147th District Court: Brown Takes Gammon Down

Primary election results

Cliff Brown, with well-wisher and Assistant D.A. Gary Cobb
Cliff Brown, with well-wisher and Assistant D.A. Gary Cobb (Photo by Jana Birchum)

It was all smiles from family and friends at the E-night party for Cliff Brown, who blew away his competition in the fight to be the next judge of the Travis County 147th Criminal District Court being vacated by retiring Judge Wilford Flowers.

Brown, who snagged 71% of the vote against civil attorney Bill Gammon, has served as the city's police monitor since 2007. Early in the evening, when early voting numbers had all but assured his win already, Brown was still being cautious: "I've never allowed myself to get to the point of taking it for granted that I would win," he said. Indeed, the race for the 147th first drew a field of qualified contenders – including Brown (who has been running for the seat since last summer), incumbent misdemeanor Judge David Crain, and prosecutor Karen Sage. Both Crain and Sage eventually left the race to run for other empty courthouse benches before Gammon dropped his name into the race.

Although many saw the hemorrhage of challengers as a testament to Brown's prowess as a clear front-runner, Brown was much more modest about his long-haul campaign. "There were so many changes [in the race] that we never allowed ourselves to take anything for granted," he said. "Up until 6:45pm, I was out handing out fliers at different elementary schools" where residents were voting. Clearly, the work paid off: "I'm elated. I'm excited," he said of his big win. Indeed, because there are no Republican challengers to his seat, Brown is all but guaranteed to take over Flowers' bench in January – an eventuality that the retiring Flowers seems happy to accept. "He's the best," Flowers said of his presumptive successor at Brown's victory party at Third Base in West Austin.

For now, Brown said, he will continue to focus on his job as the city police monitor. "I want to make sure I continue my job and do the very best for the city so that there is a smooth transition," he said. In the past, leadership handoffs in the Office of the Police Monitor haven't exactly been smooth, and Brown said he'd like to avoid any lapse in service. "I will do my level best to make sure" there is no "vacuum of leadership," because that "hurts the city and ... the people we serve," he said.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More 147th District Court
147th District Court: Two Kinds of Experience
147th District Court: Two Kinds of Experience
One candidate draws on criminal law, the other on civil, for criminal bench

Jordan Smith, Feb. 19, 2010

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


147th District Court, Cliff Brown, Bill Gammon, election, election 2010, judicial races, courts

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle