Jim Kovach

Harris County Civil Court at Law, No. 2


Jim will continue to be a critical LGBTQ voice on the Harris County bench!


Judge Jim Kovach lives in Houston, Texas with his husband Ben and their rescue dog Roxie. Jim became a lawyer in 1991 and was managing partner of a successful law practice. Jim recalls being closeted during law school and still recalls the anxiety and fear of hiding his true self from others.

Jim will celebrate 30 years as a licensed Texas lawyer on Nov. 1, 2021, and he feels that his vast experience helps to make him a good judge. He devoted countless volunteer hours to help his community during the HIV/AIDS crises, and he attributes his ability to be a fair and compassionate judge to that experience. He is always looking for the end-game in cases, and then he uses his experience to help the parties get the closure they need.  

Judge Kovach says that he is a “reluctant candidate” for judge because it was not his idea to run, it was his husband’s idea. Jim was dismayed with the way he saw minority and self-represented litigants be treated and discriminated against in the courtroom. He told his husband that he was done being a lawyer and was going to switch his law office over to be a real estate firm. In response his husband said, “No you aren’t, you are going to run for judge so that people can have their problems heard by a fair and compassionate judge.” Despite reservations, Judge Jim Kovach agreed to run in 2018 and he became the first Democrat to win the seat in over 40 years, and he also became the first openly gay judge. He is seeking re-election in 2022.  

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