Powell seeks reelection as 163rd District Judge

Published 8:33 am Saturday, December 5, 2015

Judge Dennis Powell stood before a crowded room November 17, and formally announced his campaign for re-election as the 163rd District Court Judge. He was originally sworn into office January 1, 2001, and is now seeking to continue his service to the citizens of Orange County through a fifth term in office.

“When I first ran for office 16 years ago, I stood before the voters and told them what I wanted to do and believed I could do, if given a chance to serve. Out of a crowded field of 6 candidates, I was honored to be selected to serve, and I embarked on the challenge of keeping those promises. Today is somewhat different; today I don’t stand before the voters describing what I want to do; today I am able to tell you what I have done, and what I know I will continue to do if I am again honored with the privilege to serve the good folks of Orange County.” Judge Powell cites a record of improved safety for the citizens while decreasing costs to taxpayers.

Judge Powell has extensively employed pretrial conditions of bond to make Orange County a safer place to live. Through ignition interlock devices, he made our streets safer by helping to separate alcohol and driving. Through pretrial urinalysis, he helped to quickly and efficiently identify and deal with addiction problems, making our neighborhoods safer. He has imposed strict conditions of bond in sex offender cases, helping to safeguard the children of our community. And he has mandated appropriate bond conditions in domestic violence cases to help protect those who often are unable to help themselves. “I am proud to say that the changes I have implemented have enabled us to sleep a little easier at night.”

Judge Powell also established a clear record of conservative fiscal responsibility. “When adjusted for inflation, my current court operating budget has decreased by 58% from the budget I inherited 15 years ago. With less than half the money, I continue to operate the 163rd District Court economically and efficiently.” Powell explains that he has been able to do this by utilizing modern technology, cross-training his staff, and promoting a “can-do” attitude with his team. Further Judge Powell explains that he has totally eliminated the criminal trial backlog. Criminal cases are disposed of quickly, but fairly. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” Powell said. “We don’t need people camping out in our County Jail. The innocent need to go home and the guilty need to go serve appropriate sentences. Tax dollars to house, feed, and provide health care for pretrial incarceration of defendants need to be kept to a minimum, which I have done. At the present time, there is not a single defendant in the Orange County Jail waiting for a jury trial in my Court.”

Dennis Powell, a Stark High School graduate, is married to Connie Shelley Powell, a life-long resident of Orange County, and graduate of Little Cypress High School. They have three children and seven grandchildren. “Connie and I have a well-established track record of giving back to our community. Now with proven experience you can trust, I would be honored to continue my service to my community.”