Image: 284th District Court Judge candidate Kristin Bays, at the Art Gallery in Conroe, Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
Conroe, October 19 – There wasn’t one dry in the Art Gallery at the Madeley Building in Conroe on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, after 284th District Judge candidate Kristin Bays delivered her campaign kickoff speech. Bays has been practicing law, primarily doing complex civil litigation for, more than 24 years, but her speech to her supporters had to have been one of her stronger ever.
It was an unusual crowd for political functions, because there were a lot of genuine citizens in attendance to meet and support Bays. There was also a group of servants in attendance, including staunch conservative Conroe City Councilman Duane Ham. Montgomery County District Clerk candidate Melisa Miller attended as well as Precinct 2 County Commissioner candidate Brian Dawson. More than a dozen Republican Precinct Chairs and numerous officers from the law enforcement community attended as well. But the group was primarily active citizens and grassroots activists who are excited about the reforms that Bays will likely lead if she’s elected to replace the retiring and highly-respected Cara Wood, the current Judge of the 284th District Court.
Bays, a 1990 Bachelor of Science in Education graduate from Baylor University, received her law degree from Baylor University Law School where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Baylor Law Review and a nationally-ranked Moot Court participant. She graduated fifth in her class and went on to an illustrious career as a civil litigation attorney. She is a member of the Lawyers and Judges Buyer’s Group, was the chair of the Childrens Protective Services Toy Drive in 2008, and is a member of the Montgomery County Republican Women, the Lake Conroe Area Republican Women, the North Shore Republican Women, and The Woodlands Republican Women. Former Supreme Court Justice Scott A. Brister said, “Kristin Bays is one of the best advocates I saw on my six years on the Supreme Court [given her] intelligence, demeanor and grace under pressure.”
Bays is about as hardcore a conservative Republican as someone can find in this very conservative community. She was a founding member of the Liberty Belles Republican Women and actively campaigned for Republican candidates in the 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections. On November 9, 2016, while Bays was happy that President Trump had won election, the Publisher of this newspaper distinctly remembers how upset Bays was that the 45th President of the United States had not won by a larger margin.
Bays’ remarkable speech
Bays’ stunning speech on Tuesday began with the usual “thank yous” to the citizens who attended. She quickly progressed into words that mixed her massive knowledge of technical details of court operations and the law with her heartfelt feelings for justice as a positivist norm.
“Every case is a story with high stakes, but the ending of the story always depends on the judge. It’s her job to do what’s right. Now I know that we all think to ourselves, ‘I don’t have story…I’ll never go before a judge,’ but heed my warning that the decisions judges make may affect you strongly even if you never set foot in the Courthouse. If you elect me, I’ll work to protect and serve the citizens of Montgomery County with the things that matter to you the most,” Bays said.
Bays addressed the issue of court specialization head-on. “Justice is best served by keeping the 284th District Court as a civil court, given the excellent study that the Office of Court Administration under Director Nate Jensen completed. If I’m the judge, however, the court will never sit idly by, because I’ll take cases from other courts when I can to relieve their dockets, if I can help them.”
The nationally-recognized appellate expert also addressed one of the biggest issues facing the Board of District Judges in Montgomery County right now: their supervision and oversight of the Montgomery County Auditor, which is an important statutory duty of the District Judges. “Your taxes must be used wisely, legally, and within the budget. The District Court Judges control the Auditor’s Office. You can absolutely count on the fact that I’ll audit the Auditor’s Office.”
After Councilman Ham briefly mentioned his concerns about public safety during an informal conversation with a group of conservative activists, Bays told Ham and his friends, “Your safety is a paramount concern for you and for me, I’ll take the 284th’s law enforcement supporting role very seriously and be available 24 hours a day to review warrants. I want to help our local peace officers do their jobs within the role our Texas Constitution establishes for them.”
As Bays concluded her remarks, “As a voter, you need to decide how you want these stories to end; I know how I want them to end – the villains are punished and the heroes rewarded, with no plot twists but just straightforward justice, and every ending just, right, and true,” there literally was not a dry eye in the entire house. Bays is a brilliant yet sweet person who will bring her great mind and kind and steady temperament to any job she does.