Four UTA alumni are candidates will be on the Tarrant County ballot this election.

Former Mavericks include Ron Wright , Lucas Lothamer , Steve Smith and Patricia Baca Bennett . Read below to learn about the alumni candidate’s background information, UTA experience, political experiences and where to find more information about them.

Patricia Baca Bennett

Party: Republican

Running for: 360th Family District Court

Learn more about Bennett at:

Bennett describes herself as a constitutional conservative. She is a board certified attorney who specializes in family law. Ten percent of licensed attorneys in Texas are board certified. At UTA, Bennet was awarded a scholarship for her work on the debate team, was a member of the honors society and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Bennet earned her Juris Doctorate at the Texas Tech University of Law.

Steve Smith

Party: Republican

Running for: Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5

Learn more about Smith at:

Smith is a fifth-generation Texan who served on the Texas Supreme Court from November 2002 through December 2004. Smith currently serves as the editor of the Texas Legal Guide, a website which guides Texans through legal problems. He has also served as the General Counsel to the Texas Legal Foundation. Smith was the first member of his family to graduate from college. He obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance at UTA and graduated with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law.

Lucas Lothamer

Party: Democrat

Running for: Tax Assessor and Collector

Learn more about Lothamer at:

Lothamer is running against Wright for Tax Assessor and Collector of Tarrant County. Lothamer has volunteered for Texas Democrats such as Wendy Davis, for whom he walked door to door and made phone calls. Lothamer earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in Political science from UTA. While at UTA, he served as president of the University Democrats in 2012 and worked for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Ally Program as a graduate advisor. Lothamer was also the precinct chair for the Tarrant County Democratic Party from 2014 to 2016.

In addition, Lothamer worked for the non-profit National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, D.C., in 2014 where he worked on ways to improve the healthcare system.

Ron Wright

Party: Republican

Running for: Tax Assessor and Collector

Learn more about Wright at:

Wright is running for re-election for Tax Assessor and Collector of Tarrant County. The Tarrant County Tax office ranks third in the state in number of vehicles, titles and registrations. Wright’s current role as Tax Assessor and Collector is overseeing about 200 employees in seven offices. Wright served on the Arlington City Council from 2000 to 2008 and as Mayor Pro Tempore from 2004 to 2008. Wright worked as District Director for U.S. Congressman Joe Barton, 2000 to 2009 and as congressman’s Chief of Staff, 2009 to 2011.

In 2011, Wright accepted an appointment by the commissioner Court in mid-2011 and was elected to the position full term in 2012. Wright attended UTA in 1971 and received about two years of credit hours, he said. He began as a history major then moved to psychology and did not like either. He later moved to political science. Wright’s favorite classes were history, a professional writing course and state and local government. Wright’s favorite professor was Richard Millsap, who still teaches at UTA today. Although Millsap’s beliefs were not the same as his, it was an insightful class that he looked forward to, Wright said. He hopes to modernize the department of motor vehicles if re-elected and said there is no reason why a trip to the DMV should not be as easy as signing in with an application on a mobile phone.


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