Nineteen black women who were running to become judges in Harris County, Texas, reportedly made history this week after they all won their races.
According to BuzzFeed News, the group of women were among the 38 district Democratic judges elected on Tuesday in a county with a population of more than 4 million people.
Lori Chamber Gray, who was among the 19 black women to win judgeships, told a local Fox station she hopes the increase of diversity on the bench helps give defendants a better opportunity to have a fair trial.
"I have dealt with a lot of judges in the last 30 years. Many of them were great judges, very experienced. But few were women and even fewer were African American. And because I do a lot of criminal defense work, a lot of my clients are either African American or Hispanic," Gray, who is now the judge-elect for the 262nd Criminal District Court, told the station.
Latosha Lewis Payne, who was elected to be judge of the 55th Civil Judicial District, echoed Gray’s remarks of the importance of having a more diverse bench.
"I think that having an African American judge or having a female judge — those are the kinds of things we bring to the bench. And we bring an understanding of a person who may come from that similar background," Payne said.
According to BuzzFeed News, the county also elected Democrat Lina Hidalgo to serve as county judge over Republican incumbent Ed Emmett, who held the position for more than a decade.