County Judge Candidate Removes Endorsement from Ware

- AMARILLO -- Potter county judge Arthur Ware may have violated the state's rules on judicial conduct.

        The potential violation is the endorsement of one of the candidates seeking to replace him.

        We first broke the story last summer when judge Ware announced he would not seek re-election this year.  At the same time, he threw his support behind former Amarillo mayor Debra McCartt.  Something sitting judges are not supposed to do.

        The State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) has not handed down any punishments to judge Ware.

        In fact, there have not been any complaints about this issue.  But, McCartt knows all about it.

        Here's the rule from the SCJC.  Canon 5-2 states:  "A judge or judicial candidate shall not authorize the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate for any public office."

        McCartt says she recently learned of the rule and .and promptly removed any signs of Ware's support from her campaign materials.

        She says she hasn't spoken with judge Ware about it, but, didn't want to take any chances.  McCartt believes judge Ware will still support her.  He just can't do it publicly.

        "We did call about this very issue, a fellow that helps to give me the ethical issues on different things.  So we called him and he said yes that's probably right.  It's nothing illegal but it's something I would probably stop."  McCartt said.

        McCartt is one of five candidates hoping to replace judge Ware.

        The SCJC says they won't take any action until they receive a complaint, usually from the county commission as a whole.

        A call to judge Ware's home was not returned.

        The other four candidates seeking the position are Ware's long time former assistant Nancy Tanner, William Sumerford, Bill Bandy and Jeff Poindexter.

        All five are running for the republican nomination.

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