Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Vince Santini to the 457th Judicial District Court in Montgomery County for a term set to expire Dec. 31, or until his successor is elected, according to a July 23 news release from the governor's office.
Santini beat his opponent, Eric Yollick, in a landslide victory in the Republican primaries, garnering 78% of the votes.
"I'm very humbled. I'm very proud. I'm very eager to work hard for the people of Montgomery County," Santini said in a phone interview July 24.
He will go on to face Democratic nominee Marc M. Meyer, chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, in the November general election.
In the interim, Santini will fill the vacancy and begin to hear cases immediately once he is sworn in.
"Montgomery County is very overwhelmingly Republican, so I think waiting for the Republican primary winner was a smart decision," Santini said. "It gets the court up and running."
The creation of the court was spurred by the backlog of civil cases experienced in Montgomery County's existing courts, and it was authorized by Senate Bill 891, which was passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019.
The governor has the authority to make governmental appointments, which is one of the powers given by the state's constitution, according to Abbott's office.
During a four-year term, the governor will make about 1,500 appointments. Most are to state officials and members of state boards, commissions and councils that carry out laws and direct policies; members of task forces that advise the governor or executive agencies; and judicial offices when vacancies occur by resignation or death.
Gov. Greg Abbott appoints Vince Santini as Montgomery County 457th Judicial District Court judge
Eric Yollick and Vince Santini were the two Republican candidates vying for the Montgomery County's 457th Judicial District judge. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)