Meet the Candidates: Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4 candidates (Left: Justin Lopez; Right: Darrell Booker)
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4 candidates (Left: Justin Lopez; Right: Darrell Booker)(KBTX)
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Justin Lopez and Darrell Booker are facing off for the Justice of the Peace position for Precinct 4.

Lopez says he has lived in Brazos County for 15 years, 13 of those years have been spent in Precinct 4.

“I have been in the property management industry,” Lopez said. “I manage about 1,700 rental units in town and I have been in and out of JP Court for about 15 years with tenant/landlord disputes, property codes, and evictions. That’s where most of my JP experience comes from.”

Booker says he is a lifelong resident of the Brazos Valley and spent 20 years with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Department before retiring.

“I want to still work in the community,” Booker said. “I deeply care about the people of Brazos County and in any justice court, you want to be able to make sure that people that come to the court are treated fairly and according to the law.”

Serving a four-year term, the Justice of the Peace presides over cases involving misdemeanors, small civil disputes, and landlord/tenant disputes. They also conduct inquests and may perform marriage ceremonies.

Lopez says he finds passion for this position in his personal life.

“In 2012, my mother was murdered in her home in Galveston County, and from that moment on I’ve just had an interest in the justice system,” Lopez said. “I always tell people, my mom had a heart the size of Texas, and so it’s my duty to live on in her voice and to give back to the community that’s given so much to me.”

Booker says he is inspired by providing safety in the community.

“I think the emphasis that when people ask about the fairness of the bonds, I think you want to be fair, but you must always look at the aggravated bonds a little differently because the safety of the community is very important,” Booker said.

Lopez said his top priority is making the court system accessible.

“No matter your race, your religion, your ethnicity, what you’re labeled as, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, I am the JP for you,” Lopez said. “I am the JP who will break down those barriers, those political party barriers, and be a Justice of the Peace for everyone.”

Booker says his priority is fairness and productivity.

“My priority is to make sure it is run fairly, keep the backlog from backing up so people can get their case to go in smoothly, and you have to evaluate and see what caused the backlog,” Booker said. “My main thing is, you always should make sure you have adequate staffing.”