Pamela Luther: Creative aspiring judge in Dallas County
Pamela Luther is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Dallas County Court of Criminal Appeals #2. Though she hasn’t run for office before, she has led her way into a Primary runoff, making her one of the top two candidate picks for the Dallas County Democratic Party. Luther holds one of the most interesting and valuable experiences for her race: she has not only served as a Public Defender but also a Prosecutor for Dallas County – giving her insight on both sides of the courtroom. Now, Luther wants to use this incredible experience to serve her hometown county as a judge, where she will no longer persuade a decision but determine it.
Luther grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she experienced a childhood unknowingly riddled with politics. One of Luther’s most vivid memories as a child happened to be the President John F. Kennedy Assassination, which was an incident forever beholden to Dallas’ history. Though she did not understand the full implication of the assassination, Luther knew the impact would change the direction of politics.
Luther eventually became the stay-at-home mother to seven children. After her children were old enough, she decided to practice law. She has served in a variety of legal positions including Public Defender and Prosecutor for Dallas County. While serving in both positions, Luther had the opportunity to interact with a variety of elected officials on a daily basis. Over time, she began to realize how important judgeships are to litigation, serving as the decision maker at critical times. This realization spiked her interest in politics and eventually, a campaign for office.
Luther did not have a prior “how-to” knowledge of campaigning. Instead, she utilized tools and resources she had been given through different avenues to make her campaign successful. For example, Luther had developed a network for crowdfunding over time that she now utilizes for her campaign, bringing in small but large quantities of outside donations from individuals. Additionally, she manifested her social media skills through a variety of screenwriting trainings that has put her on the map as one of the most creative online candidates in North Texas. She has been traveling across her candidate jurisdiction and taking artistic photos of her electioneering materials in front of notable landmarks. After leading in the original primary election, Luther hopes the waves she is making will lead to a successful nomination from the Democratic party in the runoff.
If elected, Luther would serve as the judge for Dallas County Court of Criminal Appeals #2. Interestingly enough, this is not an appellate court even though it contains the word “appeals” in the title; it is a criminal court. With experience on both the side of the defense and the prosecution, Luther holds a rounded opinion on legal cases entering the criminal court. Luther hopes to focus on safety precautions for noncitizens, in the event they are arrested and fall on her docket. She believes there should not be enormous consequences for the smallest misdemeanor convictions, especially for immigrants who could lose their entire livelihood in the United States. She has witnessed cases were litigants were convicted and deported to their country of origin. If elected, she hopes to protect the rights and interests of immigrants who are subject to Court of Criminal Appeals #2.
While Luther believes women still face systemic barriers in politics as a whole, she feels that Dallas County is experiencing a new wave of female empowerment in candidacy. “Women entering politics in Dallas County have actually faced an increase in popularity”, Luther says, “but it is more difficult for women to jump into a campaign compared to men.” She noted that during the primary election, Luther recognized that another candidate, who is also a young father, was able to attend campaign events without issue even with children at home. As a mother of seven, Luther doesn’t feel that she would have been given this same luxury since she, as many other women do, fulfilled the role as primary caretaker for her children. Though she would never trade being at home with her children, Luther realized how strikingly different freedoms are for men and women running for office.
Luther advises other women interested in running for office to follow their drive to serve. “Don’t think of [obstacles] as something holding you back from politics, realize that your experience is the same experience other women are having”, Luther says, “don’t resent where you are – you may need to be the spokesperson for what others are going through.”
Pamela Luther is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for the Dallas County Court of Criminal Court of Appeals #2. Early primary runoff voting takes place from May 14thto May 19thwith election day on May 22nd.