Incumbent David John Schenck is the best choice in the Republican primary for the 5th Court of Appeals, Place 7.

Schenck, who was appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry a year ago, has impressive experience arguing cases at the appellate level and lecturing on appellate procedure. Schenck, 48, also was a top aide to Greg Abbott when he was Texas attorney general.

Schenck’s familiarity with appellate procedure is an asset. This court is one of the busiest appeals panels in Texas, with jurisdiction over civil and criminal appeals from district and county courts in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Rockwall and Kaufman counties.

Challenger David James Hanschen was voted off a family court bench in 2010 and has run unsuccessfully for various benches as a Democrat every two years since. This year, he’s running as a Republican, which has led Schenck to suggest Hanschen picked this race simply in order to capitalize on the similarity of their names.

Hanschen, 66, who has experience as a trial attorney and judge, did not fill out our questionnaire, nor did he attend the editorial board interview. In a telephone conversation, he said he was persuaded to switch parties about 18 months ago after reading the Rockwall County GOP’s platform. However, several of his Facebook posts last year are highly critical of Republicans and contain language that question whether he possesses appropriate judicial temperament.

He offers no compelling reason for Republican voters to oust Schenck. The winner of this race will face Democratic opposition in the general election. 

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