The following is a compilation of the unedited responses from Steven Denny, candidate for 320th District Judge, to the 2018 Amarillo Pioneer Voter Guide Questionnaire. Denny is running in the March 6th Republican primary against former city attorney Marcus Norris, Potter County judge Pamela Cook Sirmon and attorney Lynda Smith.
Steven Michael Denny
320th District Judge
Why did you decide to run for office?
I had several close friends ask me to run. After consulting with my family, friends, and colleagues, I decided that I would be willing to serve the citizens of Potter County in this capacity. Deciding to be a judge is not something to be taken lightly. The Judicial Ethics Canons severely restrict your personal life so as to not tarnish the office. You cannot express your first amendment rights as freely as someone who isn't a judge or judicial candidate.
Please list any of your political, civic or non-profit experience.
Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout, board member, and volunteer. Panhandle Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association current president. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation former board member. Diabetes Foundation of the High Plains board member. Paramount Baptist Church member and volunteer for the safety team. Texas Baptist Men volunteer for the disaster relief team.
What is your educational background?
I am a product of the Amarillo Public School system. I grew up in Lawndale, Oakdale, Bowie and Caprock. We moved houses during high school and I graduated from Tascosa. I attended West Texas A&M in Canyon for my Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication, then Texas Tech School of Law for my Juris Doctor.
What experience do you have that qualifies you for this position?
I have experience as a felony prosecutor. As a sole practitioner, I have handled many types of cases from wills, probates, trusts, real estate, civil litigation, divorces, cps, administrative and contract law. I have handled appeals on criminal and family law matters, and have handled matters in front of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. As a justice adviser for the Department of State I trained Afghan judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and police on their laws and how to run their system more efficiently.
How will you best represent the community that elected you?
First, I will ensure access to the courts. That means being present in the courthouse for whatever matters need to be heard and being available for emergencies after hours. Second, I will ensure that the process is efficient as possible. That means that taxpayer's monies are spent wisely. Third, I will be open to new ideas, including those on mental health to address recidivism which will help with my other 2 goals.
Are you supported by Amarillo Matters?
How are you better suited than your opponent(s) to serve in the position that you are running for?
I have the most varied experience. I have the least connection to the status quo.
Why should voters choose you on March 6th?
I am the best candidate for the job.