Hohengarten facing first contested race in 14 years
Melancon, Flores cite decisions by judge that rankled some lawyers.
Travis County Judge Nancy Hohengarten is facing her first contested election since 14 years ago, when she took the bench in Court-at-Law No. 5. Her opponents in the Democratic primary say a change is needed in the court’s leadership, pointing to decisions Hohengarten made in trials last year that rankled some members of the defense bar.
But while challengers McKinley Melancon and Mario Flores have raised a combined $21,696 in contributions since July, Hohengarten has raised $81,689 — with a healthy amount coming from defense lawyers. Among those backing her candidacy are seven Democratic groups along with Austin lawmakers U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and state Sen. Kirk Watson.
Hohengarten says support for her re-election proves that a few incidents in her courtroom over the past year are being blown out of proportion by her foes.
“I have a tremendous amount of support from the defense bar,” Hohengarten said.
Some of the criticism goes back to a June Facebook post in which Hohengarten said she had been presiding over a trial and that one of the lawyers had “tortured” her. It was a joke, she later clar-