Twice-elected former judge who helped create first Dallas domestic violence court running for new House seat

Jim Pruitt

Jim Pruitt

Rockwall attorney and twice-elected former Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Jim Pruitt, who was instrumental in creating the first dedicated domestic violence court in Dallas, has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the new District 33 seat in the Texas House of Representatives.

Pruitt, 55, who was elected Judge of Dallas County Criminal Court #2 in 1994 and 1998, also collaborated while on the bench with the Department of Public Safety to write the first regulations in Texas governing DWI ignition interlock providers.

Elected by his judicial colleagues as the Presiding Judge over the Dallas County Courts and as the Local Administrative Judge, Pruitt frequently traveled to Austin to work with legislators regarding laws that would affect the criminal justice system.

Additionally, the Texas native was appointed to the First Administrative Judicial Region’s budget board, which covers 34 counties, including Collin and Rockwall.

The newly-formed House district encompasses all of Rockwall County and outer portions of Collin County, including Frisco, as a result of the recent redistricting process.

Representatives Jodie Laubenberg (R-Murphy) and Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) will no longer represent the areas encompassed in the new District 33 beginning in January, 2013, after the November, 2012, general election.

After Judge Pruitt left the bench, the board-certified criminal lawyer moved to Rockwall and formed the law firm of Culpepper and Pruitt with his wife, Kenda Culpepper.

When Culpepper was elected as the Rockwall County District Attorney in 2008, he created the Pruitt Law Firm, which practices in areas including mediation, family and intellectual property law.

Now, after taking a break from public service to practice law, Pruitt told a group of 200 supporters at a Labor Day barbeque at his home that he is “ready to get to work again for the people, finding solutions instead of making excuses.”  

He said people want a representative who will be “a person of action instead of just words,” which he has worked hard to be and will continue to do.

“Tough times need aggressive and effective leaders,” said Pruitt, a conservative Republican. “I am tired of simply listening and hoping things get done. People want solutions; they are tired of watching politicians sniping across party lines.” 

“They want a good, safe place to live. They want job security. They want a good education for their children, and they want fiscally conservative and honest representatives who won’t be frivolous with their hard-earned money.  

“Jim possesses the qualities of honesty and integrity, which in these times are not a luxury but a necessity,” said Rockwall businessman Gary Freedman. “He brings a tremendous amount of expertise and experience, and I know Jim will make a great State Representative.”

Pruitt said he is proud of his judicial experience and he has worked hard to establish himself as a conservative and equitable voice in the community. “I don’t just strongly believe in fiscal and social responsibility, limited government, and law enforcement, I have a record of proven experience to promote these ideals.” 

For example, while on the bench, he was the founder and a lead lecturer for the Dallas Weapons Education Safety Training Program. In the class he taught weapons, self-defense and protection of property laws to many citizen groups, including attorneys and law enforcement officers. 

“As a judge, I saw a lot of dangerous situations. I taught the class for eight years because, as a dedicated believer in the Second Amendment, I wanted to teach people how to legally protect themselves while staying within the confines of the law.” 

After graduating from Baylor Law School in 1984, he started a general law practice, was a volunteer firefighter and became city prosecutor in the City of Sunnyvale, where he was appointed Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman.

He has long been active in local Republican politics, serving on the Young Republican National Executive Board in the 1980’s, and has been repeatedly elected as a delegate to the State Republican Convention. In 2006, he was asked by the Republican National Committee to travel to Iowa to monitor allegations of potential election fraud in the national elections.

Pruitt has four children and lives in Rockwall. He and his wife are members of the First United Methodist Church of Rockwall.  

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