Chronicle Endorsement for the Runoff Election

Early voting starts May 20 for the May 28 election

Art by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images

The Chronicle Editorial Board provides the following endorsement to Democrats in advance of early voting (May 20-24) and election day, Tuesday, May 28.

Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals, Place 2: Edward Smith

When it comes to judges, direct experience matters, and Edward Smith has our recommendation. Challenger Maggie Ellis, an attorney certified in child welfare law, and endorsed by several Democratic clubs, seems to have passion and a good variety of experience. However, in our endorsement interview, she did not articulate specific concerns with Smith’s performance. (She points out that she aims to run a positive campaign.) Smith flipped the seat from red to blue in 2018, has established relationships with fellow justices, and has written more than 550 opinions on the court.

Ellis may present a more progressive option. She emphasizes her willingness to disagree with other justices. That said, we believe the bar for replacing a liberal incumbent with a good track record ought to be very high, and we recognize Smith’s commitment to opinions that stand up when they reach other, more conservative courts. In dealing with some of Texas’ “bad laws,” Smith emphasizes his fairness. “I don’t think anybody wants judges campaigning on issues. We don’t want judges who are predisposed.”

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  • Election Information

    Early Voting: Monday, May 20 - Friday, May 24; Election Day: Tuesday, May 28

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