Although official filing for the 2018 elections doesn’t open up until November 11, at least one candidate has already thrown his hat in the ring for Precinct 3 justice of the peace.
Bill Lawrence, a former three-term mayor of Highland Village, announced Monday he will run for justice of the peace. Lawrence is the first to announce for the position in the 2018 Republican Party primary.
Denton County Precinct 3 contains Lewisville, Highland Village and Copper Canyon. The county has six precincts.
Judge Becky Kerbow currently presides over the justice court, but has said she will not run for re-election. Instead she intends to serve out her term through December, then spend more time with her grandchildren, and pursuing her passion as an artist.
Lawrence, 71, is a 34-year resident of Highland Village. A decorated Vietnam veteran, he retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve, where he served for 24 years, mostly as a line officer. After serving his first eight years on active duty, he returned and went to law school. He practiced law briefly for the Air Force and also as an attorney for the IRS.
Though no longer a practicing attorney, he has served as a commissioner for the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission and as a commissioner for the Denton County Probate Court helping mediate eminent domain cases.
Professionally, Lawrence says he’s a consultant, working in dispute mediation and business strategic planning.
His resume lists numerous nonprofit and community involvements. Lawrence Serves as vice-chairman of the Denco 9-1-1 board, and is on the boards of the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce and Lewisville ISD Education Foundation.
Lawrence is a member of Lewisville Noon Rotary, and has served as chairman of the Medical Center of Lewisville.
Lawrence served as mayor of Highland Village from 2000 to 2006 and counts the passage of the city’s 4B sales tax to fund parks as a major accomplishment.
Lawrence calls himself a principled conservative, and said he has been a Republican for as long as he can remember — at least forty years. He has served as vice president of the Denton County Republican Assembly, a club which he joked was like the Republican wing of the Republican party.
In 2012, Lawrence ran against incumbent Kay Granger for U.S. Representative in House District 12 and lost.
If elected as justice of the peace, Lawrence wrote that he would work to enhance court efficiency, protect rights of citizens and ensure that laws are strictly enforced.
“I am running for Justice of the Peace because of my commitment to Public Service and the Rule of Law,” he wrote.