TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Newly-elected Travis County Judge Andy Brown took his oath of office alongside his family Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Brown won his election against Republican Michael Lovins, and he will replace Interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe.
Brown will serve the rest of former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s term, who in March announced her resignation, saying she was running for Texas State Senate. She was able to fill the District 14 seat after her opponent dropped out of the race.
Brown sat down with KXAN Evening Anchor Robert Hadlock to discuss his priorities as he starts his new role.
“I would like to make sure that we’re investing in mental health, behavioral health, things that make our community safer and working with the sheriff, the new DA, the new county attorney at ways to reduce the jail population and reduce expenditures in that department,” Brown explained. “Some people fear that might make Travis County a more dangerous place to live.”
Brown says he believes communities are safer when their needs are met—one of those important needs being mental health care and access to it.
“I’ve worked for several years on the Sobering Center, which I think has done a very good job of diverting people away from jail who did not need to be in jail, but instead needed a safe place to sober up overnight,” he said.
Brown says he wants to implement more creative solutions like the Sobering Center.
As far as those who didn’t vote for him, Brown says his “door is always open to everyone.”
“I look forward to working with all Travis County residents on making our community safer,” he said.
Brown has practiced law for nearly 20 years and has started his own practice. He grew up in Austin and graduated from Colorado College and the University of Texas law school.
Biscoe will remain as a special assistant through Nov. 30 to help the Commissioners Court with the transition.