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Scoggins and Reyna battle for top seat

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The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY – The 10th Court of Appeals hears approximately 400 criminal and civil appeals a year from lower courts in eighteen Texas counties including Ellis.

Located in Waco, the court is composed of a chief justice and two justices.

This year, Justice Felipe Reyna is up for re-election and vying for the spot during the March 2 primaries are Reyna and Al Scoggins who currently is serving as Ellis County’s 378th District Judge.

Each candidate was sent the exact same Questions to answer briefly.

Felipe Renya (I)

Al Scoggins

What are your top three issues?


The cornerstone of our democracy is access to a fair and impartial justice system.

The judicial branch of government must remain separate and independent from political pressure, special interest groups, and personal agendas.

Every person has the right to defend and promote his own personal values.

Judges, however, should not impose their own set of personal values from the bench.

I decide cases based upon the facts of the case and the law as it currently exists.


A. 26 years as a trial judge would be beneficial to a court whose function is to determine whether error was made in the trial court. B. My ability to work with other people would be helpful on a three-judge court. C. I would be a strict constructionist that would not legislate from the appellate court bench.

Why are you seeking this position?

Reyna: I am certainly not a career politician. At the beginning of my legal career, I was a prosecutor in the District Attorneys Office for four years, and then served as District Attorney of McLennan Coun-ty for six years.

Following that service, I was in private practice with my wife for twenty years, experiencing the challenges of a small businessman and gaining the wisdom that comes from representing and advocating the interests of individual clients.

After 30 years of practicing law out there in the real world, Gov Perry selected me for this position. The voters agreed with him and I have accepted the invitation to culminate my legal career in public service.


To put my years of experience to work for the citizens. In the history of the 10th Court of appeals, there has never been a justice elected from Ellis County.

I earnestly ask for the readers consideration, vote and support.

What are your goals for the first three months in office?


During my first term, the backlog of cases in the 10th Court has been reduced by 27 percent, and I intend to continue the efforts that have lead to that progress.

I have written more opinions in the last six years than the other two justices, and over 95 percent of my decisions reviewed by higher courts have been affirmed. With six years of appellate bench experience behind me, I know what must be done and how to get it done.


As a trial judge in Ellis County for over 26 years, I would like to see a better working relationship between the judges on the court.

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