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- Paris Flash
Here are the polling places for Saturday’s elections for (a) four seats on the Paris City Council, (b) two seats on the Paris Junior College Board of Regents, (c) one seat on the Paris Independent School District board of trustees, (d) two seats on the North Lamar Independent School District board of trustees, and two seats on the Chisum Independent School Board. (Voting will be from 7 a.m. until the last person in line at 7 p.m. has voted.)
PARIS CITY COUNCIL:
DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton)
DISTRICT 2: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Robert Avila vs. Sue Lancaster)
DISTRICT 3: LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX (OLD POST OFFICE) (John Wright vs. Marvin Wroten)
DISTRICT 6: LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNEX (OLD POST OFFICE) (Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake)
PARIS JUNIOR COLLEGE:
DISTRICT 1: RED RIVER VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 2: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 3: OAK PARK METHODIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 4: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 5: FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Barney Bray vs. Ginna Walker Bowman; Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
DISTRICT 7: RAMSEUR BAPTIST CHURCH and FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CUNNINGHAM (Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley)
PLACE 6: PJC BOBBY WALTERS WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER (Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian)
NORTH LAMAR ISD:
ALL VOTERS: CECIL EVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and POWDERLY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT (at-large voting, with Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens and Jimmy Womack vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)
CHISUM ISD ADMINISTRATION OFFICES and the CONVENIENCE STORE AT TOCO (at-large voting, with Lori Collins, Wesley Jackson, Kelly Jeffery, Larry Rickman, Todd Tisdell and Kerry Washington vying for two board positions. The seats will go to the two with the most votes.)
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Traffic was relatively heavy on Tuesday at the Lamar County Courthouse Annex (old post office) as early voting concluded for the Paris City Council, Paris Junior College and public school 2012 elections..
Election Day is Saturday, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Sixty people voted in the four city council races — behind only Monday and Tuesday of last week — and 121 cast ballots in the PJC election, only one voter off the previous high of 122 on the first day of early voting.
The day-by-day vote for the seven days of early voting from Monday, April 30, through Tuesday was :
City Council District 1 – Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton: 3-6-3-6-9-9-6—42
City Council District 2 — incumbent Robert Avila vs. Sue Lancaster: 3-8-2-4-6-7-3—33
City Council District 3 – incumbent John Wright vs. Marvin Wroten: 8-9-12-9-7-7-10—62
City Council District 6 – incumbent Edwin Pickle vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake: 54-39-19-17-28-31-41–229
That compares to 478 votes cast last June in the 2011 runoff election for the District 7 race between Dr. AJ Hashmi and Rhonda Rogers — won by Hashmi. Another 22 votes was cast by mail in that election, plus 205 on Election Day itself for a total turnout of 705 votes from the city’s largest district.
For the Paris Junior College election, the early vote looked like this:
PJC District 6 – incumbent Barney Bray vs. Ginna Walker Bowman: 61-46-25-19-33-45-45–274
PJC At-Large District 9 – incumbent Paul Gene Roden vs. Curtis Fendley: 122-119-77-78-109-113-121–739
Early voting also concluded Tuesday for the North Lamar Independent School District and the Paris Independent School District.
Their early voting looked like this:
North Lamar ISD At-Large Election — Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens, and Jimmy Womack, vying for two seats on the NL school board: 36-23-57-35-27-23-46—247.
Paris ISD Place 6 – Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian: 16-9-8-0-2-6-6–47.
Christian has been declared ineligible because his residence, which was in District 6 last year, is in another district this year because of redistricting. But the mistake was found too late to stop the election. If Christian receives the most votes, he will be ineligible and it will be up to the school board to appoint someone or to declare a special election for next November.
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
With the May 12 Paris municipal election fast approaching, city council candidate Marvin Wroten says the campaign has been a great experience.
Wroten, 57, is challenging incumbent John Wright for the District 3 seat on the council.
Going door to door each afternoon and on Saturdays, Wroten said, has not been unlike how he spent almost 40 years working for Brookshire’s Grocery Company.
“You know, ‘How are you? How can I help you?’ I’ve been going door to door throughout the district, talking with people, thanking them for their support, asking them if there are any questions,” he said.
“After a while, you know, you can get tired, but overall, it’s been wonderful. I love to talk to people anyway.”
Wroten retired last year from Brookshire’s, the company he was working for when he graduated from high school in Tyler in 1973. He was store manager at either Brookshire’s or Super One for most of the more than 25 years he and his wife have lived in Paris.
Wroten and his wife, Elaine, a CPA for McClanahan & Holmes, live at 236 Parc Place off west Bonham Street, only a block or so inside Loop 286.
The newly redrawn District 3 now covers most of the south half of Paris, wrapping around all the way to the Paris Junior College campus.
“I know I’ve probably missed someone here or there, but I’ve covered the majority of my district. The conversations I’ve had, it’s definitely been positive, even the homes that had a sign for John Wright,” he said.
“I tell them, ‘I know you’re for John Wright, and you know, that’s fine. Mr. Wright is a fine man. I ‘m here to answer any questions you have,” he said. “The main thing, I encourage people to go out and vote, whether it’s for me or someone else,” he said.
