When the very popular Judge Debra Ibarra Mayfield was selected by Governor Abbot to serve in the 165th District Court of Harris County, that left a vacancy in her then current position as judge of Harris County Civil Court at Law Number 1 – a position she had been appointed to and re-elected twice.
After an extensive review process, the Harris County Commissioners Court appointed Clyde Leuchtag to replace her. Since taking the bench in June, 2015, Judge Leuchtag has fit right in to the important position presiding over a docket of hundreds of cases including condemnation, car accidents, evictions, business disputes and just about any civil litigation matter within the court’s $200,000 jurisdiction.
Even though Judge Mayfield was re-elected to court 1 in 2014 and her term would have been through 2018, as a newly appointed judge, Leuchtag must stand for election this year and again in 2018.
Judge Clyde Leuctag is a graduate of Rice University and a Manga Cum Laude graduate of South Texas College of Law . He has been licensed as an attorney since 1990 and has worked for many years as an assistant Harris County Attorney. A lifelong republican, Judge Leuchtag served as an elected republican precinct chair from 1996 until his judicial appointment. Early in our careers, he and I worked together in the Federal Trial Division of the Harris County Attorney’s office. We handled many federal trials together during those years. He was an excellent trial lawyer and completely committed to conservative public service.
Three people have filed to run against Judge Leuchtag in the elections this year – one in the Republican Primary and two as democrats. On the republican side, Leuchtag faces Gloria Cantu Minnick in the Republican Primary election. Minnick received her undergraduate degree from University of Houston and her law degree from South Texas College of Law. She has been licensed as a lawyer for over 25 years. This is not her first time to seek election to the county civil courts at law but it does appear it is her first time to do so as a republican. She ran as a democrat for court 3 in 2014.
In the democrat primary, there are two contenders for the nomination. F. Richard Leach received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He was licensed as an attorney in 1989. George Barnstone has undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas. He has been licensed as an attorney since 1994. He was the democrat nominee in 2014 in his unsuccessful bid to be elected to a county criminal court.
In an interesting twist to this campaign, it appears that republican hopeful Minnick and democrat Leach are not only law partners but are husband and wife. Not quite sure what is going on here but the choice is quite clear: