Jennifer Edgeworth: Tipping the balance of parity in Collin County
Jennifer Edgeworth is running to become a district court judge in Collin County. She swept the Republican primary in March by defeating three other candidates without a runoff, including a two-term incumbent judge. Edgeworth is now unopposed in the general election and on track to become an elected official. Once elected in November, Edgeworth will serve as the seventh female judge on a bench of eleven total district judges in one of the fastest growing counties in the country. This example of parity and prosperity in Collin County is one Edgeworth hopes neighboring communities in Texas will look to for inspiration. In Collin County, Edgeworth feels that she is on the cusp of a unique opportunity, where men and women serve equally.
Edgeworth was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up, Edgeworth admired her grandfather, a retired colonel in the Air Force, for his vocal sentiments about God, country, and family. Edgeworth looked up to her grandfather for his superb and instinctive work ethic, and his values have guided her through her journey in politics which lead to her current campaign.
Edgeworth grew up in a politically involved household, citing her uncle, former U.S. Congressman Alan Steelman of the 5thdistrict of Texas, as a political role model. In high school, she was the president of the speech and debate team, served on student council, and won a campus-wide election to participate in a week-long internship with former U.S. Congressman Bill Archer in Washington, D.C. There, Edgeworth met many elected officials on Capitol Hill.
After graduating from high school, Edgeworth went on to attend Texas Christian University (TCU)and eventually law school at Baylor University, where she discovered her passion for the courtroom. While at Baylor, she competed on multiple mock trial and moot court teams, and obtained both a law and a MBA degree. Edgeworth knew she would start her legal career as a lawyer but had a greater goal of becoming a judge. Edgeworth never saw becoming a judge as vying for elected office, but rather, as a next step in her legal career.
Edgeworth had no personal experience running a political campaign prior to filing for a seat on the Collin County District Court. She had, however, been very active in local politics and served as President of Golden Corridor Republican Women, one of the largest Republican women’s groups in North Texas. This club introduced her to an incredible network of strong, smart, and politically savvy women, including her future campaign team. During her campaign, Edgeworth also relied on the overwhelming support and volunteer services provided to her by a variety of other grassroots Republican groups in the area, and highlighted their amazing help, from putting up signs to block walking neighborhoods. Additionally, Edgeworth’s husband contributed immensely to her morale. He would not only run data for block walking and deliver signs, but he also took care of their six-year-old son while she campaigned. Edgeworth also noted her reliance on the power of prayer for strength that no tangible support could provide, saying “running for office is a huge leap of faith and you really need a strong support system.”
The district court judges serve all of Collin County on general jurisdiction benches that cover family, civil, and criminal cases. Edgeworth believes the biggest challenge facing Collin County, and the district courts, is the rapid growth in the county. The population is expected to soon exceed one million people, and more than double in the next twenty years. The county will continue to consider whether it needs more benches, and specialized courts.
Edgeworth is thankful to have had many women mentors in Collin County politics who have been involved in all aspects of a campaign, whether they were volunteering, managing a campaign, or running themselves. She believes more women will continue to run for office and encourages women to find their support system, take the leap to run for office, and treasure the honor and privilege of serving as an elected official. Edgeworth looks forward to proving her dedication to the people of Collin County in the courtroom come January.