On the heels of Travis County Criminal District Court Judge Bob Perkins' announcement last week that he'll retire after 27 years on the 331st felony court bench, supporters of Judge David Crain retooled their website and are now raising money for Crain to run for Perkins' spot. Crain, who currently sits as judge of the misdemeanor County Court at Law No. 3, must resign to run and is not expected to do so until early next year. His supporters started a "Draft Judge Crain" website (www.draftjudgecrain.com
) initially to raise money for Crain to run for the 147th District Court which is being vacated by retiring Judge Wilford Flowers. That race had become crowded with three Democratic candidates, however, including city of Austin Police Monitor Clifford Brown and Assistant District Attorney Karen Sage – a circumstance almost guaranteed to cause a run-off after the primary on March 2. (No Republican candidates have yet announced for either the 147th or the 331st, meaning the race will most likely be decided in the primary.)
But there are also rumblings that Crain might not be alone in his quest for that seat. The rumor that Mindy Montford, who ran last year to be Travis County district attorney, might throw her hat into the ring to take over Perkins' seat has spread quickly through the courthouse this week. Montford spent roughly four years prosecuting felonies in Perkins' court during her tenure as an assistant district attorney. She said she has not decided whether to run but is considering joining the race for Perkins' seat, a judge she says served as her mentor as a young lawyer.