One of Gregg County’s assistant district attorneys on Thursday announced her candidacy to take the bench in County Court at Law No. 1 days after sitting Judge Kent Phillips said he will retire at the end of his term.

Angie Konczak said she will run for the position in the Republican primary set for March 2022.

“The County Court at Law No. 1 is very important to me as it has been my home for the last 23 years, 18 of those years as a prosecutor with the Gregg County DA’s Office,” Konczak said in a statement.

She previously spent 15 years as the Kilgore Assistant City Attorney and three years as a contract juvenile prosecutor in Upshur County in addition to years in private practice.

Konczak said she will strive to continue the legacy of prior County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Judge Rebecca Simpson who retired in 2017 and Judge Kent Phillips whose term ends Dec. 31, 2022.

“I started out as a misdemeanor prosecutor and eventually became the Assault Family Violence prosecutor,” she said. “Currently, I reside as the juvenile prosecutor in the court where I watched Judge Simpson and Judge Phillips create new and exciting programs that made real impacts in our community.”

She said the two judges worked hard to bring in different community organizations to help people charged before the court to have a better outcome outside of the courtroom.

“That is very important,” she said. “Through the Juvenile Probation Department, we do partner a lot with community organizations to help juveniles get back on the right track.”

Konczak said that most people who are charged and brought before the County Court at Law will only find themselves there once because of the resources used to rehabilitate. She added that though there are some repeat offenders, they do continue to work toward rehabilitation for those who may need more assistance through mental health or drug programs to “get them on the right track.”

She said that type of help is her passion.

“I’m not really a politician,” Konczak said. “I’m really a worker. I just do this because this is what I enjoy. This is the next step to be able to reach and help many more people.”

She added that if elected she will remain “tough on crime, yet fair to both sides of the bar, operating the court effectively and efficiently …”

“The County Court at Law No. 1 is the sitting juvenile court in Gregg County, and I believe my 18 years of hard work and experience as a juvenile prosecutor — both in Gregg and Upshur County — gives me a unique qualification for this position,” Konczak said.

Konczak has a bachelor of science in Criminal Justice from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, as well as a doctor of jurisprudence from Oklahoma City University School of Law.

She and her husband, J.T., have two children, Tucker and Ryder.

“I’m excited to be on this journey and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future,” Konczak said.

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