Two Republican hopefuls vie for Denton County Criminal Court No. 2 | News

Susan Piel

Age: 47

Born in: Carrollton

Education: bachelor of arts, Baylor University, 1992; juris doctorate, Texas Tech University School of Law, 1995

Experience: family violence and felony prosecutor, 1996-2000, chief of family violence unit, 2000-03, felony prosecutor and chief of the misdemeanor division, 2005-12, all in the Denton County District Attorney’s office; private practice attorney, 2003-05 and 2012-present

Campaign website:

Your campaign signs say “conservative Republican.” What does that mean?

To me being a conservative Republican is an indicator of your core values. I am a conservative Republican both politically and personally. My personal and religious views shape my political views. Also, being a conservative Republican means that you are grounded in the U.S. Constitution as it is written.

How will your experience as a practicing attorney inform your work on the bench?

I’ve been practicing law for over 22 years, with most of that spent as an assistant district attorney in the Denton County District Attorney’s office. I have experience as a trial attorney trying complex cases. The knowledge I’ve developed handling complex cases gives me experience in the law, and I will use my experience and knowledge as a judge to rule, and lead, and make decisions.

Are there any changes you would make to the way the court is run if you are elected?

Judge Vahlenkamp runs a very efficient court and I like the model of his docket. I will focus on the jury trials. If you push cases through to jury trials, that’s what it takes to get all the cases through the court. It [that push] will cause others [prosecutors, defense attorneys and defendants] to make a decision. Most cases end with plea deals. Judges don’t decide plea deals.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881.