Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley sent the following message to members on July 19.
I am writing to let you know that the Board of Directors is seeking candidates for the 2019 president-elect race, which will take place April 1-30. Whether you are interested in running as a board-nomination candidate or —as I did in 2017— as a petition candidate, you can find information about the process here.
This election cycle, potential candidates for 2019 president-elect should come from non-metropolitan counties, in accordance with State Bar Rules.
The 2019 race will be the first under a new State Bar election process designed to more closely align the campaign periods for board-nominated candidates and petition candidates.
On August 29, the board’s Nominations and Elections Subcommittee will meet in Austin to interview potential president-elect candidates who wish to seek election through the board’s nomination process. The full board will vote on the subcommittee’s recommended president-elect nominees on September 28 in Austin.
Per State Bar Rules, petition candidates may begin collecting signatures September 1 and can appear on the ballot by submitting the signatures of at least 5 percent of the active State Bar members on or before March 1.
Also, nominees in the 2019 election will benefit from the board’s approval in January 2018 of extensive policy changes that loosened or eliminated many of the old campaign guidelines.
I strongly supported these policy changes to ensure that all candidates can fully exercise their free speech and freedom of association rights. No longer are there any limits on who a nominee may contact; nor on the amount of money any nominee may spend.
As a state agency in which membership is mandatory to be licensed, the State Bar is much stronger when more members get involved in its form of self-governance. If you have any questions about how to run for State Bar president-elect or district director, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Joe K. Longley
President, State Bar of Texas