ANGLETON — Lake Jackson attorney Justin Gilbert breezed to a decisive victory in the Republican Party primary runoff to serve on the 412th District bench, all but assuring he will be taking the oath on New Year’s Day.
Gilbert received 6,533 votes, or 71 percent, of the ballots cast in Tuesday’s runoff election against Pearland attorney Keith Allen, who received 2,671 votes, according to final, unofficial results from the Brazoria County elections office. He is in line to replace Judge Ed Denman, who retired in February under a state mandate that judges step aside when they reach age 75.
“I’m honored to be the next judge of the 412th District Court,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert had thought about running for judge for a few years, he said, and thanked the voters for their support and trust in electing him. Gilbert is a seventh-generation, lifelong resident of Brazoria County and Angleton native.
“My heart and soul are in Brazoria County, and I’m so proud that I’m going to be able to serve Brazoria County,” he said.
Allen did not respond to a message left on his cellphone Tuesday evening.
No Democrat or third-party candidate filed to run in the general election, making Gilbert’s election a formality in November.
Gilbert, 39, earned 10,359 votes, or 47 percent, in the March 6 primary, falling short of the more than 50 percent threshold to win the nomination outright. Allen, 50, came in second with 5,230 votes, giving him a second shot at the seat.
Attorneys Scott Siscoe of Pearland and Cheryl Coleman Driver of Manvel finished third and fourth, respectively, in the primary.
Gilbert earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas before attending law school at Texas Tech University School of Law.
Allen has practiced law for 25 years and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and a law degree from the University of Houston. He spent the first 15 years of his career as a state prosecutor and is a former first assistant district attorney for Brazoria County,.
Texas district judges serve four-year terms and are paid an annual salary of up to $158,000.
Turnout for the runoff was light, with 4.6 percent of eligible Brazoria County voters casting ballots on the Republican side and 2.2 percent taking part in the Democratic runoff.