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Jefferson County 317th District Court Judge candidates explain why they are the best option for the seat

The winner will handle everything from custody battles to criminal cases involving minors. Both candidates believe they have the credentials to get the job done.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas — The midterm elections are rapidly approaching and Jefferson County is gearing up for an intense election season. 

There are plenty of tight races, including the one for Jefferson County 317th District Court Judge. Republican Gordon Friesz and Democrat Chelsie Ramos are facing off to fill the empty seat left by longtime Judge Larry Thorne.

The winner will handle everything from custody battles to criminal cases involving minors. Both candidates believe they have the credentials to get the job done.

RELATED: 2022 Texas midterm election voter guide

Bridge City native Chelsie Ramos has held a position similar to this before, but not in Jefferson county.

"I have done this position before for four years. I was a family court judge in Harris County. It's a very large county, and we had a massive docket. I learned how to do those not only efficiently, but with great results," she said. 

Meanwhile, Gordon Friesz says he has the right experience too, making him a perfect fit for family court. 

"I have been practicing law here in Jefferson County for the last 15 years.  I have handled thousands of cases as a attorney and mediator. I raised my family here, I have lived here, practiced law here, I know what the people want," he said.

Both candidates say they understand how important families are and understand that family court plays a very important role in our judicial system. 

"You can't do this without family and faith. I have a large family thankfully. My girls are learning the elections process. I think it has been really important to come out and get the children involved," Ramos said. 

"I feel like with that support system, I had the stability and support from my family to be able to hear these cases and listen to the chaos sometimes that is in other peoples lives, providing a perspective to them that sometimes they might not have," Friesz said. 

Credit: 12NewsNow

ELECTION RESULTS: CLICK HERE on November 8 after the polls close at 7 p.m.

Wondering if you are registered to vote? You can visit the Secretary of State website to find out. 

Voter Identification

Make sure you bring one of these accepted forms of identification with you when you go to vote:

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • United States Passport (book or card)
  • United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

Voting by mail

If you are voting by mail your ballot must be received at your county clerk or elections administrator by November 8, 2022 at 7 p.m.

RELATED: VERIFY: How to keep your mail-in ballot application from getting rejected in Texas

To be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must:

  • be 65 years or older;
  • be sick or disabled;
  • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • be expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day; or
  • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

You will need to obtain an "Application for Ballot by Mail," or ABBM, from your county's website or elections office.

You can print an application, request one be mailed to you and get more instructions here.

A new Texas law requires that your ABBM include your driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number.

Because the number must match the state's database it's a good idea to include both numbers on your application.

Your ABBM must be received, not postmarked, by Friday October 28, 2022.

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