Judge Tom Gossett is retiring from his duties as 391st Judicial District judge at the end of this term. Brad Goodwin and Carmen Symes Dusek are both running for his position. Goodwin has been an attorney for 23 years representing doctors, hospitals and nurses throughout Texas. He moved back to his hometown of San Angelo in 2004, to continue practicing law with his father. Goodwin decided to run for district judge after receiving encouragement from the community. He said some people told him he had the skill set for what Judge Tom Gossett does each day. The 391st District Court hears civil and criminal cases. Criminal cases involve drug dealers, murders and child molesters. Goodwin believes the judge elected for this position needs to have experience with these types of cases. He said he was a felony prosecutor in El Paso and has handled more than 1,000 criminal cases. Goodwin said he is fortunate that he has never lost a jury trial. He thinks that’s important because since 2010, every jury trial in the 391st is a felony criminal jury trial. “I think my experience fits in very well with what Judge Gossett does,” Goodwin said. Goodwin said he feels he’s a good candidate is because, “A lot of attorneys have either criminal or civil and I have both at the highest levels. I’ve prosecuted everything from DWI to capital murder. On the civil side, I’ve defended multi-million dollar lawsuits all over Texas. I have been able to go in front of a wide range of judges and that makes me uniquely qualified. It’s this broad experience that I can bring back to the 391st.” San Angelo attorney Carmen Symes Dusek is running in the 391st race as well. This is her first time running for an elected office. She has been practicing law for 20 years. All of those years have been spent in the courtroom in front of judges for trials and appeals. “I’ve been in front of great judges and some judges that I wish were more like the great judges.” Dusek said. “When you work with great judges in the courtroom, it impacts everything. I’ve witnessed a tremendous amount of emotion, I’ve seen people have their fair day in court and had the opportunity for evidence to be presented. Then people accept the judgement from the judge. A good judge can impact the court room when people feel they’ve had a fair opportunity to be heard.” If elected, Dusek said she would not change anything. She feels Tom Green County has four great district judges. Dusek said it’s not what she wants to change but it’s being able to carry the workload. When courts have a significant work load it’s easy to get back logged.In her opinion, her strong work ethic is one of her strengths she has to offer running for district judge. Dusek said, “There’s daily cases in drug courts, the majority of cases are family law and felony criminal and civil and juvenile cases. The day in and day out are not high profile cases but hearing all types of cases. That’s why being in court houses for 20 years is where I have experience. It brings a perspective unless you are in there all the time to understand the process and the work load.” Early voting ends Friday in the Edd B. Keyes building, 113 W. Beauregard Ave. Election Day is March 1; voters may go to any of the 20 voting centers to cast a ballot. For more information, go to the Tom Green County Elections Office online at http://www.co.tom-green.tx.us/default.aspx?Tom-Green_County/Elections.