Although he almost certainly won’t be the last, Cleburne resident and Johnson County Assistant Attorney Christopher Boedeker on Tuesday announced his intention to run for the Johnson County judge seat next year.
Boedeker also serves as Cleburne’s Single Member District 2 councilman and the council’s current mayor pro tem having recently won his second consecutive term.
Boedeker won’t officially be able to file to compete in the March Republican primary until November.
County Judge Roger Harmon last month announced that, after 27 years in office, he will not seek reelection next year.
“Now that Roger Harmon has announced his retirement, I have decided to run for his seat,” Boedeker said. “After he announced his retirement my wife and I discussed what the job is and what it is that I do right now. And I feel that with what I do for the city and what I do for the county that serving as county judge would give me an opportunity to bring a good combination of those things and that experience to the table.”
Boedeker, a Cleburne High School graduate, touted his deep local roots and experience.
“My wife, Andrea, and I are raising our two sons here,” Boedeker said. “We have four living generations of family members in the community and deep ties to the community.
“I hope to draw on my 10 plus years of experience as an attorney, the past seven of which have been as a prosecutor, as well as my experiences as a second-term council member and mayor pro tem of Cleburne. I believe my experience leaves me uniquely suited for the job of county judge, which includes governmental administration and jurisdiction over legal matters.”
Boedeker said Johnson County’s days upcoming will be exciting but challenging as well.
“As a lifelong resident of Cleburne, I have never seen growth or development on this scale before,” Boedeker said. “It is incumbent on the leaders of the county to address and guide that growth to make sure that Johnson County is open for economic development while retaining the character that makes this the best place in the world to raise a family.”
In that regard, Boedeker said that his conservative record speaks for itself.
“In my time on city council Cleburne has consistently cut the tax rate while supporting law enforcement and first responders,” Boedeker said. “We have consistently looked for ways to improve services to our citizens while decreasing the cost of doing so, in part by leveraging growth and partnerships with local businesses and surrounding communities. I intend to apply those same principles to county government.”
As a specific example, Boedeker cited steps he took during his time on the city council to help foster new businesses.
“One of the things I identified was that there was an issue with granting certificates of occupancy,” Boedeker said. “Some business owners were running into significant delays trying to open their businesses. I talked with city staff and to the department head and we were able to improve the process and cut down on lag time, which, in the end, created less work for the city and much better results for our business owners.”
If elected, Boedeker said he will focus on county infrastructure, ensuring sustainable growth powered in part by residential growth, work to modernize county policies and improve customer service.
“I also intend to build more collaboration between the county and the local city governments,” Boedeker said. “With the elimination of forced annexation, cooperation between local governments is more important than ever in running a government efficiently.”
Boedeker added that, if elected, he plans to serve the county and does not see the county judge seat as a stepping stone.
“No, I have no future political goals in mind,” Boedeker said. “I’m from Cleburne. I want to stay in Cleburne because I care about the future of Johnson County. This is where I’m raising my kids and, if the voters choose me, I could see myself spending the rest of my career here as long as they want me.”
Johnson County’s future requires strong leadership and experience, Boedeker added.
“I think we have to really be prepared for what the future of Johnson County is going to look like,” Boedeker said. “I don’t know that it has really hit us all just yet what it means to have this kind of growth coming our way. As Cleburne has experienced growth during my time on the council, I kept going back to the importance of maintaining who we are, reminding ourselves that we want small government, but we want government that is excellent at what it does. The things we’re going to do we need to do better than anybody else.
Boedeker earned his law degree from Baylor Law School. He attends Field Street Baptist Church and is a member of the Cleburne Rotary Club.
As he has through the Johnson County Attorney’s Office and the Cleburne City Council, said he hopes, with the support of the voters, to continue serving the community as county judge.
“That’s always been important to me and, through the career paths and jobs I’ve chosen, I feel like tried to make the world and our community a better place,” Boedeker said. “I know everyone says that but that really is what it’s all about for me, doing what I can to make Johnson County’s tomorrow a little bit better than it was today.”