1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is Emily Muñoz. I am a dedicated mother and committed to family, faith, and protecting the freedom upon which this State and Country were founded. I am an attorney and sole proprietor who has dedicated her entire career to criminal justice. I’m board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law. I have served as a Harris County prosecutor, worked at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest court in Texas for criminal justice, and now work in private practice. I’m running for Judge of the 180th judicial district court of Harris County, Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The 180th District Court is a felony court that handles all felony cases ranging from state jail felonies to Capital Murder. When dealing with that range of felonies, be they cases involving drugs, home invasions, robbery, sexual assault – to include that of a child, or murder, my mission is to make Harris County safe for its citizens, families, taxpayers, and property owners.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
The current Judge of the 180th district court will not be running for another term; therefore the bench is open. I decided to run for the 180th court because I believe I have the necessary professional qualifications, moral character, and good common sense to serve our community and ensure justice and personal accountability in our courtrooms. I believe I will have a positive and lasting impact on the administration of justice throughout Harris County.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I am the most well rounded candidate with the best credentials in this race because I have worked on all sides of the bench. I’ve served the citizens as a prosecutor and a defender of the accused. I hold a strong command of the law and because of my steadfast work ethic I enjoy an excellent reputation throughout Harris County and our State.
I have appellate experience in that I served as Briefing Attorney at Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, the highest court in our State for criminal justice.
I am a former Harris County prosecutor hired by Johnny Holmes. I prosecuted misdemeanors, juvenile offenders and major felonies. I served honorably and effectively as Chief Prosecutor of County Criminal Court at Law No. 4.
I have served as lead counsel in 60-80 jury trials in my almost 14 years as an attorney ranging from Class B misdemeanors to capital murder cases. I have also authored approximately 50 appellate briefs to various Courts of Appeals throughout the State of Texas.
I am a faculty member of the Criminal Trial College in Huntsville. I have given a number of speeches at various Continuing Legal Education seminars throughout the State of Texas on a variety of issues in criminal law.
I have been named a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star by Texas Monthly Magazine for 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 and was named one of the Best Lawyers in Houston, by H Texas Magazine, in 2004.
I was Board Certified in 2002, and I am the only candidate in this race who has earned the distinction of becoming Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Furthermore, I have proven my commitment to conservative values by being involved within our local Republican Party.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because the judge of a felony court is one of the most important public offices in our County. A judge’s role is to be a servant of the community in the pivotal role of administering justice according to law. It is a position that has a great impact on our daily lives.
It is important for citizens to understand that what happens in our criminal courthouse, especially in felony courts, affects the safety of our families and our children.
It is important to elect a Judge who has spent her career in the courtroom, day in and day out, not just as a prosecutor, but also as a person who has advocated on both sides of the bar. I have prosecuted people and obtained stiff sentences for people who have committed serious crimes. Likewise, I have defended people who were wrongfully accused and exonerated.
In the end, that is what our criminal justice system is about…convicting and punishing the guilty and acquitting the innocent. I have had a part in doing both, and I am proud of my record. That is why this race is important to the voters, citizens and families of this County because it is important that the most experienced and qualified person gets elected– I am that person.
6. Why should people vote for you in the primary?
As stated above, I am the only candidate in this race with experience as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. I am able to listen to both sides without prejudice and come to a fair conclusion.
Because of my experience, I am well versed in all areas of criminal law, and the public can have faith that the decisions I make will not be overturned on appeal, and our tax dollars will not be wasted having to re-try, re-prosecute or re-visit a case because of Judicial error.
As previously stated, I have stood before juries both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I have handled all types of cases, ranging from class B misdemeanors to capital murder.
During the course of my practice, I have had the opportunity to visit many of our Texas prisons and been face-to-face with people society considers to be some of the most dangerous people in our State, so very little scares me. I have seen almost every type of scenario possible in the courtroom, so very little surprises me.
7. Why did you choose to run in the Republican Primary versus the Democratic Primary?
I chose to run in the Republican primary because I am a Republican who believes in a minimal role of government.
I strongly believe in individual rights and freedoms and believe they should be fiercely protected. That is something I strive to do every day. I also believe in family values and that criminal laws need to be enforced and followed to ensure individual accountability.
I have been active with our local Harris County Republican Party. I am a member of the Republican Leadership Council and Congressman Judge Ted Poe’s Military Service Academy Nominations Board. I am a former Chairperson of the Harris County Republican Party’s Outreach Committee. I was a Delegate “At-Large” at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention in 2004, and I fought for lower property taxes and less government spending with Paul Bettencourt and Bruce Hotze.
Therefore, I am running as a Republican because I am a Republican.