Over the past several years, several reports have been released by local media outlets detailing domestic violence charges made against Judge Richard Herman. Herman, a previous Potter County Justice of the Peace and now-Amarillo mayoral candidate, knows the charges well, and the public and media have discussed the charges many times.
But, we wanted to ask Herman why with these charges, voters should consider supporting him for mayor. Below are questions sent to Judge Herman, with his full, unedited answers.
1. Please explain the reports. I believe Domestic Violence is something that should be taken very seriously, and all efforts should be taken to protect a victim from further acts of violence. But something I have learned while serving as a Judge, and my own experiences is that everything is not as clear when it comes to issues involving family members as we would like it to be. Now I’m not going to deny the fact I have been charged with domestic violence which all started almost 10 years ago. What I will say is that most of the charges were the same incident in which I would not take a plea deal because I was not guilty so the prosecution would dismiss the charge and shortly there after charging me again forcing me into taking a plea deal. Now it’s easy to see that after this happens a few time you will not be able to afford to bond out because they arrest you each time and set the bond excessively high where you can’t get out of jail, and in my case as a single parent raising my son who I was awarded full custody of on my own there was no way I could do this. So yes, I took the deferred adjudication charges in the end so I could take care of my son because that’s what dads do. So even though I’ve never been convicted of domestic violence I was glad to put it all behind me, and I believe the Battery Intervention Program I was required to attend has made me a better person and taught me a lot about relationships. It has taught me valuable communication skills, individual perceptions, and conflict resolutions.
2. How have you grown since this time? I am more aware of how important good communication is in a relationship, and I have helped many others in situations like my own in the past several years in understanding how important it is to learn good communication skills, triggers that create intense situations, and many other ways to save their marriage.
3. What you like to say to female voters who are concerned about the charges? I understand that Domestic Violence is very serious, and it should raise some concerns about my character. I would want to assure them that I am not violent towards women, and that I am involved in trying to create an Intervention Program to educate people earlier in the cycle before it becomes a tragedy. While serving as Justice of the Peace I studied the trends in domestic violence and found that usually there were many indicators way before hand of a serious confrontation, and I believe when I am elected as Mayor, I will have the opportunity to Advocate for a Domestic Intervention Program working with Law Enforcement, Pastors, and Counselors to decrease the violence.
4. What are some details you would like to share about you and your wife's relationship? We have a very healthy relationship that just gets better with time mostly because I have a very passionate and patient wife. We both know that it takes two people working together to have a successful, loving marriage, and she supports me in my decision to run for mayor because she believes in my ideas.
5. While you were serving as judge did you treat all persons that came before you with the same compassion? Now this could be considered a matter of opinion depending on if the person brought before me was guilty or not guilty. I’ve always strived to be diligent in the performance of my adjudicative duties including striving for impartial and even-handed application of the law, thoroughness, decisiveness, promptness and the prevention of abuse of the process and improper treatment of people. So, in my opinion I was always fair in treatment, trying always to treat others with the same love, compassion, and fairness in the same way I would expect to be treated.
6. What would you like to do in Amarillo to help female constituents? I would invite their support in assisting in a smart group or committee designed to lower the crimes against women in our area.
7. At a time when the FBI reports violent crime like rape on the rise in Amarillo, how will you work to ensure the safety of all residents? That is a two-fold answer because it involves ways of increasing public awareness, and law enforcement intervention, and as you know I have daughters, so I will do whatever it takes to stop this!
8. Would you like to say anything to your opponents? I wish everyone the best of luck who is volunteering for public service and pray that we can all be civil in our passionate campaign efforts.
9. What did your time in the military teach you about yourself? That would be a long answer but let me try to provide some highlights because I feel it’s important. The military taught me the power of intense focus, how important teamwork is, to be adaptable to change, the ability to harness processes, and procedures, overcoming challenges, and obstacles, and extreme discipline. But the greatest thing in my travels throughout the world I learned is how lucky we are to live in this Great Country of Freedom where anyone can set anything, they set their mind too, and we all put our pants on one leg at a time.
10. Why should female voters consider voting for you? Because I believe in the people of Amarillo, and if we work together we will succeed.
Herman is running against incumbent Mayor Ginger Nelson and Claudette Smith in the upcoming May mayoral election. Filing for places on the ballot will be open to the public, and begins tomorrow.
For details on Herman’s campaign, please visit https://www.facebook.com/judgerichardherman/.