Cornyn Statement on Nominations of U.S. Attorneys for Texas Districts
Candidates Would Fill Vacancies in the Western, Southern, and Northern Districts of Texas
DALLAS – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement on the nominations of Jaime Esparza for U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Alamdar Hamdani for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, and Leigha Simonton for U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas:
“Serving as the chief litigator and highest-ranking law enforcement officer in these districts is no small role, but Jaime, Alamdar, and Leigha have the experience necessary to be successful U.S. Attorneys,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I was proud to recommend each of them for these positions with Sen. Cruz, and I look forward to seeing them ensure the government is well-represented in Texas courtrooms.”
Sen. Cornyn, along with Sen. Cruz, recommended these nominees to President Biden following an extensive review and interview process of the candidate pool by the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC). Sens. Cornyn and Cruz established the FJEC, a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill U.S. Attorney vacancies. The panel reviewed applications, interviewed candidates, and made recommendations to the Senators, who interviewed individuals before making their recommendations to the President.
Jaime E. Esparza served as the District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District of Texas from 1993 to 2020. Mr. Esparza previously served as an Assistant County Attorney in the El Paso County Attorney’s Office in 1992 and was the First Assistant Public Defender for the El Paso County Public Defender’s Office from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Esparza served as an Assistant District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District of Texas in 1987 and as an Assistant District Attorney in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas from 1983 to 1987. Mr. Esparza received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1983 and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979.
Alamdar S. Hamdani has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas since 2014. He previously served as Deputy Chief of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division at the Department of Justice from 2012 to 2014 and as a trial attorney in the Counterterrorism Section from 2010 to 2012. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Hamdani was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Kentucky. Mr. Hamdani was a founding partner of Hamdani & Simon LLP from 2005 to 2008; an associate at Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC from 2001 to 2005; and an associate at Dow, Cogburn & Friedman PC from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Hamdani received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1999 and his B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993.
Leigha Simonton has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas since 2005. From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Simonton was an associate at Haynes & Boone, LLP. She served as a law clerk for Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 2002 to 2003 and Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas from 2001 to 2002. Ms. Simonton received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001 and her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997.