Election results for El Paso judicial races

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Voters will decide who will oversee several El Paso courtrooms.

Felony and misdemeanor courts will be decided by El Paso County voters.

Don’t forget KTSM is your local election headquarters. For early voting results check back here at 7 p.m.

Here is a look at the questionnaire the candidates returned to our media partner El Paso Matters.

346th District Judge:

Ruben Nuñez

  • Why are you the best candidate in this race?
    • No response.

Paty Baca

  • Why are you the best candidate in this race?
    • I’m running for judge because it is where I can do the most good, and the last 19 years of practice have prepared me well. I’ve worked in almost every court in our courthouse in a position of public service and leadership. As a prosecutor, I’ve represented justice instead of a client, and as unit chief, I’ve managed people and administered systems – the same roles a judge takes on for the court she serves. I’ve also developed relationships with Fort Bliss leadership and seen countless soldiers navigating our system, so I’ll hit the ground running with our Veterans Court.

383th District Judge:

Patrick Bramblett

  • How would you address the root causes of family instability, such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression, etc.?
    • The goal is to preserve parent-child relationships as much as possible. I have specialized knowledge and experience in identifying these issues. I would use the powers that the court has in temporary orders to refer parties to local resources that are available for treatment and adopting a healthier lifestyle. These would be conditions precedent for expanding a parent’s direct involvement with their children. Measurable benchmarks would be used to monitor compliance with treatment/counseling plans. Sometimes the requirement of child safety and stability requires us to ask a party which one he or she loves more: Drugs or your kids?

Lyda Ness Garcia

  • How would you address the root causes of family instability, such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression, etc.?
    • A court should set a climate where mental health and substance abuse issues are destigmatized so that parents are willing to access help. Substance abuse and mental health issues are often intertwined. Addressing the underlying cause effectively allows for successful treatment. Children innately want to be with their parents, no matter the severity of abuse or neglect. A judge should help maintain family bonds while ensuring the wellbeing and safety of the children. I would continue to work outside the Courtroom advocating for increased resources, policies, legislative changes, and support services to help meet the needs of El Paso families.

Lucila Flores

  • How would you address the root causes of family instability, such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression, etc.?
    • I would use the same approach like the one I’ve outlined above to address these problems. Agencies such as Emergence, El Paso Behavioral, Aliviane, and Trinity, to name a few, as well as various other agencies and therapists in our community, are currently set up to address these problems. However, I recognize that a Judge can only do so much to address these issues. Ultimately it will be the individual who either avails themselves of these services or not. Even in cases where a Judge orders individuals to participate in services with these agencies to help address those issues, that individual has to take responsibility for themselves if they want to get help.

388th District Judge

Marlene Gonzalez

  • How would you deal with family problems associated with neglect?
    • The question as posed is too broad. As we know, courts can be neglectful, public servants can be neglectful, institutions’ families turn to can be neglectful. However, in the case of child neglect: Generally, if child neglect exists, it is reported to the Texas Department of Family and Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS has a duty to investigate all reported cases involving child neglect. If evidence of child abuse is found, CPS refers to the case for the prosecution. The prosecutors may, depending on the nature of the neglect, file a lawsuit, in the proper court, and initiate parental termination procedures, in appropriate cases.

Laura Strathmann

  • How would you deal with family problems associated with neglect?
    • I would ask the questions necessary to understand the root of the problem and then acquire the help necessary for the family to address the issues for a long term, complete solution to give the child(ren) a safe, stable environment.

Ricardo (Rick) Rios

  • How would you deal with family problems associated with neglect?
    • No response.

448th District Judge

Sergio H. Enriquez

  • How do you intend to speed up your docket and dispose of your caseload?
    • No response.

Abe Gonzalez

  • How do you intend to speed up your docket and dispose of your caseload?
    • First, I will apply the same work ethic I have used in my practice for over 10 years to the court (i.e., knowing the facts and status of each case) so that cases are not forgotten and left to languish. Second, I will impose reasonable deadlines for trial at the beginning of each case so that lawyers and the court are working toward a definite end date — something clients will appreciate.

Chief justice, 8th Court of Appeals

Angie Juarez Barill

  • The 8th Court of Appeals is frequently criticized because of a large case backlog. What is the reason for the backlog, and how would you reduce the backlog?
    • Yes, the Texas Supreme Court removed 82 cases from the 8th Court of Appeals because of its backlog. I am committed to making sure this never happens again! Why? Because justice delayed is justice denied! As a judge for over 25 years, I handled complicated civil and felony criminal cases from State Jail Felony to Capital Murder. I have presided over cases from jury selection to verdict. I am the only candidate with this requisite experience. I will give each case priority and continue to apply equal justice under the law.

Yvonne Rodriguez

  • The 8th Court of Appeals is frequently criticized because of a large case backlog. What is the reason for the backlog, and how would you reduce the backlog?
    • Prior to now-retired Chief Justice McClure’s departure in August 2019, I was afforded an opportunity to train for the chief justice position. Due to her ongoing health issues, I actually stepped into the role of chief justice in the last 12e months prior to her departure. As of Aug. 31, 2018, we had 30 submitted cases pending over 12 months. As of Aug. 31, 2019, we had reduced our backlog to only seven submitted cases pending over 12 months. Our backlog is nearly cleared. Keeping and attracting qualified staff attorneys is crucial to reducing our backlog to zero.

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