Benny Boyd

Area attorney makes Supreme Court bid

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Area attorney makes Supreme Court bid

By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Lockhart attorney Bill McNeal announced recently that he plans to wage an uphill campaign for Place 6 on the Texas Supreme Court. His battle will begin the day after the March 7, 2006 Primary Election.
McNeal has chosen to run for office as an independent, non-partisan candida

te. As such, he will have to collect 45,450 signatures on a petition to be placed on the November ballot. No judge running as an independent has ever been elected to the Texas Supreme Court.
“I am running as an independent candidate because I believe that party politics should not be involved in the selection of judges,” McNeal said in a written statement this week. “Although many have advocated a change in the system, including at least two past Chief Justices of the Texas Supreme Court, no change has occurred. It is my hope that my candidacy may at least be a move toward change.”
Under the state”s election rules, McNeal may begin collecting signatures the day after the primary election, unless any party”s primary results in a runoff election for Place 6 on the Texas Supreme Court. In the event of a runoff, McNeal cannot begin collecting signatures until April 12. He must then collect the required signatures within 30 days.
However, only those registered voters who do not vote in a partisan primary with the Place 6 office on the ballot may sign the petition. Because both Republican and Libertarian candidates have filed for the office, voters participating in those primary elections may not sign McNeal”s petition. However, because the Democratic party has placed no candidate on the primary ballot, those voting in the Democratic primary may still sign.
“Even though it may appear that my chances are slim, I am serious about the campaign and believe that it can be a force for change in the system,” he said.
McNeal chose his campaign strategy for a number of reasons, including his feelings about campaign spending.
“I am… unhappy about the amount of money that has been spent on past judicial campaigns in Texas and the advertising that has resulted,” he said. “Judges should not be selected on the basis of which one has the most television commercials, particularly when those commercials are for the most part paid for by lawyers who will appear before the judge if elected and special interests who have something to gain or lose in litigation.”
McNeal has pledged to spend a maximum of $500 on the campaign.
McNeal has been a praciticing attorney for more than 40 years.

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