Amarillo voters are going to see a contested race for a district court bench on the ballot next year, as two local attorneys are currently preparing to take on an incumbent Republican judge.

In the race for the 108th District Court bench, Judge Douglas Woodburn is expected to seek re-election to a fifth term in office. Woodburn’s decision comes after the Texas Legislature placed Proposition 13 on the November 2023 ballot, which would raise the retirement age for district judges in Texas. However, while Woodburn has been unopposed in each of his campaigns since the 2012 election, he will face at least one opponent in next year’s contest.

Attorney Sam Brown Silverman has already announced that he will be challenging Woodburn in 2024 and has filed his appointment of treasurer with the Texas Ethics Commission to begin raising money. Silverman is currently a Potter County Republican precinct chairman and the general counsel for the Potter County Republican Party.

Meanwhile, criminal defense attorney Joe Marr Wilson is also considering jumping into the race. Wilson, who ran for the 47th District Court bench in 2022, has also filed a treasurer appointment in preparation for a possible campaign.

Filing for the election will begin in November. The Republican primary election is currently scheduled for March 5, 2023.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.