Candidates Vying for Judge Hyde's Seat Talk Runoff Election

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY - The 238th District Court seat belonged to Judge John Hyde for 21 years before his death back in January. Now there's a race to fill his seat again.

On Tuesday night, four candidates were narrowed down to two: David Lindemood and Elizabeth Leonard, separated by a mere 1% of the vote.

On Tuesday night, Leonard had 34% of the vote and Lindemood had 33% of the vote.

The final runoff election comes July 31st though both agree Hyde can never be replaced.

"I can't fill those shoes and there's not a candidate around who can fill those shoes," Lindemood said. "John Hyde was a phenomenally exceptional person."

"You're not going to fill those shoes," Leonard said. "Those were great shoes and it's a great legacy to preserve."

Both candidates carry a personal stake with Judge Hyde to honor his seat.

"I've got a good group that advises me, one of which is Sharon Hyde and Ms. Hyde's going to help me and give me some thoughts," Lindemood said.

"I was assigned to Judge Hyde's court as an assistant district attorney for five years," Leonard said. "On almost a day-to-day basis, I was practicing before him."

Now the final cut belongs to Midland voters.

Lindemood cites his experience as a Texas lawyer since 1980 as his advantage.

"I've got more experience and more qualifications than she does as far as practicing law and continuing to practice law," he said.

Meanwhile, Leonard points to her own trump card: her diversity in law.

"I have 10-and-a-half years of criminal felony trial experience," she said. "I have civil trial experience and I have oil and gas experience."

Ultimately, the voters decide who picks up the mantle of one of Midland County's most beloved judges.