Odessa attorney and Republican Julie Prentice has filed to run for Ector County attorney.
The former Ector County District Attorney’s office prosecutor said she filed Thursday and this is her first time to run for public office.
Prentice grew up “all over the place” and around the Dallas area but with family in Midland and said the family often vacationed in West Texas and that she moved here 11 years ago after law school and “fell in love with the people and this is home.”
She is a graduate of Texas A&M Kingsville and also a 2012 graduate of Texas A&M School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law).
She previously worked under both former DA Bobby Bland and also current DA Dusty Gallivan at the Ector County District Attorney’s office as a prosecutor. She then sought out civil experience and currently works at the Jimenez Law Firm in Odessa where she practices both family and criminal law.
If elected, she said she will be a full time county attorney for Ector County and will not have a private practice. Lee McClendon is the current county attorney.
“My plan is to be a full time county attorney and I believe we desperately need someone to be excited to fill that role,” she said Friday morning.
She decided to run after going into private practice to gain civil experience but said her heart is in public service. “I’ve known it for a long time…I want to help people and I love this community so much and we have a need for someone to push that agenda forward and make our county even better.”
One item she is excited to work on is the juvenile detention center. She said the price to build a new one is going up every day and she wants to be a part of moving that in the right direction.
She said she believes too many legal issues are farmed out to expensive outside counsel and that is something she would like to see tapered back to save the county money.
“I am sure I can properly advise and help that out…the big thing is to have in-house counsel,” she added. “The other big thing is I want to work on game rooms…the commissioners and county judge have done a good job so far but with initiatives I think we can be tighter on that issue.”
She praised the work of the court and County Judge Dustin Fawcett with helping improve Ector County and said she can also bring a positive attitude and an excitement for the job to the table.
She said she is a volunteer for Teen Court and the chair for the Young Professionals of Odessa this year. She also currently serves on the ODC Compliance Committee. She previously served on the board of the Permian Playhouse and has volunteered with the Girl Scouts.
She said voters will find that she has energy and enthusiasm to bring to the job. “I have a passion for this county and this position…for too long we have been reactive…and I want to help move us forward. I am the right person to bring the energy to do that.”
The primary elections are in March 2024. Prentice’s treasurer is Odessa attorney Melanie Hollman.