Sirmon, Denny in runoff election for 320th District Court judge

Pamela Sirmon earned the most votes in Potter County’s race for 320th District Court election, but did not win a majority and will face Steven Denny in a May 22 runoff election.


Sirmon won 38.3 percent of the absentee vote and 38.34 percent of early voting ballots. On election day, voters supported her with 36.08 percent of the vote.

Sirmon, who is vacating her seat as Potter County Court-at-law No. 2 judge, ran against Steven Denny, who had 31.41 percent, and Marcus Norris for the judge’s seat, who had 20.56 percent of the vote.

“I’m optimistic and excited,” she said. “It was a good group of people running for the various races … I think it’s an exciting time to practice law here in Amarillo with these new faces and new energy.”Though not victorious, Denny said he still wants to help improve Potter County’s court system.

“I’m always open to any judge that wants to improve their court and make it move smoother,” he said. “That’s what I’ve always done from my time as a justice adviser in Afghanistan. My job was to make things was to make things run smoother; if I could do it over there with no resources, we can certainly do a better job over here.”

Moving forward, Norris said he will continue with his thriving law practice.

“I’m very fortunate, I’m very blessed,” he said. “I have a good job in a good law firm. I’ll continue representing small towns as their contract city attorney. With what I’ve learned about the juvenile (recidivism rate), I know how to call or write my senator or representative. I’ve helped influence other legislation. Maybe I can help influence some of that.”

Sirmon’s passions for family court were the driving force for her to run for the 320th District Court seat.

“My (current) court is a misdemeanor court with 10 percent of family the law. The 320th District Court is felony criminal law and does 45 percent of the family law.”

Sirmon says that difference is an increase of handling about 140 family cases per year to 650. When she assumes the bench in January 2018 she going to start by tackling the time of day cases are set.

“Currently that court only hears cases in the morning and I want to hear cases morning and afternoon. I think it’s better for the litigants and the lawyers, it’s better use of people’s time and we can move cases a little quicker,” she said.