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We recommend David Bridges in the Republican primary for presiding judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

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Dallas Morning News Editorial

The Court of Criminal Appeals is Texas' highest court for criminal appeals. The presiding judge is as important a judicial post as any in Texas. 

The incumbent, Sharon Keller of Austin, has repeatedly exhibited disturbing judicial and ethical conduct. We heartily recommend challenger David Bridges of Rockwall County in this GOP primary. 

Bridges, 62, would bring important smarts, experience and temperament to the court, which reviews all death penalty appeals from trial courts and reviews cases from 14 Courts of Appeals across Texas. He's been a justice of the 5th District Court of Appeals for 21 years. He's also served as an assistant district attorney and senior disciplinary counsel for the State Bar of Texas. 

Bridges is board certified in both criminal and criminal appellate law.

Keller, by contrast, has presided over a series of chilling decisions that call into question the court's dedication to justice.  There was the infamous "we close at 5" comment that shut down a last-minute execution appeal years ago; also her refusal to grant a new trial to Roy Criner in a rape case despite DNA evidence suggesting he did not commit the crime. (Criner ultimately received a gubernatorial pardon.)  More recently, Keller, 64, was fined $100,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to disclose over $2 million in assets.

Bridges offers a sharp contrast. His record is conservative,  his temperament judicial, his sense of justice profound. 

The winner of this primary will move to a contested race in November.