Dr. Randy Dale campaigns for Bell County’s 264th District Judge seat

From being a Hardin Simmons graduate to spending two years in Afghanistan teaching law, to becoming an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Dr. Randy Dale is looking to add Bell County’s 264th District Judge to his list of accomplishments.
Dale grew up in Memphis, a small farming community in the Texas Panhandle.
He graduated from Hardin Simmons in 1976, and received his law degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1979. He also holds a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D from Texas State University.
Dale believes that part of what made him want to become a lawyer stemmed from being raised by a former highway patrolman.
“My dad was a highway patrolman before I was born,” he said. “You can take the person out of the law enforcement, but not the law enforcement out of the person. He drove a truck for a living, but I was raised by a highway patrolman. I had that kind of law-enforcement-follow-the-rules-be-held-responsible kind of mentality.”
Dale began teaching classes at UMHB almost 10 years ago. Originally he taught Business Law for the McLane College of Business, but as of last year he is now teaching classes for the criminal justice department too.
“I am a product of a small Baptist school. I love the kid that kind of school draws, the faculty it draws.”
After teaching at UMHB for two years, Dale got the opportunity to go to Afghanistan with a private corporation to teach the rule of law system to Afghan government officials.
“We held classes that we invited them to. We talked about evidence, procedure, and all elements of criminal justice,” Dale said. “They would come to our class because they would get $5 a day for going. For a three day class, 15 American dollars was a bunch of money to them, so they would smile and listen, but they weren’t going to make any changes.”
Dale made his career as a trial prosecutor at the Bell County Justice Center after returning from Afghanistan. He also got his job back at UMHB.
“I’ve always loved prosecuting. I’ve always loved being on the side that brings the case and tries to hold people responsible for their conduct,” Dale said.
Dale is now campaigning for the 264th District Judge seat to replace former Judge Martha Trudo, who retired a year before her term was to end.
Dale was approached by several defense lawyers in the area, who thought that he should run for the position.
“I went home, talked to Melinda, and we prayed about it. The more we thought and talked the better it sounded, so we jumped right in.”
The ticket is all Republican with candidates: Dale, Belton lawyer Paul LePak, Killeen lawyer Steve Duskie, and Temple lawyer Jeff Parker.
The winner of the election hopes to be appointed by Texas governor Abbott to finish Trudo’s term before beginning their own next year.
“I hope it’s me, but I think any of the four guys could do the job. They seem to have the judicial temperament. They’ve got the intellect.”
Dale said that if he does lose the election, he will continue working as a prosecutor. If he wins, he will continue to keep his jobs at the courthouse and UMHB.
Dale said that the UMHB faculty has been very supportive of his campaign.
“They’re always asking about the campaign, some of them have signs in their yards, and a couple of them have kicked in financially.”
Dale said that President Randy O’Rear even asked him about his campaign at a restaurant in Morgan’s Point.
“He was very supportive.”
Senior public relations major Elena Aydelotte took Dale’s Business Law class, and recently attended a meet and greet for Dale in Salado.
“I think the meet and greet turned out to be a success. Considering the weather was dreary and cold, there was a good flow that came in to show support and learn more about Dr. Dale.”
Aydelotte supports Dale 100 percent.
“I believe Dr. Dale is a great candidate for the judicial seat,” she said. “I watched his interaction in class with other students. He was most fair and balanced concerning certain controversial topics that we would discuss during class.”
Early voting for the primary election began yesterday, Feb. 20, and will continue through March 2. Election Day is Tuesday, March 6, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Check Bell County’s website for voting sites.

Author: Lauren Lum

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