Collin County elected two new Republican judges Tuesday during the 2012 Texas Primary Runoff Election.
Candidate Ben Smith, a former Collin County prosecutor, defeated opponent Terri Green in the Republican race for judge of the 380th District Court. Smith will not face a Democratic opponent in the November general election. With all precincts reporting, Smith garnered 57.19 percent of the vote to Green's 42.81 percent.
In the Republican race for judge of County Court at Law No. 2, candidate Barnett Walker defeated opponent Sharon Ramage. Walker, a former Collin County prosecutor and U.S. Air Force veteran, also does not face a Democratic challenger in November. With all precincts reporting, Walker received 59.21 percent of the vote, while Ramage received 40.79 percent.
Prior to the election, Smith told McKinney Magazine that his goals for office included making "myself accessible and accountable to the people who have entrusted me with this power and responsibility."
Smith said he would give priority to cases involving inmates in our county jail, which he said cost taxpayers $62 per day per inmate.
"On any given day, there are 1,000 inmates in our jail, which is $62,000 per day," Smith said. "This adds up to more than $22 million per year to house inmates. Many of the inmates are awaiting trial on serious felony charges – often, the trials do not take place for one to two years. I have the experience necessary to give these cases priority and to get them disposed of more efficiently."
In a Q&A with McKinney Magazine prior to the election, Walker said his goals for the office included incorporating a flexible trial schedule that would track police officers' normal days off, in addition to planned vacation days and training days.
"This would help reduce the amount of overtime paid by the police departments (and eventually the tax payers) and decrease the number of times that officers have to work 12 days in a row before receiving a day off," Walker told the magazine.