SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) Smith County Judge Jack Skeen announced Friday morning he will not be seeking reelection in the March 2022 Republican Primary.

Skeen has sat on the bench of the 241st District Court since 1983 and will complete his current term, which is set to end on Dec. 31, 2022.

His reasoning for stepping down is due to his age, now that he has reached 75 years old in March.

“The office of every such Justice and Judge shall become vacant on the expiration of the term during which the incumbent reaches the age of seventy-five (75) years”.

Article V, Section 1-a of the Texas Constitution

The filing deadline for the March 2022 primary is the end of December 2021.


Skeen graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1964, and then enrolled at Tyler Junior College. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin, followed by Baylor Law School.

In January of 1971, he went to work as an Assistant District Attorney for one year before applying for the first full-time City Attorney.

From there, he was appointed municipal court judge, where he served for five years before being elected as District Attorney in 1982. 

As District Attorney, he served six terms, before being appointed to fill Judge Diane DeVasto’s unexpired term as Judge of the 241st District Court in 2003. 

He has been the Judge of that court since.


Skeen will be the second Judge to leave Smith County in recent years.

Back in July of 2019, Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th District Court announced she would be retiring.

She served out her term until the end of December 2020.

She had been elected to the court back in 2008, and had run unopposed in many elections in the years that followed.

The 114th District Court is now presided over by Austin Reeve Jackson.

He ran against Jarad Kent, and Mitch Adams in the November primary elections and received just over 44% of the vote. In the May runoffs, he would win against Kent, and was sworn on on January 1, 2021.