William Lee Hon is announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination as Judge of the 258th District Court of the State of Texas. The 258th District Court has civil and criminal jurisdiction over cases in Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity Counties.
In announcing his candidacy, Hon stated “I want to restore conservative principals to the 258th District Court bench. I am a proud Republican. I am not ashamed to say that. My philosophy as it relates to being a judge will more closely model the philosophies of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas, and, more recently, President Donald Trump’s appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. I believe in limited government intrusion into the lives of law abiding citizens. At the same time, I believe our courts serve a hugely important purpose in our society. They are a place for the resolution of civil disputes. We also delegate to our courts the responsibility of protecting our communities and determining what is justice for those who commit crimes and victimize others.”
Hon believes strongly in individual responsibility for actions and accountability for bad choices.
“I believe in second chances in appropriate cases, but not third, fourth and fifth chances. I will always be mindful of the interests of crime victims in the outcome of any criminal case. My philosophy in this regard is informed by nearly 26 years as a prosecutor handling felony cases and working closely with members of our law enforcement community to keep our communities safe. That is the perspective I will bring to the 258th District Court,” Hon said.
He said the decision to run was not made lightly. Rather, it was been a long, deliberative process with the support and advice of many.
“I am especially appreciative of the encouragement I have received from the law enforcement community in all three counties. In the days and weeks ahead, I will spell out clearly why I believe a change is needed and the things I will do differently if elected. To the Republican voters of Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity Counties, I need your help and your vote. I will never take you for granted and will always strive my best to uphold the standards you expect of Republican District Judge,” Hon said.
Hon is currently serving in his fourth term of office as the Republican elected Criminal District Attorney in Polk County and was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2007. He is the longest-serving Criminal District Attorney in the history of Polk County. He is a fifth generation Polk Countian who attended all 12 years of public school in the Livingston school system and graduated from Livingston High School in 1984. He was active in the Future Farmers of America, was a chapter officer, and was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 1984 National FFA Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Following high school, Hon attended Sam Houston State University where he majored in Criminal Justice and received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1987. He attended the University of Mississippi School of Law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1990. While in law school, Hon served with distinction on the editorial staff of the Mississippi Law Journal and was one of four students selected to serve on the 1990 University of Mississippi National Trial Competition Team.
Following law school, Hon practiced law in Greenville, Mississippi with the Campbell, DeLong law firm–the oldest continuing law partnership in that state
In 1994, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas and was assigned to the Criminal Law Enforcement Division in Austin where he routinely represented state law enforcement agencies such as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Texas Department of Public Safety in federal court proceedings.
In February of 1996, Hon was appointed Assistant Criminal District Attorney for Polk County. He has personally handled several thousand felony cases as a prosecutor and served as lead prosecutor in more than a hundred jury trials. He has also served as lead appellate counsel for the State and has argued numerous appeals before the Ninth, Sixth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Texas Courts of Appeals; and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. He has been admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
At the 2003 annual meeting of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation (AGACL) in New Orleans, Hon was one of only 15 prosecutors in the United States to be awarded the “Board of Directors’ Trial Advocacy Award,” which was presented in recognition of “excellence in the litigation of capital cases.” He has presented lectures to other prosecutors concerning the litigation of death penalty cases at meetings of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation and the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council. He has authored multiple legal articles published in The Texas Prosecutor and the Texas Bar Journal. He has been invited to author guest editorials relating to criminal justice issues in the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and Austin American Statesman. On multiple occasions he has served as a panelist discussing criminal justice topics at the Texas Tribune Festival held annually in Austin.
Over the last two decades, Hon has testified multiple times before House and Senate committees of the Texas Legislature on criminal justice legislation; and has been a member of the Legislative Committee of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association since 2003. In 2007, Hon was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 872 which amended Section 37.09 of the Texas Penal Code and increased the penalty for the offense of Tampering with Physical Evidence where the evidence tampered with is a human corpse. This bill was inspired by the 2004 murder of four year old Tony Boone in Polk County. In 2013, Hon was active in the drafting and passage of House Bill 1611 mandating open file discovery for all criminal prosecutions in the State of Texas. He has given professional lectures and training to other prosecuting attorneys at conferences sponsored by the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association, the Association for Government Attorney’s in Capital Litigation, the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council and the Center for American and International Law and Studies. He has routinely guest lectured on the prosecution of child abuse cases at the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice. He has served as a prosecutor representative on the Forensic Bitemark Review Panel of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, and, more recently, was appointed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to serve on the Texas Commission to Rewrite Certain Laws.
As district attorney, Hon prioritized the prosecution of child abuse cases and initiated the creation of a Sexual Assault Response Team and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program for Polk County. Hon participated in the creation of the Polk County Child Fatality Review Team in conjunction with other local health and law enforcement agencies. In 2009, he was instrumental in the creation of Childrenz Haven, Polk County’s Child Advocacy Center and served for eight years as a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX)–the statewide organization overseeing all child advocacy centers in Texas. In 2012, Hon was presented the “Partners in Courage Award” by Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas for his efforts on behalf of abused children. Hon currently serves on the Criminal Justice Council of the State Bar of Texas.
In addition to his prosecution of cases in Polk County, Hon has been appointed by judges to serve as a special prosecutor on cases in Walker, San Jacinto, Trinity, Angelina, Liberty, Hardin, Montgomery and Tyler counties.
In addition to his public service as a prosecutor, Hon served for eleven years as a fireman with the Livingston Fire Department. He was actively involved with the Livingston Youth Baseball and Girl’s Softball Associations, coached boy’s baseball and girl’s softball, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Livingston Youth Baseball Association. He is a past president of the Livingston Rotary Club and in 2009 was named a Paul Harris Fellow by that organization. In 2011 he was named by the Livingston Independent School District as an Outstanding Graduate of Livingston High School. He is presently a member or the First United Methodist Church of Livingston where he has previously served as Chairman of the Church Council.
Hon is a member of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association (TDCAA) and was appointed in 2008 to serve on the Board of Directors of that organization. In 2012, Hon was elected President of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and subsequently served as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Hon is also a member of the State Bar of Texas, The Mississippi Bar, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the Texas Farm Bureau. Presently, Hon helps promote agricultural interests in Polk County as a board member of the Polk County Farm Bureau.
William Lee Hon is the son of the late Rita Hon – a longtime Polk County elementary teacher, and the late Ferris Gene “Jim” Hon, a U.S. Army veteran and longtime Livingston postal worker. He is married to the former Nancy Varela Ordonez. Together, they own and operate a small farm near Livingston where they are involved in commercial hay production. They are the proud parents of Caroline – a graduate of the University of Mississippi, Will – a graduate of Sam Houston State University, Carson – a high school senior and Matthew – a high school freshman.