Making history: 17 African-American women elected to judgeships in Harris County

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Nov. 6, 2018, marks a significant and historic win for African-American women in Harris County during the midterm election.

For the first time, 17 black women who were running for judgeships won. Now, 19 women judges sit on the bench in Harris County.

Judge-elect Lawshawn Williams told KPRC that she was honored to be among the 19 winning candidates. While they were running, social media dubbed them Houston19. Williams said that the photo holds deeper meaning now because she was one of the 17 elected and will soon take the bench as Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 3 Judge-elect.

Here is the list of the judges as seen in the photo above:

A list of the 19 Aftrican-American women who were running for judgeships in Harris County in November 2018.

“Across the board, the diversity of the Democratic ticket was huge and I think it sends a message that we can lead here in Harris County. We can lead in the state of Texas,” Williams said. “For black women particularly, we take a seat at the table and things change. For us in this situation it will change in terms of criminal justice reform, health care, these are the kinds of cases that will come before us and really impact our community.”

The Harris County Democratic party said the 17 victories are historic. Williams said that there is still a long way to go but the wins are significant.

“We should have a diverse bench because we have a diverse community. Harris County is one of the most diverse in the nation. We aren’t just talking about diversity as race or gender or color but we are talking about values and ideals and the community is better served when the bench looks like them,” Williams said.

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