Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The Escobar Resignation
There's plenty of talk about who is going to run to replace her but no one has really talked about the ramifications of her impending resignation so lets lay it out there.
First of all, when she resigns it will be a decision of the entire court as to who her successor will be. No matter who that person may be, they will need 3 out of 4 votes of the remaining court. So it will be very difficult for Judge Escobar to really line someone up to replace her - so David K should probably not throw around Susie Byrd as a viable option just yet.
But think about what that really means to the Court. Generally they don't pick someone with aspirations to run for the office, although there is nothing that legally prohibits it. There are at least two members of the court that are interested in being the next County Judge - Commissioner Stout and Commissioner Leon.
Its hard to see how either of them would get the necessary votes. But lets say it happened. Lets say the court picked one of the two to be the interim county judge. At that time, Escobar would no longer be County Judge. There would be no "hold-over" period. And at that point, the new County Judge would effectively be able to pick their own successor because members of the court that are not the County Judge are replaced by the County Judge.
Another scenario could be that Stout or Leon would resign BEFORE the County Judge to run for the seat she's vacating. Then Escobar would be able to appoint their replacement. So in the case of someone like Stout, maybe a Susie Byrd pick to replace Stout wouldn't be out of the question. This scenario is as likely as any other at this point, if not more so.
Or the Court could choose to pick someone from outside the Court to be the interim County Judge. Talk about an interesting development there...
Because anyone they pick, assuming Escobar calls it quits in July or August like I assume she will, will automatically be a contender for the County Judge seat because the Court can't prohibit that person from running. Essentially that would mean that Leon and Stout would be picking someone that could potentially be better situated to defeat either of them in the primary.
And seriously, who the hell could they pick from the outside that could get 3/4 votes anyway? Maybe a former commissioner or former county judge? I can't really think of anyone else that doesn't come with a whole mess of problems.
And what I think is more likely, the Court just operate as a 4 -person body (in which case the hold-over clause would kick in) and they just wait until mid December when the filing deadline passes to appoint an interim County Judge. Right now that person would serve more than a year and a half before turning over the reins to the winner of the Democratic Primary.
At any rate, Escobar is going to be leaving one chingo of a mess for them to figure out when she leaves.
Posted by The Lion Star at 2:04 PM