Travis County Judicial
Only one is opposed in November
53rd District Court
Maria Cantu Hexsel is senior counsel for Germer Gertz Beaman & Brown, PLLC. for the Western District of Texas. She is responsible for diverse civil litigation with a concentration in health care law, representing physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and hospitals. She is an active member of the State Bar of Texas, Austin Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, and the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association. Maria graduated cum laude from Our Lady of the Lake University in 1992, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies. She received her J.D. from Texas Tech University in 1995.
98th District Court
Rhonda Hurley, incumbent, is unopposed for re-election.
126th District Court
Aurora Martinez Jones, an associate judge in Travis County, is unopposed for election. She presides over child welfare dockets, including Family Drug Treatment Court and Permanent Managing Conservatorship dockets, reviewing Travis County cases with foster children in the permanent care of Child Protective Services (CPS). Before being appointed as associate judge, Martinez Jones had her own practice, The Martinez Jones Law Firm, PLLC. She practiced child welfare law, personal injury, probate, real estate, family law and civil litigation.
She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the UT-Austin Law School. She established an organization to connect and support other minority women in law school - Minority Women Pursuing Law. She is currently a board member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and chair of the statewide Children's Justice Act Task Force. She has also been involved with the Austin Black Lawyers Association and Foundation, Travis County Women Lawyer's Foundation, Travis County Collaborative for Children, the Girls Empowerment Network, and Friends of the Children - Austin.
167th District Court
Dayna Blazey is director for Diversion Programs and the Grand Jury Division with the Travis County District Attorney’s office. After graduating from South Texas College of Law, she worked as a briefing attorney for Judge Charles Campbell at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals before joining the DA’s office in 1989. She has tried a wide range of felony cases from credit card fraud to death penalty cases and has served as the Chief Prosecutor on the Child Protection Team for 16 years. She has served on the boards of the Austin Rape Crisis Center, the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and the 100 Club of Central Texas.
200th District Court
Jessica Mangrum is a partner with the law firm Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP. Her practice is focused on civil litigation, including personal injury, professional liability and construction cases. She is board certified in construction law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Austin Young Lawyers Association and the Austin Bar Association. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, she has also served as an instructor in its trial advocacy program. She is a member of the Texas Bar College and handles pro bono cases from Volunteer Legal Services. Jessica was appointed by the Austin City Council in 2014 to serve on the Building and Standards Commission and is currently serving as its chair.
353rd District Court
Madeleine Connor is general counsel for the Texas Veterans Commission. Previously, she was an associate attorney for Adams & Reese and Porter & Hedges law firms in Houston; briefing attorney for the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston; assistant Attorney General for the Habeas Corpus Division in Austin; law clerk for the Texas Court of criminal Appeals in Austin, and assistant Attorney General for the General Litigation Division in Austin. She also has had private practice for family, civil rights, government and employment discrimination in Austin and Houston.
She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Houston and Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center. She has previously run for public office, including as a Republican candidate for district judge in 2006, justice of the peace in 2010, and 3rd Court of Appeals in 2012. She ran for Travis County district judge as a Democrat in 2008.
390th District Court
Julie Kocurek (incumbent) has served as presiding judge of the 390th District Court since October 1999. Previously, she was a Travis County assistant district attorney for seven years, prosecuting felony crimes and serving as child abuse prosecutor. She became board certified in criminal law in 1998, and in 1999 was appointed by Gov. George W. Bush to a seat on the newly created 390th district court, becoming the first female district judge in Travis County. She has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
On November 6, 2015, Kocurek was shot and seriously wounded by an assailant in the driveway of her home. She was able to return to the courtroom by February 2016.
427th District Court
Judge Tamara Needles (incumbent) is unopposed for re-election
345th District Court
Jan Soifer (incumbent) is unopposed for re-election.
450th District Court
Judge Brad Urrutia (incumbent) is unopposed for re-election.
460th District Court
Republican opponent: Geoffrey Puryear
Selena M. Alvarenga, an Austin criminal defense attorney, started her law career in 1995 after graduating from St. Mary's Law School in San Antonio. She opened her practice in San Antonio in 1996 and moved her practice to Austin in 2004. She has also represented clients in family law cases as well as immigration law. She has served as president of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.