Monday Night Politics: Presiding over family law, issues
Diane Xavier | 3/3/2014, 10:08 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
While early voting started on Feb. 17, Monday Night Politics – Meet the Candidates has continued to push to bring the community and the candidates together, in order to help each voter become as informed as possible at the polls. The Feb. 17 forum featured candidates from County Criminal Court 10, County Criminal Court 11, County Probate Court 2 and County Probate Court 3.
The night started with incumbent Rob Canas facing LeDouglas Johnson, candidates for the office of County Criminal Court 10, which handles criminal domestic violence cases.
Canas, the incumbent, was the first to speak. He has been a judge for this seat since 2006.
“I am pretty proud of the record that I have,” Canas said. “When I ran for this court in 2006, I promised that I would make this court the best domestic violence court it could possibly be and I am proud to say that I have done that. The United States Department of Justice named my court a domestic violence mentor court, one of only three in the whole country, which means that we exhibit best practices and other county courts that want to learn how to run a good domestic violence court can come to Dallas and learn that. We actually had groups from Idaho about a week ago to come and learn from our court. I also got back about $640,000 in federal grant money that is your federal tax money coming back to Dallas. This money allows me to help keep victims safe and hold defenders accountable. I also earned a 91 percent approval rating from the Dallas Bar Association.”
Johnson, a graduate of Duke University, who also received his law degree from SMU, explained why he has decided to run for the seat.
“Renee Greenwood, my best friend’s mom, was shot by her ex-boyfriend after she wanted to leave him since he was abusive,” Johnson said. “No matter how hard we try to look back to go back in time and change things, it is not possible. But what you can do is reach into the future and change lives with policies. That is why I selected this race and is something that I am passionate about. It is something that has affected my life and affects the lives of our children.”
Johnson said that in Dallas County over the last seven years, the number of domestic violence cases has risen by over 80 percent.
“If you look over the rest of the state, the number of domestic violence incidents has actually gone down over 10 percent,” Johnson said. “We are developing a violence gap here in Dallas County where we are headed in the wrong direction. I am asking you to make a change since I have researched and found ways to help reduce domestic violence cases here in Dallas County.”
The next forum featured candidates for County Criminal Court 11, another court that deals with family violence. Candidates Shequitta Kelly and Melodee Armstrong are facing each other in this race.