Candidate Q&A – Paul Hill – Justice of the Peace 2-2

What’s your favorite place in Hays County?

My favorite place in Hays County is the Rio Vista Community Pool in San Marcos. I grew up in the Rio Vista neighborhood, and I have countless wonderful memories of learning to swim and playing with friends and family at that pool. I loved that it was open to the public so I was always meeting new kids, and I even had birthday party there one year!

What’s your history of supporting Democratic organizations prior to your run for office?

I have been a Democrat my entire adult life, and I am proud to say that I have given much of my time to promote Democratic values, candidates, and organizations. From serving as a precinct chair and the precinct chair lead for the Kyle area, to serving as a Democratic representative in the frivolous recounts of the 2022 elections sought by the Hays County Republican Party, to serving on the board of KBAD, I am dedicated to the success of the Democratic Party.

Have you ever donated and/or voted for a Republican? If so, why and to whom?

I have never donated to a Republican candidate to my knowledge. In 2018, I voted in the Republican primary. This was because I lived in a small county in east Texas at the time, and there were no competitive democratic primaries at the local level. There were, however, local republican primaries where the winner would almost certainly go on to win in the general election. I voted in the Republican primary to be able to vote for the less extreme of the primary candidates. And as an added bonus, I voted for the opponents of Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton, Greg Abbott, and other terrible Republican incumbents.

What is your biggest liability or weakness as a candidate, and what is your response to people who may hold that against you?

I’m not the kind of person that typically runs for this kind of position, and I have experienced some questioning of and pushback against my candidacy because of that. However, I think that my unconventional candidacy is exactly why people should vote for me. I’m challenging the status quo and bringing a new energy and perspective to the Hays County Justice Courts. As a young progressive LGBT attorney, I am will bring important representation and legal excellence to the Hays County judiciary.

How has your educational background prepared you for this position? What specific college coursework prepared you for the office to which you aspire?

I have a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelor’s in Political Science with minors in Spanish, History, and Music from the University of North Texas.

While in college I learned how to speak the Spanish language through an immersion program in Argentina. Learning and retaining Spanish has been a huge priority of mine, because being able to communicate with all members of my community is so important in any legal profession.

In law school, I focused on classes that had practical application, like trial advocacy, the Housing Clinic defending tenants facing eviction, and the Civil Rights clinic holding the Texas government accountable for violations of its residents’ rights. These classes provided experiential learning that I still apply to my career.

Further, college and law school were where I found myself as a person and as a professional. By becoming a more mature, well-rounded person and developing organizational and analytical skills, I have positioned myself for success in this position.

How do you maneuver around the big personalities in the legal community?

I have practiced all over the state - in rural and urban areas, in criminal and civil courts, and in front of both Republican and Democratic judges. In that time I have dealt with all kinds of people. I pride myself on being able to stay professional at all times, whether I’m being berated by another attorney or praised by a colleague. I have developed excellent courtroom demeanor, and I express my position in professional but impactful ways. I know when to turn the other cheek and when to call out another attorney for crossing the line.

A story that comes to mind is one where I was advocating for placement of two young girls in a protective home when I was a prosecutor for Child Protective Services. The attorney for one of the other parties criticized CPS for “letting little boys pretend they are little girls” and “letting kids think they are something they are not.” I objected at the time and that line of questioning ended. During a break, I approached the attorney and let her know that her line of attack was not appropriate and was beyond the scope of anything in the hearing (nobody in this family was trans). She began to lose her cool to the point where the judge intervened and admonished her. I was proud that I stood my ground and let that attorney know that attacking the LGBT community was not going to fly as long as I was around.

How do you feel about abortion access? How will you support women on this issue?

I am absolutely pro-choice and a firm believer in bodily autonomy and a person’s reproductive freedom. Abortion issues do not appear in front of Justices of the Peace, but I plan to use my voice as a community leader to continue to support the Democratic Party in its pursuit of reproductive freedom.

What Democratic values will you apply to your work once elected? 

One of the biggest reasons that I am a Democrat is my firm belief that the government, when run by passionate, dedicated, competent individuals, can make a positive impact in the communities it serves. I am running because I am passionate about public service, dedicated to my community, and competent to perform the duties of a Justice of the Peace

Paul Hill Headshot

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