District judge candidate has plan to improve efficiency
July 17, 2012 at 2:17 a.m.
MEET BILL OLD
City/county of residence: Seguin/Guadalupe County
Political party: Republican
Office Seeking: Judge, 25th Judicial District
Contact: Bill Old Campaign
P.O. Box 468
Seguin, TX 78156
More profiles ahead
The runoff elections for the Democratic and Republic parties primaries is July 31. Early voting begins Monday and ends July 27. The local candidates in the runoffs will be profiled in the coming days, beginning with candidates for the Republican nomination for 25th district judge.
No opponent in November
The winner of the Republican runoff has no Democratic opponent in the November General Election and will replace retiring Judge Dwight Peschel. This office includes four counties: Lavaca, Gonzales, Colorado and Guadalupe.
If elected judge in the 25th Judicial District, Seguin attorney Bill Old sees his role as more of an umpire than a politician.
"I want to protect the court's role as perhaps the most democratic institution in our government, where citizens are charged with making critical decisions, sometimes involving life and death," Old said.
"A judge is an umpire in that process - calling balls and strikes based on the law - not a politician legislating from the bench."
Old also cites his experience in district court as the major difference between himself and his opponent.
"I am the only candidate in this race to have actually tried a jury trial in the district court in the last 10 years," he said. "There is a significant difference between criminal cases heard at the municipal level - where my opponent does much of his work and where the maximum penalty is a fine - and the types of cases I handle in district court where people can be sentenced to very long prison terms or, in extreme cases, to death.
"They are two very different worlds. I am the only candidate with the significant, verifiable district court experience in this race," Old said.
Old said he also has plans to make the district court more efficient.
"So much court time is consumed with uncontested matters. I intend to implement uncontested dockets as one of the first things I do as judge, which will mean lower costs to both litigants and taxpayers," he said.
Old said endorsements for his campaign show widespread support.
"I have received the endorsements of prominent leaders across the district. Stephen Finch, my former opponent in the May 29 primary, has endorsed me, as has every sheriff in the district," Old said.
Others who have endorsed Old include, Birdie Kuempel, widow of the late State Rep. Edmund Kuempel and mother of current State Rep. John Kuempel, and outgoing Colorado County Attorney Ken Sparks, he said.
Old is proud of the campaign he has run that saw him get 36.88 percent of the vote in the three-candidate primary and fewer than 500 more votes than Kevin Kolb, his runoff opponent.
"We have shown the voters that I will be an independent judge, not an activist, and I will be an experienced, steady hand guiding our court forward," he said.