By Mark Bennett Odessa
Walden vs Stringer. I have been observing the race for Ector County justice of the peace and a couple of things have become obvious.
First, their qualifications. Missi has 15 years as a courtroom coordinator and prior to that worked in the legal field. She also has 150 hours of courtroom specific education. She has coordinated and observed thousands of hearings and trials. She knows how things work better than most lawyers. Matthew on the other hand, is an unemployed bench jeweler who worked at his parents store and has no formal education and no experience in a courtroom or in the field of law. I have to admit that he has done some serious glad-handing and gotten himself appointed to some non-paying political positions.
Next, you have to consider their motivations. This is a natural path for Missi to apply all that legal experience to her role as justice of the peace. I expect that she has no other agenda and would be happy being an Ector County justice for a long time. I am convinced that Matthew, who has no qualifications to be a justice, sees this job as a paying foot in the door to higher office in what would undoubtedly be a lifetime career in politics. He has probably mapped out the state office he could run for next or someone pulling the strings has mapped it out for him.
Ector County deserves a dedicated justice of the peace, not just another entry-level, career politician.