TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Friday morning saw two Tyler lawyers enter the foray for a Smith County judicial seat that will open up at the end of 2022.

The election will be to replace Judge Floyd Getz who has presided over the County Court of Law 3 since 1999.

Clay White, a board-certified personal injury attorney and partner at his law firm White-Shaver, held a campaign kick-off at the Smith County courthouse Friday morning.

At the event, White touted his more than three decades of experience in the courtroom with more than 250 cases taken to trial, a high number by today’s standards.

“I’ve been in courtrooms all across our great state, I’ll use this vast experience and the respect I’ve gained for the judicial process to be a fair, knowledgeable, and impartial judge, who will interpret the law as it is written and never legislate from the bench.”

Clay White

White was on the school board for Grace Community, where all three of his children graduated. He is also involved in the Deacon Ministry at First Baptist Church.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing and obtained a master’s degree in Deaf Education from Lamar University. He is fluent in American Sign Language. White’s law degree came from the South Texas College of Law.

At the event, he thanked the man who first hired him as a fifth-grade teacher before he became a lawyer saying: “If I can teach 5th graders, I can sure be County Court at Law judge.”

White also said that they expect the race to be crowded and will likely need a run-off next summer after the March election.

Also announcing her candidacy was Smith County native Cheryl Wulf. She earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of Texas in Austin and her law degree from South Texas College of Law as Magna Cum Laude.

After working in Houston for eight years, Wulf moved back to Smith County in 2011 and opened her own private practice. She is one of only seven attorneys in Texas to simultaneously hold Board Certifications in both Family Law and Personal Injury Trial Law.

Cheryl lives in Chapel Hill with her husband Curtis and they also have three children currently attending Grace Community School. She attends the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Tyler.

“I have the qualifications, experience, and dedication to serve this community in an effective manner. I am committed to working hard to have a court that is efficient and provides justice for everyone.”

Cheryl Wulf

Wulf’s husband Curtis had an unsuccessful bid last year to unseat Precinct 4 Constable Josh Joplin. The tight race needed a run-off election, where Joplin won his second term by less than 90 votes.