Justin Lopez, candidate for Justice of the Peace in Precinct 4 of Brazos County, said he wants to make the courts open for everyone.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Justin Lopez is running for Justice of the Peace of Precinct 4 in Brazos County. Lopez is set to face off against Darrell Booker for the position in November on Election Day.
Lopez said he previously ran for public office four years ago and was inspired to run again this time around for a different seat.
Lopez said the biggest thing he wants to see accomplished if he were elected would be to increase the inclusiveness of the courts of his precinct.
We interviewed Lopez at The Brew Coffeehouse in College Station. Below are some of the questions we asked Lopez and include his answers as well.
“Have you run for office before?”
“I have…I ran for Justin of the Peace for Precinct 1 four years ago.”
“Tell me about what that race was like.”
“The experience of that race was made by the people who I ran with. It was a great experience, I learned a lot. I was just an eager community member, looking to run, and I kind of jumped in, head first. After running that race, I truly began to gain a passion for the justice courts and for the JP courts in our area. Over the last four years, I have studied the duties and the responsibilities and rules of our Brazos County Justice of the Peace.”
“Can you break down and make a list of what you would do if you were elected Justice of the Peace?”
“Yes, so a Justice of the Peace looks at Class C Misdemeanors that are punishable of up to a fine only. We do tenant landlord desputes and evictions, Small Claims Court, $20,000 or less. Brazos County does not have a a coroner’s office so we act as the coroner, so we respond to inquests, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
“What was that moment in your mind where you decided to run, again, for office?”
“Well, Will, I don’t know how much you know about me but in September of 2012, September 15, 2012, my mother was brutally murdered inside her home in Galveston County. Her estranged ex-boyfriend showed up, shot her inside her home infront of my 12-year-old sister. My mother had a heart the size of Texas.”
“Is what happened to your mother the reason why you want these quicker response times to these inquests?”
“Everything about my mother plays a crucial part in my though process, my plan, and why I’m running for public office.”
“Your mother is the reason you’re running, I imagine?”
“It is my duty as her son to carry out her legacy and share her story.”
“What do you want to see accomplished immediately?”
“We’ll be able to accomplish, easily, number one, making the courts more open and accessible and it sounds a little cliche but that is what that court needs…. Allow the community to feel that that space is an unbiased space.”
“Do you think there is bias in Brazos County?”
“I think there could be some bias in Precinct 4 toward a certain demographic, certain color of your skin, certain political party. Will, I’m going to be a Justice of the Peace for everyone.”
“Is there an overarching word, value, or principle that you try to live by through your campaign?”
“One of the many ideas in my campaign is that no matter what you look like, if you look like me or you don’t, if you’re a Republican or you’re a Democrat…I wanna be a JP for everyone in our community.”
If you’d like to learn more about Lopez’s political views and his campaign, you can visit his campaign website here.