaign finance records show.
In the race for the 60th District Court, Justin Sanderson, a Democrat, ran uncontested, assuring he’d replace his father, Gary Sanderson, who is retiring.
Even though no one stepped up to challenge him, Justin Sanderson, who runs his own law firm, received tens of thousands of dollars in donations, with a large chunk of the funding coming from Houston and Beaumont attorneys.
Justice Charles Kreger of the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont also ran uncontested.