Meet the Candidate
McKinley Melancon was raised in Galveston County, Texas by lifelong Democrats; her father was a trial lawyer who represented poor workers against corporations and taught his children to value the rights of all people before the law. An Austin Democrat, McKinley fights for the rights of Travis County’s most vulnerable residents as a criminal defense attorney. McKinley is running for judge of Travis County Court 5 to ensure that all individuals who appear in this court receive a fair and speedy trial and that the court be operated with the level of economy and efficiency that the taxpayers of Travis County deserve.
As a child, McKinley immersed herself in the highly competitive world of figure skating. She cultivated discipline, passion, and drive as a competitor in competitions across the nation. After a series of injuries, McKinley took this work ethic with her through her studies at the University of Texas at Austin to pursue an undergraduate degree. After graduating, she followed in her father’s footsteps as a trial lawyer. McKinley Melancon became licensed to practice law in 2012 and opened Melancon Law Firm, which has represented people accused of crimes since 2013. In this capacity, she finds meaning in using that drive to advocate for the rights of those not otherwise able to speak for themselves.
McKinley’s experience representing defendants gives her a unique perspective in Travis County, where six out of seven criminal court judges are former prosecutors. She believes that balance in the judiciary is necessary to fairness, and a voice is needed from the defense side of the docket that promotes and protects the constitutionally protected right of the presumption of innocence. Her personal experience as a trial lawyer who has represented defendants in County Court 5 gives her insight into the workings of the court and makes her determined to restore a sense of justice and fairness to the bench.
McKinley Melancon takes seriously the duty of a judge to preside responsibly over a courtroom, interpret the law correctly, and treat all parties fairly. She believes that a judge should both know and follow the law, act impartially, and operate efficiently and effectively in the interest of justice. It is these principles that she strives to exemplify as County Court at Law 5 judge, providing a positive female role model for our children in a time when it is needed most.