Meet your candidates!
It’s an election year, and here at Plano Profile we strive to connect our community; part of that is helping educate the community and giving candidates a platform to address the community.
All of the following opinions are that of the candidate, not Plano Profile. Any and all candidates have the opportunity to fill out our questionnaire to be published on our website, contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Meet Glenn Brenner who is running for Judge of the 219th District Court as a republican.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in a strict and conservative family. My path took me to South Dakota, wherein I was elected the youngest District Attorney in the state. I prosecuted hundreds of the most high profile homicide and sexual assault cases. I also initiated programs, still in existence today that reduce the caseload saving precious dollars for the County and making the community a safer place to live.
In a collaborative approach I reached out to our sheriff and other dignitaries to initiate the Child Advocacy center, streamlining the investigation of Sexual assault cases against children by teaming a forensic Pediatrician with a forensic interviewer to limit the number of times a child-victim is subjected to interview/examination.
We created a Juvenile Diversion program taking less serious offenders out of the system and placing them into value-based programs to not only reduce the caseload but substantially cut the recidivism numbers as well.
We implemented a Domestic Violence Task Force teaming a dedicated investigator with a dedicated prosecutor to “vertically prosecute” those cases adding expertise and increasing the conviction rate tri-fold to hold offenders accountable.
After 4 terms (16 years), I moved to Texas joining a very successful growing Probate and Fiduciary litigation firm where I handled multi-million dollar probate cases. I left the firm to fulfill a calling: To seek a judgeship, teach as adjunct faculty at SMU, and represent children as a Guardian Ad. Litem in Child Protective Services Cases.
I am a certified Mediator who completed the advanced-level training and was separately certified as a Parental Coordinator and Parenting Facilitator. I have Mediated Civil and Family cases and been described as having a great temperament for the same. I have served in this quasi-judicial role while acting as Adjunct Professor as SMU, Dedman School of Law.
Why are you running for office?
I have always felt a calling to be a Judge. I have had opportunities for appointment in my professional career; but was not ready to “get out of the game”. I enjoyed honing my skills as a trial lawyer and acting as faculty at the National Advocacy Center (NAC) in South Carolina, teaching trial techniques to young prosecutors.
If I wanted to be wealthy, I would not have spent 16 years as the DA and I would not have left a growing Probate and Fiduciary litigation firm to be appointed to assist children and seek another public office. Something is calling me as I continue to gravitate toward trial work and public service. I feel it, I’m acting on it, and I need the voters support to fulfill it.
What makes you the most qualified person for this position?
There are great candidates in this race with strong family values; but I have the requisite experience and proven track record for the position. I am the only candidate to have tried hundreds of cases to a jury as a prosecutor and then represented defendants, which makes me the only candidate to have this perspective.
Voters should not underestimate how important having the criminal law experience is because this is the largest docket and the biggest problem facing the court right now. I also have a proven track record of redefining the job description and working to make our community a safer and better place to live. I have implemented the aforementioned programs, and have testified in support of legislation to help the system run more efficiently and make the community safer. I commit to use the pulpit to do just that. I am not just saying it; I am the only candidate who has this record of “getting it done”.
Moreover, I would not have been elected, re-elected, re-elected, and re-elected again if the community did not have the faith and confidence in me to continue to perform great service. Nor would the community have continued to re-elect me if I did not have the temperament for public office. You see, I have always thought of public office as the peoples’, not mine. I have treated everyone with respect and commit to honor my obligation as a public servant, to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, just as I have before, and work tirelessly for the people.
What issues are your top priorities? Name three. What changes would you implement and how?
- The overloaded criminal docket is the top priority. One distinctive competency I bring is I have dealt with this exact issue and successful in reducing the same. In the 219th Court right now, several defendants have been held for over a year with some being held for over 1000 days. This is simply unacceptable. When criminal dockets are overloaded, not only is this at great cost to the County, they undergo delays forcing judges and prosecutors with the choice of warehousing untried defendants in local or releasing a potentially violent offender, both adult and juvenile, compromising the courts ability to fulfill its traditional role: maintaining societal order and public safety. Also, not only are defendant’s rights affected by being held for so long, victims have to wait to get closure.
- Underfunding. Our County has grown significantly in the last 20 years and is projected to continue its growth at an even more rapid rate. This burdens the Court with both criminal and civil caseloads. Courts are coping with ever-increasing caseloads, while at the same time; economics has produced dwindling sources of revenue. Adding more judges is not the answer because the budgets of the judiciary and related support systems (juvenile counselors, drug courts, diversion programs, and probation officers) are typically 90 percent personnel expenses; as opposed to other agencies tending our highways, parks, or hospitals, which devote a far greater percentage of their budgets to capital projects.The underfunding to judicial budgets have had a debilitating impact on available court days and all of the other functions that require people to work immediately on larger caseloads, and have negatively affected the initiation of well intended, value based programs (drug court, DWI Court, mental health programs) which would ultimately assist in reduction of that very caseload and benefiting the community at large. While the answer is multi-faceted; a great start would be to educate the executive and legislative branches on the ever-increasing burdens of the judiciary and its long-lasting effect on their own constituencies. This will assist in getting a portion of the state budget dedicated to assist in the funding of the much-needed aforementioned programming. I have done this before and am the only candidate with this track record.
- As the Elected DA, I learned quickly that any major policy change has a real effect on other departments. Right now, each District Court in Collin County has its own policies, procedures, and rules. One thing I would try, would be to initiate a Justice Meeting and invite the District Attorney, the District Courts, the Sheriff, the Clerk of Courts, the Public Defender the City Police Chiefs and other department heads to a monthly meeting, perhaps over the lunch hour, to discuss issues in the respective departments.What is working and what is not; how one department might assist another department in asking for small changes that are proven to increase efficiency of the justice system. The key is in communication. While no court wants another to dictate how it operates, I am confident all courts would make changes if they were informed how significant it would be on the system as a whole. By communicating issues and fully understanding the same, changes that seem small can extinguish small fires that pop up before they become seemingly unmanageable.
What factors in your life have shaped your beliefs?
Certainly growing up in a conservative family with strict parents has had an impact. I was taught that nothing is given. Hard work and dedication is the recipe for attaining one’s goals. I was raised by a father who had little and achieved success with a large company through this same dedication and hard work he taught his children. In 1998, I had my own child followed by a second 19 months later.
This was a significant event that shaped my beliefs. I wanted our community to be better for my children than it was for me and their opportunities to be greater than mine. I strive to be a part of the system to achieve this goal.
What do you believe should be the function of government?
The government should provide only the most basic functions. The government should be interested in what is good for the country as a whole rather than any one particular group. Government jobs take money out of taxpayer’s pockets to support them.
The bigger picture focuses on freeing up money and businesses and individuals so they can start jobs and have more personal income and wealth. The way you help the poor is to create an environment that creates jobs. That means cutting down on all the hoops and expenses of starting a business, and keeping the taxes and regulations low so that a company can afford to hire more people and pay them more money.