19 Black Women Were Elected Judges In This Major Texas County On Tuesday
In Harris County, Texas,19 Black women won the power of the gavel during Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to Buzzfeed.
Their names are: Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Judge Maria Jackson, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin, and Lori Chambers Gray.
All of the women won judicial seats in Harris County, the largest county in Texas and the third largest in the United States.
The momentum for the women has been building for over two months as Judge LaShawn Williams, who was a candidate at the time, posted an image of the women in anticipation of the big day.
“Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal Black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong – everything I hope to be!” she wrote. “It is with great pride and excitement that I share this “Black Girl Magic” with you! Congratulations – you are truly black girl magic!”
In an interview with local outlet Fox26, Judge Lori Chamber Gray, who won a judgeship for the 262nd Criminal District Court, shared her excitement over the historic win.
“I have dealt with a lot of judges in the last 30 years. Many of them were great judges, very experienced. But few were women and even fewer were African-American. And because I do a lot of criminal defense work, a lot of my clients are either African-American or Hispanic.”
“I think that having an African-American judge or having a female judge– those are the kinds of things we bring to the bench. And we bring an understanding of a person who may come from that similar background,” said Judge Latosha Lewis Payne, the judge-elect for the 55th Civil Judicial District.
Though the Texas midterm race was overshadowed by the contentious Senate race between Beto O’Rourke and incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, Black women were definitely making gains in the state and sprinkling their #Blackgirlmagic everywhere.