BEAUMONT – With their fellow plaintiff’s attorney out, Jefferson County trial lawyers are now throwing their financial support behind Melody Chappell in the race to replace Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd District Court.
Despite holding a significant financial edge, Tina Bradley could not overcome her Democratic rival, Chappell, in the May runoff.
Leading up to the runoff, area trial lawyers had dumped tens of thousands of dollars into Bradley’s coffers. And now it seems with Bradley gone, lawyer contributions are now flowing to Chappell.
Only days after the runoff, attorneys for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm poured $15,000 into Chappell’s war chest, campaign finance records show.
From July 1 to Sept. 27, Bradley raised nearly $50,000 in contributions, most of which was supplied in large chunks from the attorneys who file lawsuits in Jefferson County District Court on a regular basis.
The Ferguson Law Firm and its attorneys were the most generous during that time frame, shelling out a total of $15,000 in contributions to Chappell.
Attorney David Bernsen and his firm gave $5,000 in total.
Jon Burmeister and Tommy Yeates of Moore Landry chipped in $2,500 a piece, as did Michael Ramsey, a Beaumont attorney.
Law firms that donated $2,500 include the Gilbert Adams Law Office, Lindsay Lindsay & Parsons and Portner Bond.
Attorneys for the Port Arthur law firm Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell donated a total of $5,000.
Chappell will face Republican Mitch Templeton in November.
As of Oct. 10, Templeton’s campaign finance report for the July 1 – Sept. 27 time period were not posted on the Texas Ethics Commission website.
The 172nd’s current judge, Floyd, has sat behind the bench since 1989 and is retiring because of an age limit.