The Gun Owner's Voter's Guide - State-wide Races

Here were Peaceable Texans' Recommendations for casting your ballot in the March 12th primaries. Our volunteers spent considerable time chasing down these candidates to get their views about firearms and gun control. Our recommendations are based primarily upon the candidates' positions and knowledge (or lack thereof) about gun issues. We tried our best, but many candidates just did not respond to us. If you have knowledge about a candidate, then please share it with us.

 - indicates the winner of the primary
 - indicates a run-off candidate
 - indicates a known gun hater
 - indicates our choice as the most pro-gun candidate in the race

Note: Only the races with more than one candidate are covered here.

Democratic Primary:

Texas Supreme Court

(no contest in the primaries)

Court of Criminal Appeals (Highest Criminal Court)

Place 1 Judge

Bob Perkins - Dist. Judge from Travis County; would not speak with us; his staff said he did not want our endorsement.

Frances Northcutt - Attorney; she never responded to our calls or questionnaire.

Place 2 Judge

Winston Cochran - Attorney

Charles Holcomb - Justice on the Tyler Court of Appeals; owns a few pistols, rifles, and several shotguns; plans to apply for a carry permit. He has not read any law review articles or books on the 2d Amendment. When asked whether he thought gun control was effective, he said, "I've been a prosecutor too long; the bad guys will always get their guns." He is a member of Ducks Unlimited.

Gary Taylor - Attorney; owns 2 pistols, rifle, and shotgun. He does not plan to get a carry permit; ex-member of NRA. He says he would not be against a ban on full autos, but said that he has no problems with semi autos. He seems to believe the media myth about the prevalence of automatics being used by criminal gangs.

Norman Lansford - Judge; owns several pistols, one semi-auto rifle, several other rifles, and shotguns. He thinks the ban on semi-automatics is ridiculous. He appears to be quite knowledgeable on the 2d Amendment. He's an NRA life member; subscribes to Guns & Ammo Magazine. He says gun control is ineffective and cites New York City as an example of gun control at work! He often carries a pistol and plans to keep doing so.

Republican Primary:

Railroad Commission

Carole Keeton Rylander - Incumbent; her campaign staff provided us with Ms. Rylander's answers to another group's (The Texas Constitutional Coalition) 1994 questionnaire in which she indicates that she is a strong supporter of the right to bear arms. She indicated that the 2d Amendment is an individual right; that she is opposed to all federal laws regulating guns except for the 1934 NFA restriction on automatics and therefore she is for repealing the Brady law and the semi-auto ban.

Bob Wood - Retired; he has not responded to our calls or questionnaire.

Court of Criminal Appeals (Highest Criminal Court)

Place 1 Judge

Glen Beaman - Attorney

James Boone - Attorney; loves to bird hunt; owns several shotguns; 2 deer rifles; .22, and a "couple" of pistols. He is ex-army. Has done no reading on the 2d Amendment. He thinks some gun control laws are effective, for example, he supports short waiting periods on handguns. He is an NRA life member and has participated in pistol matches.

Susan Brown - Attorney

Sue Holland - Judge, 296th Dist. Court; she did not respond to our calls or questionnaire.

Jeffrey Keck - Attorney; was a prosecutor for many years, now doing the other side (criminal defense). He is endorsed by TSRA; although he says he's "not a big gun rights guy," he just thinks gun control is "impractical." He owns no guns and has done no real reading on the 2d Amendment. He seems very reasonable and willing to listen to facts.

Janice Law - Municipal Judge; she did not respond to our calls or questionnaire.

Matthew Paul - State Prosecutor; owns one 30.06. He has done no reading on the 2d Amendment, thinks gun control is not effective, and that guns do not influence suicide rates.

Place 2 Judge

Pat Barber - Attorney; He is endorsed by TSRA, and has written for the TSRA newsletter; he changed parties because of the 2d Amendment issue. He was on our pro-gun fax alert list long before running for this office. He scored 100% on our questionnaire.

Mike Keasler - District Judge and ex-prosecutor; owns a pistol; has read "several" law review articles on the 2d Amendment "over the years." He says he feels that gun control laws are ineffective.

Ray McQuary - Attorney who owns "a whole bunch," of pistols, rifles, and shotguns (no semi-autos though). He has done no reading on the 2d Amendment. He says he likes the new right-to-carry law, but is not planning to get a license himself.

Brad Wiewel - Attorney; owns no guns because of the situation with his children he says, but "has access to many guns including 'assault rifles.'" When asked about his reading on the 2d Amendment, he said he had read an Atlantic Monthly article recently. His questionnaire responses reveals that he thinks the news media is anti-gun and that he is knowledgeable about gun control issues in general. Overall, not a bad choice, but not as strong as Mr. Barber.

Paul Womack - Assistant. DA, Williamson Co. who owns no guns. He has read Levinson's "The Embarrassing Second Amendment" article and Gary Will's recent book on the 2d Amendment, saying he is "always impressed" with Will's writing (Note: Gary Wills is anti-gun and his book attempts to make the case that the 2d Amendment does not mean what it says). He believes gun control is "minimally effective."

Place 3 Judge

John Bradley - Assistant DA, Williamson Co.

Cheryl Johnson - Attorney in Austin

Tom Price - Dallas Judge; owns a 30.06, shotguns, pistols. He has not done reading on the 2d Amendment. He does not feel gun control laws are effective. He has applied for a permit to carry, and says that in his time as a judge, he has never seen a murder prosecution involving a rifle or shotgun, so he feels that the ban on semi-auto rifles is ignorant.

Gary Trichter - Ex-peace officer who is now a well known and respected lawyer who has published and lectured across the state. As a former FFL, he says he still owns a "large" collection of guns. When asked whether he has ever read scholarly articles on the 2d Amendment, he said he has read perhaps a dozen law review articles. He is TSRA endorsed and has applied for his license to carry.