Experience on the Bench: Judge Harold Kennedy

COVER STORY  | By M.G. Angulo | Photos by Joey Belleza –

In all of the years that Judge Harold Kennedy has served on the bench, at least one thing is clear above all his attributes:  he enforces the law with the fairness of a man who can be trusted with the weight of such decisions. Kennedy, a conservative Republican, has presided over tens of thousands of cases in the County Courts at Law of Fort Bend County. With the upcoming retirement of the Honorable Susan G. Lowery, Kennedy now has his mind set on becoming judge of County Court at Law #3.

County Court at Law #3 oversees juvenile cases, misdemeanors, civil cases less than $200,000, probate and mental health cases, as well as condemnation and family law cases – all areas in which Kennedy has years of extensive experience.

Kennedy understands the law. He reveres the law. Most importantly, he enforces the law and has been doing so for more than 18 years in Fort Bend County as an associate judge. “I am the most qualified and experienced candidate seeking this position,” Kennedy said. “The educated electorate want a judiciary who is seasoned, conservative, fair and is not looking to make new law from the bench. Rather, they want someone to enforce the law, as it is written.”

Elect Harold Kennedy for Judge Court at Law #3

With over 18 years on the bench as an associate judge with a reputation for fairness and diligence, Judge Harold Kennedy is now seeking to serve as judge for Fort Bend County Court at Law #3.  Selected by his peers to serve the community he loves, Kennedy’s qualifications include:

A Qualified Candidate

  • Licensed attorney since 1983
  • Associate Judge, Fort Bend County Courts at Law, 1999 to present
  • Former Municipal Court Judge
  • Former member, State Bar of Texas State Judiciary Relations Committee
  • Special Master
  • Former United States Congressional legislative intern

Judge Harold Kennedy. Photo by Joey Belleza

An Advocate for the Youth

Judge Harold Kennedy values the youth in our community. He is a life member of the Fort Bend County Fair, a life committeeman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and for 23 years, he was a director of the Houston Children’s Festival. He is also a life member of the Optimist Club and a former board member of the T.W. Davis YMCA.

“I’ve committed myself to our youth,” Kennedy said. “All of the activities and organizations in which I am involved are for the benefit of and support of our youth. They need people vested in them.”

For more information about Kennedy, visit www.haroldkennedyforjudge.com

Early voting for the Republican Primary is Tuesday, February 20th through March 2nd. 

Election day is Tuesday, March 6th. To be eligible to vote in the Republican Primary,

voters must be registered by February 5th.

“During all of my years on the bench, my record speaks for itself. I see myself like an umpire who calls balls and strikes. I follow the law and don’t let my personal views influence my decisions. I believe everyone should have his or her day in court and that they should be on an even playing field. It’s my job to ensure that playing field remains even.”

Kennedy is a graduate of Storm King School – a highly selective college preparatory school – and of Dartmouth College. He earned his juris doctorate degree at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, where he attended as a Graduate and Professional Opportunities Fellow.

In his years as a law student, Kennedy served as chief justice of the student honor court, which oversaw cases of students who had been accused of violating the school’s honor code. “It was a privilege to be chosen to be on the court, even more so to be the chief justice,” he said. “It meant my peers believed I had impeccable morals and standards.”

Kennedy has been a licensed attorney since 1983. He opened a general practice in Rosenberg, where he gained formidable first chair trial experience handling matters ranging from multi-million dollar probate cases, criminal cases including capital murder and family law, as well as juvenile cases. “My ability to handle difficult cases led judges to appoint me to represent different clients,” Kennedy said.

After years of practicing law, Kennedy was appointed as the first associate judge of the Fort Bend County Courts at Law in June 1999. He was chosen from a pool of 28 applicants. “I feel my experience as an attorney was the primary reason the judges selected me.”

The position, originally created to last for only 20 months, was designed to help alleviate the case backlogs of the county courts. For example, the number of cases that involved driving while license suspended or invalid had reached about 20 percent of the criminal dockets in each of the courts. All of those cases were transferred to Kennedy, and due to his diligence, the backlog was completely wiped out within a year and a half. Kennedy’s success in reducing the backlogged cases in each court drew notable attention. “The judges felt that I had done such a good job they decided to make the position permanent, and I have been there for 18 and a half years,” said Kennedy.

“I feel the judges have had respect for my abilities and my knowledge of the law. Their making the position permanent speaks volumes.”

The Value of Trust

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey, who has known Kennedy since 1983, said, “Judge Kennedy is a man who embodies trust and what it means to be industrious.” Healey recalled a study that discovered voters look for trustworthiness as their top priority when choosing a judge.

“If the most important ingredient in a good judge is trustworthiness, then the voters are fortunate to have Judge Kennedy,” Healey said. “He has repeatedly demonstrated that he earned the trust that others have placed in him. Anyone who follows the county courts at law — as a voter or a citizen — will be exceedingly comfortable in placing their trust in him. The trust Kennedy has with people,” Healey stressed, “was earned by virtue of his work.

Harold Kennedy.

“He is fair to all parties concerned, and he is the most hardworking man I know,” he added. “He keeps his nose to the grindstone and does the job asked of him day in and day out and always in a fair-minded way. All you can ask of a judge is to follow the law and work hard. Judge Kennedy has shown both of these characteristics and more. He is a good human being, and I admire him.”

Serving as a judge, shouldering decisions that will have a lasting impact on people’s lives, Kennedy accentuated that not being influenced by anything but the law is vital to him. By serving in this way, Kennedy feels he can re-instill faith in the judicial system to those who may doubt it.

“I’m fair and impartial,” Kennedy said. “I am going to follow the law, and I don’t let my personal feelings or beliefs enter into a ruling. I give everyone equal opportunity to present their case, and I rule as the law requires.”

Investing in the Future

For more than three decades, Kennedy, who lives in Pleak, has been a resident of Fort Bend County, where he raised his daughter, Jamie, who also invests in youth as an Algebra teacher at B.F. Terry High School.

Kennedy strives to make a difference in the lives of local youth. His desire to invest in future generations began long before he settled in Fort Bend County, practiced as a licensed attorney or became involved in several youth oriented organizations. He strongly believes that youth need people with solid standards to lead them to adulthood. “Helping juveniles through judicial guidance is important to me because they are our future,” said Kennedy. “I have had the chance to show juveniles how to leave their delinquent conduct behind and get back on the right track. Most of them have done just that.”

For more information about Judge Harold Kennedy, visit haroldkennedyforjudge.com.

Pd. Pol. Ad by the Harold Kennedy For Judge Campaign, Jamie Kennedy treasurer.  In compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.