Candidates’ final push for judicial race

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The race for 136th Judicial District Court is a tale of a candidate from a well-known family versus a candidate who has had a lengthy legal career.

Democrat Baylor Wortham and Republican Dana Timaeus will face each other for the Tuesday, Nov. 8 General Election. Early voting started on Monday and ends on Nov. 4.

Wortham said things have been going “really well” for his campaign.

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“I’ve been visiting he polls and talking to voters and telling them what I stand for,” he said. “They want someone focused on fairness and confident someone will work hard. Someone who will not clock in at 10 a.m. and clock out at 2 p.m. They want someone who will make a difference. Not have a job where they can play golf 20 hours a week.”

Wortham said he has worked in a variety of different courts in his career and he doesn’t have one particular agenda.

“There’s some partisan aspect to voting for some people; straight party voters anyway,” he said. “But people see a person running for judge, they want someone with integrity and believes in fairness and honesty.”

“I showed someone my card and the first word on it is ‘honest.’ It’s about basic decency.”

For a judicial candidate, Wortham said it’s not so much about one’s platform as it is their track record.

He worked as a litigator in the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office and for the U.S. Attorney’s office and with other attorneys over the years.

“I’ve always been fair to them (other attorneys) as a trial lawyer. I will not be different with who I deal with as a fair lawyer or as a judge. I’ll be the same.”

Wortham’s father is Bob Wortham, Jefferson County District Attorney. He said though his family is well known, and his father is engaged and active in the community, it doesn’t necessarily mean people will vote for Wortham because of his father’s name.

“People will vote for me for what I stand for and what I believe. They know my father’s principles and how I was raised with those principles. That alone is the reason I will win the election,” Wortham said.

Wortham was born and raised in Beaumont. He is a graduate of Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School. He continued his education at Baylor University, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in information technology. After graduation, he attended Baylor Law School where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree in General Civil Litigation. While in law school, Wortham was a member of the Baylor Law Review, where he served as Senior Technology Editor.

He was the chief prosecutor for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, and an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Easter District of Texas.

Timaeus has been getting out the vote — working on his ground game, making calls and making personal contacts.

“Voters are very happy when candidates are speaking to them at the polls,” Timaeus said. “When you compare qualifications, a person can see who the most qualified and experienced candidate is for office. I was licensed the same year my opponent was born.”

Timaeus added he’s board certified in personal injury. He also has experience in civil, criminal and family law. He’s certified to practice law from the justice of the peace court to the U.S. Supreme Court in addition to lots of trials and mediation work.

He added that he wants to be a judge to maintain the quality of the 136th Judicial District Court. He has previously done work in this court as well as courtrooms in surrounding counties.

Timaeus said he doesn’t have a political platform because judicial candidates are not policymakers.

“I will work well and efficiently for the community. I will serve the entire community. It’s been this way from the beginning and will be until the end,” he said.

Timaeus graduated from Port Neches-Groves High School and Lamar University. After law school, his career experience includes trials to juries, arbitrators, judges and administrative agency decision makers; risk management training; legal compliance and incident investigation and mediating agreements between parties that would otherwise have needed a judge or jury to decide their differences.

David Ball: 409-721-2427