You may not have heard about my race. County Court at Law #3 isn't one of the sexy top ballot races, but it is one of the elected offices woven into the fabric of our community.
I am running for Judge of County Court #3 not just because of a calling to serve my city and county, but also because together we can make Travis County a better place for all of us to live.
My name is John Lipscombe, and I am running to be your next judge in County Court #3.
A lot of you may know me; many more of you don't know me yet, but I hope you will soon. So if you don't mind, please let me take a few moments to tell you about myself and why I believe our County Court at Law System is so important.
After over 4 years working at the Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals as an appellate lawyer and almost 19 years as a trial court prosecutor representing the people of Travis County, I have seen what a blind policy of “lock 'em up” looks like and I have seen the difference a thoughtful system of rehabilitation can make in a person's life. In 23 years I have learned a lot about the practice of criminal and constitutional law, and I have been active in sharing that experience as a teacher , speaker and lecturer with the UT Law School Defense and Prosecutor Clinics; Bar Association CLE Courses; APD, DPS and Travis County Sheriffs Office Law Enforcement Academies; LCRA and Texas Parks and Wildlife Seminars; and University, high school and junior high classes throughout Austin.
Too often we don't value our own personal roles as teachers and educators, and because of that, the lessons we have learned are lost to future generations. I was not always the law nerd I am today. I value and use the experiences I have encountered as an oil field hand, truck driver, bartender and bouncer, and Union shuttle bus driver at UT in my everyday dealings with the cases and evidence I must weigh each and every day as a trial court Chief Prosecutor. Those jobs taught me the value of hard work and helped shape my character and work ethic. Because of those jobs, I valued even more the education I received at UT and at St. Mary's University Law School.
Things don't always come easy; the most valuable things in life are the ones you have to strive to reach. In 1975 I began volunteering to work on political campaigns, mostly the grunt work of walking and calling and stuffing and making signs, and I have continued working on local, state and national campaigns to this day. That doesn't make me an exemplary Democrat; it just makes me a proud Travis County Democrat.
I also value the friendships I have forged over the years during my practice of law and participation in Democratic politics. If you look at the supporter list on our web site, you will agree I am a very lucky man to have such great friends. You cannot know how grateful, and humble that makes me feel. This campaign is about embracing old friends and the joy of meeting new friends as I make those “cold” calls.
The biggest joy I have experienced is the last 17 years that my wife Jan Breland and I have been together. We have been law nerds and progressive Democrats together, and I hope to emulate the ethic and character which has held her in the highest professional esteem in the courthouse. She is my rock.
As we begin to move into the height of the campaign season, I recall all the people who have helped me before and all the people who are helping me again.
When you run for a County Court at Law position, there are few things closer to the bottom of the ballot, so you need to really want the job. The support and enthusiasm we have generated from elected officials like State Representatives Mark Strama and Eddie Rodriguez, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Councilmember Mike Martinez, County Commissioner Karen Huber, former Mayors Frank Cooksey and Bruce Todd, former Councilmembers Bob Binder, Jennifer Kim, Brigid Shea, ACC Trustee Tim Mahoney, former County Attorneys Margaret Moore and Ken Oden and the 700 plus people that have written or called to be put on our supporter list, has been a humbling experience.
Our team is amazing. Emma Barrientos is our treasure. David Butts is our general consultant. Dean Rindy and Rindy/Miller productions will make the great TV spots you will see. Matt Glazer, a writer here on Burnt Orange Report, is running my race with UT Student Jasmine Blake running the field. Eleanor Thompson is in charge of getting me directly into the community. Allyson Holley is doing communication and logistics for the campaign. Of course, RYLO Consulting is doing all our fundraising and making sure we have the funds we need to pay staff and talk to the great people of Austin.
Their passion is amazing and it motivates me to work hard for them and you.
Now that the summer is over and the rain is bringing cool weather, we are already starting to blockwalk and phone bank. We need your help to win on March 2nd.
If you are unfamiliar with our race, please go to my website www.JohnforJudge.com. You will see our full list of supporters, information about me and about the court. Plus, you will also see all the different ways you can get involved.
On the other hand, if you want to help us win, please take a moment to sign up, host a house party, register to vote, or become a volunteer. We need your help making calls and knocking on doors immediately. It may seem like March 2nd is waiting in the wings, but you will be surprised how quickly it arrives. If we wait until January to start doing the hard work, we will not win.
Thank you again so much for your help, support, and just taking the time to read this long note. It means more than any words I could write or say, so just know how appreciative I am.