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As the dust settled on election night, the crowded field of candidates vying for Montgomery County’s new civil court became a lot smaller. Attorney and reform advocate Eric Yollick emerged from the March 3 primary with a sizable lead in votes over his opponents.

Since no candidate was able to win more than the 50 percent required for an outright victory, the top two vote-getters will square off in a runoff election on May 26. Yollick will face Vince Santini, an attorney and former prosecutor for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, to determine who will be the Republican nominee.

Having won 21,662 votes, or 37.53 percent, Yollick is in the lead heading into the runoff. Santini came in second, securing a place in the runoff with 14,468 votes, or 25.07 percent. In third place was Robert Kasprzak, with 14 percent of the vote. Bruce Tough, former chairman of The Woodlands township, came in fourth with 14 percent, and Chris Buck won 9 percent of the vote.

Yollick is well known in Montgomery County political circles for founding The Golden Hammer, an online news source exposing corruption and waste in local government. He also served on the Montgomery County Hospital District board, where he worked to cut wasteful spending. He resigned his seat immediately after passing a fiscally responsible budget, saying his work there was done.

Santini worked for the DA’s office for almost a decade, where he earned a solid reputation as a criminal attorney. He moved to civil law about a year and a half ago and currently works for the Voss Law Firm, handling mostly insurance cases.

Yollick believes his experience in civil law is what distinguishes him and makes him the best fit for the 457th Court, which will handle civil cases. He has been a civil attorney for over 30 years and has handled around 200 civil jury trials in his career and over 1,000 bench trials.

Recognized across Texas for his work in the conservative movement, Yollick has the endorsement of two major local conservative groups: the Texas Patriots PAC and the Montgomery County Tea Party. He also has the backing of former county judge Alan Sadler, State Rep. Steve Toth, and the Freedom and Liberty Conservatives PAC.

Yollick has also been endorsed by Texans for Courageous Courts, a project of Empower Texans.