UPDATE: Republican race for 457th Judicial District judge headed to May runoff between Yollick, Santini

The primary election race for judge of Montgomery County's 457th Judicial District features a contested field of five Republican candidates, and one Democrat running uncontested. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
The primary election race for judge of Montgomery County's 457th Judicial District features a contested field of five Republican candidates, and one Democrat running uncontested. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

The primary election race for judge of Montgomery County's 457th Judicial District features a contested field of five Republican candidates, and one Democrat running uncontested. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Eric Yollick (Courtesy Eric Yollick)
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Vince Santini (Courtesy Vince Santini)
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Robert Kasprzak (Courtesy Robert Kasprzak)
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Bruce Coulson Tough (Courtesy Bruce Coulson Tough)
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Chris Buck (Courtesy Chris Buck)
Updated March 4 5:15 p.m.

With no candidate receiving more than 50% of Republican votes in the county, the two leaders in the race for judge of the 457th Judicial District—Eric Yollick with 37.53% of total votes and Vince Santini with 25.07% of total votes—will compete in a May runoff election ahead of a November general election against Democrat Marc M. Meyer, who ran unopposed.

In a March 4 interview, Yollick said he looked forward to the continuation of the race.

“I’m very happy with the way the election happened, and I’m looking forward to this runoff election. I really enjoyed the campaign, and I was actually sorry that it was coming to an end ... so I’m glad that I get to continue campaigning," Yollick said. "There were five nice people in this race. All three of the people who did not make the runoff are decent people and they ran good campaigns. Vince Santini, who I am in the runoff with, is a nice person and he ran a good campaign too, and I congratulate him for making the runoff."

Yollick also commented on his experience and the need for the new court to address its backlog of civil cases.


"People who have dealt with me as an attorney know that I have the right courtroom demeanor to run this court as a fair, friendly and efficient court. We need an experienced litigation attorney who knows how to move dockets and to do scheduling, and also who knows how to make the right substantive rulings in civil cases so that we can get rid of the civil case backlog," he said. "It’s costing the taxpayers a fortune and it’s costing the people who are litigating cases even more money than that. It’s just crazy what it’s costing us."

Santini also expressed gratitude to his supporters and fellow candidates in a March 4 interview, while noting the challenges of competing in a runoff election.

"Historically, voter turnout is lower in a runoff, so it’s my job to rally the voters ... under what I believe in for a campaign of good moral judgment, integrity ... hard work and service," Santini said. "I’m very proud of the other candidates; I wish them the best. I thought that they ran clean campaigns and they’re very qualified. And it’s an honor to be in this runoff from a field of five qualified people.”

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Updated March 3 11:15 p.m.

With all Montgomery County voting precincts reporting, Eric Yollick leads the Republican primary election race for 457th Judicial District judge with 21,662 votes, 37.53% of the total votes cast. Vince Santini finished second with 14,468 votes, representing 25.07% of the total. With no candidate receiving more than 50% of votes, a May runoff between the two top finishers is possible.

Robert Kasprzak received 8,358 votes, or 14.48% of the total; Bruce Tough received 8,115 votes, 14.06% of the total; and Chris Buck received 5,109 votes, 8.85% of the total.



Democrat Marc M. Meyer, running unopposed, received 17,333 votes in his party's primary contest.



All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Updated March 3 10:55 p.m.

With 91 of Montgomery County's 100 voting precincts reporting, Eric Yollick leads the Republican race for judge of the 457th Judicial District with 20,672 votes. That count represents 37.58% of Republican votes cast in the county's March 3 primary election.

Yollick is followed by Vince Santini, who received 13,800 votes, 25.09% of the total. Robert Kasprzak received 7,936 votes, 14.43% of the total count; Bruce Coulson Tough received 7,780 votes, 14.15% of the total count; and Chris Buck received 4,813 votes, 8.75% of the total count.

With no Republican candidate garnering more than 50% of their party's vote, the top two candidates—Yollick and Santini—would participate in a runoff election set for May 26.

Democrat Marc M. Meyer, who ran unopposed, received 16,062 votes.

Posted March 3 7:43 p.m.

The primary election race for judge of Texas' new 457th Judicial District is underway, with five Republicans vying to represent their party in the general election. The candidates include attorneys Eric Yollick, Robert "Bobby" Kasprzak, Vince Santini, Bruce Coulson Tough and Chris Buck.

Marc M. Meyer, chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, is running unopposed on the Democratic primary ticket.

Early voting totals show Yollick holding an 11% lead, with 12,662 total votes. Yollick is trailed by Santini, with 9,014 votes. Kasprzak and Tough held similar totals at 4,557 and 4,414 votes, respectively, while Buck received 2,405 early votes.

Meyer received 7,774 early votes.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

The March 3 primary represents the inaugural election for the district court, first established through the omnibus court operations bill Senate Bill 891 that was passed in the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019. That bill authorized the creation of several new judicial districts throughout the state including the 457th, which was first proposed by state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, in House Bill 1437. The new judicial district's creation was spurred by the backlog of civil cases experienced in Montgomery County's existing courts.

“We could probably create two more civil courts in Montgomery County, and it would not put us where we need to be. We hope this will be a step in the right direction," Toth said in a spring 2019 interview with Community Impact Newspaper.

Nate Jensen, Montgomery County's former director of court administration, said in a spring 2019 interview that Gov. Greg Abbott may appoint the winner of the Republican primary as the court's first judge regardless of Meyer's potential place on the ballot in a November general election.

“If there is a Democrat in the race, the governor may wait until after the November 2020 general election, but there is not a requirement to do so. If the governor appoints after the runoff, we could have a judge by July 2020," Jensen said.
By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2019 as a reporter for The Woodlands area and began working as Austin's City Hall reporter in April 2021.


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