Indian-American takes oath as Texas county judge

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Indian-American Democrat Juli A. Mathew took oath as a judge in Fort Bend County, Texas, for a second consecutive term.

Mathew, a native of Thiruvalla in Kerala, was sworn-in via videoconferencing from Bheemanady in Kasaragod, and will continue to serve as presiding judge for Number 3 of the Fort Bend County Court for a period of four years.

She ran for re-election and won with 123,116 votes, beating Republican Andrew Dornburg.

"I'm grateful for every supporter, prayer warrior, and voter during this journey," Mathew said in a Facebook post after winning the election.

"However, it is bittersweet this morning. Many qualified and outstanding candidates and colleagues that I know made huge sacrifices to run and some have not obtained the office they were seeking while others are still awaiting results. Thank you for standing up to accept the call of public service and your work and time is always remembered and honored," she wrote.

Mathew won her 2018 electoral bid for the bench against Republican Tricia Krenek by an impressive 8.24 per cent margin, making history as the first Indian-American woman elected to the bench in the US.

A practicing attorney for 15 years with experience in mass tort, civil litigation, probate, and criminal matters, Mathew also heads the first Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court.

Judge Mathew grew up in Philadelphia and attended Penn State University before attending Delaware Law School for her Juris Doctorate.

A few of her academic achievements include -- in January 2021, she founded the Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court to assist young people with mental health issues.

Fort Bend has a large population of Indians, including Malayalis.

According to Mathews, 28.6 per cent of Fort Bend County are foreign born and of those 51 per cent are Asian-American.

The state of Texas had the most Indian-Americans running for judicial positions in the November 8, 2022, midterms.

Apart from Mathew, two other Democrats -- Judge K.P. George and Sonia Rash -- won their re-election bids from Fort Bend County.

A month prior to the election, the three had her campaign signs stolen, defaced and vandalised.

Sharing photos of her vandalised campaign signs on social media, Mathew wrote: "What happened to integrity, sportsmanship, being fair... This just makes me work even harder."

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