There are five candidates running for city of Conroe municipal judge on the May 7 ballot, with incumbent Michael Davis not running for re-election for the position due to term limits.

The municipal judge is a part of the state court system that is hosted by the city of Conroe, and the criminal court handles Class C misdemeanors, according to Davis.

“[The municipal judge] is important because someone has to make decisions to make sure that justice is done,” Davis said. “A lot of people that come in are people that are indigent; they don’t have enough money to pay; or they’re disabled or have a varying amount of different situations in life, and the job calls for someone who knows it all and abides by the law, but also someone that has compassion, I think.”

Davis said the court often has more bench trials—or trial by judge—than jury trials, and he handles everything from complaints of barking dogs to public intoxication.

The municipal judge in Conroe can serve two four-year terms, and Davis said this was his 12th year because it used to be two two-year terms and he was grandfathered into the new term limit.

William Waggoner

Experience: served in U.S. Marine Corps and Army as a noncommissioned officer on active duty for 12 years, Army Reserves

Occupation: emergency medicine and Army Reserves medic

Contact Information: 936- 697-1119

What inspired you to run for this office?

Running for this office will provide me with an opportunity to transition service to my country to my hometown community. I want to contribute to a system that has an integral role in promoting and ensuring public safety and values access to justice, equality and fairness.

Meloney Turner

Experience: time spent as executive, working in the oil and gas industry, private business owner

Occupation: maintenance technician for COC

Candidate Website:

Contact Information: 936-499-9832

What inspired you to run for this office?

My primary inspiration for running for the position of municipal judge derives from Conroe being one of the last cities in Texas where we (the people) have the right to protect ourselves from the executive and judicial systems of government, and with the current candidates I see a potential of this freedom being violated. For the last 28 years this court has never been occupied by an attorney, nor was it designed to be. In addition, having been born and raised in Conroe, I love this great city, and I care about it and its citizens.

Oscar Sommers

Experience: practicing attorney in Conroe since 2013, extensive military background including judge advocate officer

Occupation: attorney at law

Candidate Website: [email protected]

Contact Information: 936-756-6304

What inspired you to run for this office?

I am inspired to run for the bench because Conroe is growing rapidly and needs to modernize the city operations, including the court, ASAP.

Kevin M. Kneisley

Experience: trained by George B. Darden, 10-plus years experience as city attorney for multiple Montgomery County cities and as their prosecutor in municipal court

Occupation: attorney at law

Candidate Website: [email protected]

Contact Information: 936-756-3488

What inspired you to run for this office?

After 40-plus years of law practice in Conroe, [I am] ready to give back to the community.

Michael Valdez

Experience: prosecutor in the county attorney's office, district attorney's office; private practice defense attorney since 2009; Shenandoah municipal judge (2002-12)

Occupation: attorney at law

Contact Information: 713-398-6857

What inspired you to run for this office?

My experience that I would bring to the court. The growth of the city and future projections.