AUSTIN (KXAN) – The presiding judge in Gov. Rick Perry’s criminal case has aspirations for of the state’s most powerful judicial posts. On Nov. 4, voters will see Senior District Judge Bert Richardson’s name on the ballot for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – the state’s highest court.
Perry’s case landed in the San Antonio Republican’s lap after Travis County officials recused themselves and another out-of-county judge appointed Richardson to the role. Richardson later chose San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum as the special prosecutor.
If elected this November, it is yet to be determined whether Richardson would remain the presiding judge during the governor’s trial – whenever it happens. He could continue sitting by assignment, or another judge could be appointed.
Interestingly enough, in the event the governor ever resigned or was removed from office, the post Richardson seeks is would make him seventh in the chain of succession to become governor, according to the Texas Constitution. And while some politicians have called for Perry to step down following his indictment, he has made no indication he has plans to do so – especially since his term’s end is just months away.
Previously, Richardson was an assistant district attorney in Bexar County and assistant U.S. attorney. Gov. George W. Bush later appointed him to brand new district court in San Antonio in 1999. He lost re-election in 2008 and has since been a visiting, state judge.
He faces Democrat John Granberg and Libertarian Mark Bennett in the November election.