Judges dislike 'one-lever voting'

Republicans, Democrats agree change is needed

SAN ANTONIO - The majority of attention during this year’s elections was focused on the Presidential and Congressional races, and a handful of local and state races.

That concerns many candidates in what are called "down-ballot races," such as judicial candidates, whose names appear below what are considered the big races.

The numbers show many Bexar County voters simply pulled one lever, voting either straight Republican or straight Democratic.

“The danger of pulling one lever is two-fold,” said 399th District Court Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner. “No. 1, you get rid of really qualified judges and No. 2, you can get unqualified judges. They’re both bad."

Vasquez-Gardner, a Republican, was defeated -- a defeat she feels is the result of so-called one-lever voting.

Judge Ron Rangel, a Democrat, also favors changing the way judges are elected.

“I don’t like the fact that judicial candidates have to run under a party designation,” Rangel said.

Rangel won convincingly with numbers that exceeded the Democratic wave that swept the county.

He said that one-lever helped him, but said his numbers show that hard work also came into play.

“It doesn’t always translate specifically to whatever designation you fall under whether or not you win,” Rangel said. “Hard work obviously makes a difference.”

Only four Republican judges were re-elected on Tuesday.


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