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Rockport attorney headed to runoff in State Bar presidential election

By Jessica Priest
May 5, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.
Updated May 6, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.


Runoff rules

The runoff was triggered because no one received the majority of the votes. Here's how it broke down:

•  Trey Apffel: 8,304 votes, 34.02 percent

•  Steve Fischer: 11,058 votes, 45.30 percent

•  Larry W. Hicks: 4,887 votes, 20.02 percent

Source: The State Bar of Texas

A Crossroads-area attorney has forced a runoff in the race for the president of the 74-year-old State Bar of Texas.

Steve Fischer, of Rockport, received the most votes with more than 11,000 votes. He will face Trey Apffel, of League City, in a runoff election this month.

Fischer was the first to successfully collect signatures from 5 percent of the state bar's membership to earn a spot on the presidential ballot.

He is also the first to successfully split the vote in what is normally a two-candidate race.

Traditionally, two candidates are selected by members higher up in the organization behind closed doors, he said.

Fischer is vying not only for more transparency but also more benefits for sole practitioners and those in small towns.

This election participation skyrocketed, despite some apathy among members, Fisher said.

"I think more than half of lawyers automatically throw anything from the state bar in the trash," he said.

Fischer suspected that is because the bar comes up with more and more rules.

"People had a real choice this time," Fischer said. "I think that is what turned it around."

Fischer stood outside a Houston courthouse last week and encouraged people to vote again.

If he loses, his consolation will be all the friends he has made driving across Texas campaigning.

"That's the idea, just talk to the attorneys," Fischer said.

Members may vote online at texasbar.com or mail in their ballot from Thursday to May 23 at 5 p.m.

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