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Monday, November 12, 2018

19 Black Judges Elected in Texas — and All of Them are Women!

19 Black female judges in Harris County, Texas

19 Black female judges in Harris County, Texas

Houston, TX — 19 Black women have made history after their sweep victory to judgeships in Harris County, the largest county in the state of Texas. A photo of them gathered all together in a courtroom has recently gone viral to celebrate #BlackGirlMagic.

The photo, which was taken in August, shows the women assembled as part of their “Black Girl Magic” campaign. It was tagged the #Houston19 and trended on Reddit and Twitter.

All of the seventeen candidates for countywide judicial positions in Harris County, Texas won their races by double-digits. Each of them, all Democrats aged 31 to early 60’s, will fill the post in January for four-year terms in the civil, criminal, family, and probate courts. Two of the women who made bids for statewide office lost their races, but they remain county judges.

LaShawn A Williams posted the picture on Facebook, writing: “Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong – everything I hope to be!”

Most of the newly-elected judges were born and raised in Houston. Each has experienced working in local law firms for at least a decade. They are hoping their victory and their presence on the bench would help provide equal opportunity for justice.

“I think that having an African American judge or having a female judge — those are the kinds of things we bring to the bench. And we bring an understanding of a person who may come from that similar background,” Latosha Lewis Payne, a judge-elect, told Fox 5 DC.

Their win is just one of the many first times in the election across the country. The recent midterm elections reportedly marked the most diverse newly-elected candidates in the Congress, such as 111 women.

Moreover, Harris County itself surpassed the previous turnout in votes throughout the history. It is the largest county in Texas and third largest in the United States with 4.5 million population. It has a diverse population with 42 percent Hispanic, 31 percent white, 20 percent black, and 7 percent Asian.

The 19 Black women who won are Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Judge Maria Jackson, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin, and Lori Chambers Gray.

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