Third Court of Appeals, Place 6

Other candidates in this race: Gisela Triana (D); unoppposed in 2018 Texas Primary

Jennifer Freel

Donna Davidson

Michael "Mike" Toth

Kristofer Monson


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Website | Facebook | Twitter

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Website | Facebook | Twitter



Donna GarcĂ­a Davidson Campaign
P.O. Box 12131, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711




Ewell, Brown, Blanke, & Knight LLP

Attorney & Ethics Advisor

Special Counsel
Texas Attorney General's Office

Assistant Solicitor General


Bachelor of Journalism
magna cum laude
Minors: Political Science, Spanish
University of Missouri

Bachelor of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin

B.A., History
Stanford University

M.A., History
University of Virginia

B.A., History and French Literature
summa cum laude
Wabash College
Phi Beta Kappa
Lilly Fellowship for Leadership, Character and Creativity


George Washington Univ. Law School
w/ high honors
Order of the Coif

University of Texas School of Law

University of Virginia

University of Texas at Austin
with honors
Order of the Barristers
Reviews Editor, Texas International Law Journal




Texas (2016)
New York (2007)





  • Counsel at Ewell, Brown, Blanke, & Knight LLP (2017 - present)
  • Adjunct Professor, the University of Texas School of Law (2017 - present)
  • Federal Prosecutor, the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas (2008 - 2017)
  • Litigation Associate, Vinson & Elkins, LLP (2006 - 2008)
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Federal Bar Association President (2017 - present)
  • Federal Bar Association Executive Board (2011 - present)
  • Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court, Barrister (2015 - present)
  • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation (2016 - present)

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Edith H. Jones, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Ursula Ungaro, Southern District of Florida
  • Military Attorney, United States Marine Corps
  • Senior Counsel for Special Litigation, Texas Attorney General's Office
  • Special Counsel to the First Assistant Attorney General, Texas Attorney General's Office
  • Constitutional Law Fellow, Stanford Law School
  • Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath

  • Law Clerk to Justice Mack Kidd, Third Court of Appeals
    • As a briefing attorney, I assist a Third Court of Appeals Justice in researching and drafting numerous civil and criminal matters.
  • Office of the Solicitor General
    • Fellow: 2003-2004, Assistant Solicitor General from 2004-present.
  • As part of the Texas Attorney General's Appellate Division I have:
    • served as lead counsel in more than 80 appeals, a dozen original appellate proceedings, and 5 trial court proceedings;
    • presented more than 60 oral arguments, 20 in the Third Court of Appeals and more than 15 in the Texas Supreme Court;
    • briefed five cases to the United States Supreme Court.


Criminal Appellate Law

None sought

None sought

Civil Appellate Law


  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas (2002)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit (2002)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (2002)

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • Texas Supreme Court

  • The Texas Courts
  • The United States Supreme Court
  • The Fifth Circuit
  • The Western District of Texas


  • IRS Criminal Investigations Excellence Award
  • DeAtley Award for Complex or Significant Trial
  • Judge Suzanne Covington Pro Bono Service Award
  • Vinson & Elkins Pro Bono Award
  • American Law Institute, American Bar Association Leadership and Scholarship Award
  • Editor-in-Chief, George Washington Law Review

  • Steering Committee, Austin Lawyers Chapter, Federalist Society
  • Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Letter (2x)

  • Two-time recipient of the National Association of Attorneys
  • General award for "Best Brief" in the United States Supreme Court
  • Eagle Scout



195 of 1,116 votes

92 of 1,116

87 of 1,116 votes

93 of 1,116 votes


  • Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC

  • Ken Paxton, Attorney General
  • Lamar Smith, US Congressman
  • Matt Rinaldi, Texas State Representative
  • Tom Oliverson, Texas State Representative
  • Matt Schaefer, Texas State Representative
  • Scott Brister, Former Texas Supreme Court JusticeEmpower Texans
  • Texas Values
  • Texas Right to Life
  • Grassroots America: We the People
  • Texas Home School Coalition
  • Physicians for Integrity in Patient Care (PIPC)
  • Llano Tea Party
  • David Cabrales, General Counsel to Governor Rick Perry; Chairman of Texas Economic Development Corporation
  • Cathie Adams, Past President of Texas Eagle Forum; Past Chairman of Republican Party of Texas
  • JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director of Grassroots America-We the People
  • Tim Lambert, President of Texas Home School Coaltion
  • Bill Hussey, Founder & Past President of Llano Tea Party
  • Julie McCarty, President, NE Tarrant Tea Party
  • Josie Schoolcraft, President, Cherokee County Texas Republican Club
  • Ivette C Lozano MD, Dallas County Republican Assembly President 2015-17
  • Don and Rene Poe, President & Vice-President Hood County Conservatives


Judges should approach each case without fear or favor. They should apply the law as written and not legislate from the bench. In all things, judges should remember that the courts, just like the rest of our government, belong to the people. A judge's decisions should be guided by fairness, a desire for justice, and respect for the rule of law.

The role of the judge is to apply the law as it is written. Judges should begin with the text and carefully consider what the authors of the law actually said. They should avoid speculating about legislative intent. They should also resist cherry picking the legislative history to justify the outcome that they favor. Our elected representatives speak through the laws they pass. The words that our lawmakers use mean something. Judges should interpret the law consistent with how the public understood the meaning of the words at the time that the law passed. Through their elected representatives, the people have the right to change the law. Judges should not assume this power. They should instead respect the separation of powers, and understand that dividing authority into different branches of government helps to protect civil liberties. Judges should write clear and concise opinions. A test of a good judge is if the citizens affected by the judge's rulings understand why the case turned out the way it did. Judges must always remember that we are a nation of laws, and theirs is the solemn duty to say what the law is, not what they wish it to be.

Fifteen years of representing the State of Texas in the Texas appellate courts have taught me how important it is for judges not to take policy matters into their own hands---and just how tempting it is to do so. Article II, section 1 of the Texas Constitution is an affirmative restraint on judges' authority. As an appellate specialist, I have built my career on a reputation for scholarly work and the advancement of balanced legal tests that will balance the interests of justice with the rigors of governing in a democracy. As an experienced appellate advocate, I know the need for careful drafting of legal tests that will give parties real guidance as to how to resolve their disputes. No party should have to wager the expense of a lawsuit on an uncertain outcome. And no party should have to look beyond the plain text of the Legislature's enactments to know what to expect from the courts.


Jennifer has argued more than 20 times before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and tried multiple jury trials in the Western District of Texas. Before becoming an attorney, Jennifer worked as a broadcast news reporter at the NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri, and the ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kris is a fifth-generation Texan who entered this race with two sons, six and eight---and a two-week old baby girl.

Kris's practice at the Office of the Solicitor General focuses on Texas constitutional law, Texas administrative law, and cases involving other governmental processes. His clients have run whole range of State government, including the House and Senate, the Governor, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office. His scholarly work and publications have focused on appellate practice, plea-to-the-jurisdiction practice, and the use of international treaties in Texas court litigation.



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*Information gathered from various public sources, and may not yet be approved by the candidate.
Please send any corrections to info@tcjl.com

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