Mark Calhoon

PALESTINE — Mark Calhoon, judge for the 3rd Judicial District Court, has announced his candidacy for that position in the 2008 Republican primary election.

Calhoon was appointed earlier this year by Governor Rick Perry. The 3rd Judicial District serves Anderson, Henderson and Houston counties.

Calhoon was appointed in March to fill the unexpired term of Jim Parsons, who retired in December 2006.

“The governor felt Calhoon was the best to fill that position because of his extensive legal experience and his past dedication to public service,” Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.

“The selection process for judicial appointments is quite extensive,” Calhoon said. “I appreciate the confidence of the governor’s office in entrusting this position to me. I believe that I bring a high level of experience to the bench, having practiced as a prosecutor, defense and civil attorney before taking this position.

“As a prosecutor and defense attorney I was able to try many felony cases, including several murder and capital murder cases. I was in the courtroom quite a bit as an attorney — it is where I feel most at home.

“I am honored to serve this community as district judge. I have been humbled by the tremendous support I have received from people throughout the three counties. I have assembled a strong staff and together we have moved a large amount of cases through the court. I look forward to another term of service.”

Prior to taking the bench, Calhoon practiced law in East Texas for more than 12 years. He served as chief felony prosecutor for the Anderson County District Attorney’s Office for nine years before entering private practice in 2004.

Calhoon is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and University of Oklahoma School of Law. He is active in the community, having served on various boards and committees including the Palestine Independent School District Board of Trustees. He has served as a mentor and coach in a number of youth organizations.

He is a member of Grace Bible Church in Palestine. He and his wife Jennifer have four children.

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