Odessa attorney Justin Low announced Friday his intent to run for Judge of the 161st District Court in the November 2020 election, a position currently held by the retiring Judge John Smith.
Low said he made the decision to run for office after he heard Smith would be retiring when his term ends at the end of 2020.
“Somebody’s gonna need to take that seat, and I felt like I could handle that caseload and deal with those cases fairly,” Low said. “Knowing who the possible candidates could be for that, I knew that I’d be the best one to do it.”
Low said ever since he became a lawyer, the idea of running for judge had been in his mind, but he had never given it much serious thought before this opportunity came around.
“You don’t want to have to go practice in front of some new judge that doesn’t know everything Judge Smith knows,” Low said. “I thought I can do this. It kind of happened pretty quickly.”
Low, 52, is a Republican and an Odessa native and graduated summa cum laude with his law degree from St. Mary’s University. He has been a practicing licensed attorney for about 24 years. He is also board-certified in criminal law, which he said not many judges are, and this is a position that handles mostly criminal cases. Attorney Spencer Dobbs is his campaign treasurer.
Smith, 74, has served as the 161st District Judge since February 2006 and his term will end on Dec. 31, 2020.