Dustin Fawcett is one of two contenders in the March 1, Republican Primary seeking the office of Ector County Judge, pursuing a challenge to incumbent Judge Debi Hays.

The race has been a heated one, with the candidates exchanging blows over a variety of issues, including federal relief funding, and an active rumor mill churning out a steady stream of debunked stories. 

But now the latest phase in the heated race has some of Hay’s supporters turning towards attacking Fawcett’s 6-year-old driving while intoxicated charge, an issue Fawcett says he isn’t afraid to confront. 

After verifying the record does exist, Odessa Headlines reached out to Fawcett, who in an interview offered his side of the story. 

“Many people say the lord works in mysterious ways,” Fawcett explained, continuing, “In my case, receiving a DWI was not mysterious, it was a tremendous blessing. I believe the character of a man is measured by how we pick ourselves up after a fall and ensure we do not make the same mistakes again; this is the definition of repentance. My mistake, for which I take full ownership-energized my faith, my relationships with my family, and my call to serve the community with my time talent, and treasure for which I have been blessed beyond measure.”

Fawcett says he hasn’t consumed alcohol for years now, and still regularly attends his Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. 

Asked about why he never had the record expunged, Fawcett says he could have and most likely no one would ever have been able to find out about the charge, but he says he didn’t because he doesn’t want to hide the truth or avoid being accountable for it. 

“I was never convicted, due to a pretrial intervention program and I did 30 hours of community service at the West Texas Food Bank, in addition to attending AA.” 

Fawcett also says that if elected, he is hoping this experience can be turned into something that can help others make better decisions, and hopefully use it as a teaching tool. 

“My vision is to be a part of organizations like “Excellence Above Talent” which is a group that goes into ECISD middle schools (etc.) to mentor young men and teach life skills and share my story with kids to not only show them how to avoid these mistakes, but also show them when you do fall, how to pick yourself back up and know you can still have a bright future, and play a big part helping make our community better, Fawcett said. 

Ultimately, Fawcett says he is thankful for those who have heard the various rumors and asked to talk with him directly so that he can “debunk” the false ones and explain this one. 

“Forgiveness is in my heart, and I pray that others will find it in their hearts to forgive,” Fawcett concluded. 

Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.