Texans may have taken a huge “L” on Tuesday night with re-electing Ted Cruz to a second term, but the people of the Lone Star state did win in Houston, where they catapulted 19 Black women to the position of judge.
Shannon Baldwin, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Sharon Burney, Dedra Davis, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Judge Ramona Franklin, Lori Chambers Gray, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Erica Hughes, Judge Maria Jackson, Tonya Jones, Michelle Moore, Latosha Lewis Payne, Sandra Peake, Germaine Tanner, and LaShawn Williams, all ran for various positions within the Harris County court system and exemplified true Black Girl Magic with their victories. In addition to their elections, Harris County also elected Democrat Lina Hidalgo, a 27 year-old immigrant who defeated a 10-year incumbent for the seat.
In a Facebook post announcing their candidacies, LaShawn Williams said, “I’ve waited for the reveal of this photo of 19 judicial candidates for several weeks – 19 Black women running for judge in Harris County, Houston, TX.” She continued, “This entire time I’ve thought of what I’d say the day we were able to share this moment in history with everyone. But really I’m humbled. Never did I imagine that the day I decided to run to be judge, I’d become a part of a club of phenomenal Black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong – everything I hope to be!” She hashtagged the announcement #trustblackwomen #blackgirlmagictx #lawforjudge #19newfacesofjustice
Their record achievement comes just two years after nine Black women were elected judges in Alabama, and in tandem with the elections of the most diverse pool of political candidates in the history of the House of Representatives.