KAGS Café with Candidates: Meet Justin Lopez

Justin Lopez, a candidate for Justice of the Peace in Brazos County Precinct 4, said he wants the courts to be open to everyone.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Justin Lopez is running for Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 in Brazos County. Lopez will face Darrell Booker for the job in November on Election Day.

Lopez said he previously ran for public office four years ago and was inspired to run again this time for a different position.

Lopez said the most important thing he wants to see accomplished if elected is to increase the inclusivity of his precinct’s courts.

We interviewed Lopez at The Brew Coffeehouse in College Station. Below are some of the questions we asked Lopez and her answers are also included.

“Have you run for office before?”

“I…I ran for Justin de la Paz for Precinct 1 four years ago.”

“Tell me how that race went.”

“The experience of that race was made by the people I ran with. It was a great experience, I learned a lot. I was just a member of the community eager to run, and I jumped in. After running that race, I really started to have a passion for the law courts and JP courts in our area. For the past four years, I have studied the duties, responsibilities, and rules of our Brazos County Justice of the Peace.”

“Can you break down and list what you would do if you were elected justice of the peace?”

“Yeah, so a justice of the peace looks at class C misdemeanors that are punishable by a fine only. We do disputes and evictions from tenants, landlords, small claims court, $20,000 or less. Brazos County doesn’t have an office coroner, so we act as a medical examiner, so we respond to investigations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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“What was that moment in your mind when you decided to run, again, for office?”

“Well, Will, I don’t know how much you know about me, but in September of 2012, on September 15, 2012, my mother was brutally murdered inside her home in Galveston County. Her estranged ex-boyfriend showed up and shot her indoors”. her house in front of my 12-year-old sister. My mother had a heart the size of Texas.”

“Is what happened to your mother the reason you want these quicker turnaround times on these investigations?”

“Everything about my mother plays a crucial role in my thought process, my plan, and why I’m running for public office.”

“Your mother is the reason you’re running, I imagine.”

“It is my duty as his son to carry on his legacy and share his story.”

“What do you want to see accomplished immediately?”

“We’ll be able to, easily, number one, make the courts more open and accessible and it sounds a bit cliche, but that’s what that court needs… Allowing the community to feel like that space is a fair space.”

“Do you think there is bias in Brazos County?”

“I think there might be some bias in Precinct 4 towards a certain demographic, a certain skin color, a certain political party. Will, I’m going to be a justice of the peace for everyone.”

“Is there an overarching word, value, or principle you’re trying to live by throughout your campaign?”

“One of the many ideas in my campaign is that it doesn’t matter what you look like, whether you look like me or not, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat … I want to be a justice of the peace for everyone in our community.”

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If you would like to learn more about López’s political views and his campaign, you can visit his campaign website here.

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