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KFDM learns Judge Layne Walker decides not to seek reelection; cites "incredible business opportunity"
JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Scott Lawrence
KFDM News has learned 252nd Criminal District Court Judge Layne Walker has decided not to seek reelection to another term, citing "an incredible business opportunity" offered to him late last week.
Judge Walker has served three terms on the 252nd Criminal District Court in Jefferson County. No other candidate had filed to run against him in the Democratic Primary.
He filed on the first day in November when candidates for the March primaries were able to do so. The final day to file or withdraw a filing application is December 9.
"I could have waited until after the deadline to announce my decision but feel the voters of Jefferson County should decide who will be the next judge of the 252nd Court," Judge Walker told KFDM News. "It's not fair for a select group to decide who will be on the ballot. This way, everyone has a choice."
Walker told KFDM he's proud of his record as a judge.
"I've moved more cases than anyone and I'm leaving that court in very good shape," said Judge Walker. "I've weathered every storm and remained judicial in the process."
Walker isn't ready to elaborate on the business opportunity and says he's still deciding when to leave the bench.
"I've not decided when my last day will be and have not sent a letter to Governor Perry," said Walker.
The Texas Gang Investigators Association last year recognized Judge Walker with a statewide award for what the group calls his effort to help combat gang activity. It's called the "Ted Poe Damn Good Judge award" after U.S.Representative Ted Poe, a former state district court judge. Each year the group presents the award to one Texas judge. Walker says it's one of the most important honors of his career.
Judge Walker told KFDM he's proud of his family's legacy of service to the people of Jefferson County and Southeast Texas.
"This concludes 58 years of service by the Walker family-for the time being."
The decision means a number of judgeships will be up for a vote in the March 4, 2014 primaries, including the 252nd Criminal District Court and the 58th District Court seat Judge Bob Wortham is vacating to run for Jefferson County District Attorney. In addition, 172nd State District Court Judge Donald Floyd has drawn opposition in his run for reelection and several candidates have announced for the County Court at Law #3 seat after Judge John Paul Davis decided not to seek reelection.