“I wish more people would vote in districts 1, 2 and 3, because the city council would have to look at their problems more. If you don’t vote, you don’t have as big a vote. You’re not fighting with as big a stick.”
At the start of the campaign, the pressing issue on people’s minds as he went from house to house was hiring a city manager, Wroten said.
Behind that, people were interested in the infrastructure – “that and just growth, and beautification,” he said.
“Many, many people have talked about the entry ways into our city, and certain areas where we need to do a better job of cleaning up neighborhoods. And it’s not limited to any one district. It’s a group effort. You can drive through any part of the city and find yards that are not maintained.”
Wroten has been a regular at city council meetings since he announced his candidacy. That has given him a sharper focus on how to resolve the issues facing the city, he said.
“Obviously, those who are already sitting on the city council have a little better idea of what’s going on and what’s been going on than those of us who are just getting into it.”
He added: “It’s a learning curve, but it’s a great learning experience, and win or lose, I’ve won for the simple fact of what I’ve learned.”
Wroten has had a couple of people help him, but mostly it’s been him, knocking on doors and ringing doorbells.
“I thought it better for me to be at the door than someone else. Almost every afternoon and Saturday, it’s been just going out and doing it.”
His district has several senior centers, he noted.
“It’s been a joy going through them. I love the elderly people because I’m fast approaching that myself,” he chuckled.
A couple have read on his card that he’s the volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels, and some ask him for information on that, which he is delighted to pass on, he said.
He has no phone banks of people calling residents, asking them to vote for him, Wroten said.
“I don’t really care about having that kind of phone calls at my house, so I don’t have a desire to do that myself,” he said. “I try not to bother anybody later than 7 o’clock, even going door to door.”
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Paris City Council candidates Cleonne Holmes Drake and Marvin Wroten have filed the required reports documenting their campaign expenses and contributions to date.
Wroten, who is challenging District 3 incumbent John Wright, reported contributions of $350 and expenditures of $283 — including $264 for 50 24-inch by 18-inch yard signs and $19 for printing.
Wroten received $250 from Dr. Gordon B. Strom, his campaign treasurer, and $100 from Elaine Ballard.
Drake, who is challenging incumbent Edwin Pickle in District 6, reported no contributions and expenses of $936 — including $388 for 50 12-inch by 24-inch yard signs, $116 for t-shirts, $217 for 1,000 five-inch by seven-inch door-hangers, $84 for advertising, $90 in postage for letters to potential constituents, $18 for laminated posters, and $23 for printing expense.
No campaign reports were on file from the six other 2012 city council candidates – Aaron Jenkins and Don Shelton in District 1; incumbent Robert Avila and Sue Lancaster in District 2; incumbent John Wright in District 3; and incumbent Edwin Pickle in District 6.
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Vying for the four-year jobs of constable are incumbents Rick Easterwood in Precinct 4 and Gene C. Hobbs Jr. in Precinct 5.
Easterwood, 58, lives at 210 County Road 45430, a few miles northwest of Novice. Hobbs, 52, lives at 150 Funston Terrace in Reno.
Easterwood is running unopposed, while Hobbs is being challenged by Jimmy Hodges, 40, who lives at 1114 S. Main St. in Paris.
At the Association of Lamar Count y Republicans candidate forum on Thursday, May 3, at the Lamar County Courthouse, constable candidates were given three minutes to make their case to the more than 200 people in attendance.
Of eight constable candidates, all were present except Hodges.
Here are the statements at the forum by Easterwood and Hobbs:
Rick Easterwood: According to my birth certificate, my name is Richard Earl Easterwood. Nobody ever calls me that. My parents decided that I was going to be a Ricky, and from the time I learned to understand the English language, I was called Ricky. Then when I started the first grade, somebody dubbed me as being the Easter Bunny. It used to bother me. Now it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all. I am presently am the constable in Precinct 4, which is the northeastern corner of Lamar County. I’m a fulltime constable, and I’ve been a police officer for a lot longer than some of you guys have been alive. I started my law enforcement career as a DPS trooper when I was the ripe old age of 20. Now, if you think about it, you’ve got to be 21 to buy ammunition, you’ve got to be 21 to buy a gun. I could carry a gun, they gave me ammunition, but I couldn’t go buy my own. I spent 30 years with the Department of Public Safety; only six of that was with the Highway Patrol service. I was promoted over to the narcotics service and spent 24 years working nothing but drug cases all across the state – actually all across the nation. Drug cases know no boundaries. I’ve worked cases in Delaware, all the southern states, and even in Colorado. Once you get on a drug case you have to go where the bad guys go. It was a very rewarding career. I’ve heard other guys say they’ve got 30 this, 30 that. Years in law enforcement are kind of like birthdays, there comes a point when you just quit counting. I think I’ve got 36 years. It’s well over 30. I’ve worked all over the state. There are 254 counties in Texas, and I’m just guessing when I say this, but I’ve probably filed cases in at least 100 of those. I’ve worked in the populated counties. I’ve worked in Harris County, which is Houston. I’ve worked in some of the far western counties, which are huge in size but very small population. I’ve worked in the Big Bend, where there are not very many people but there’s a lot of smuggling. I’ve worked in Rockwall County, which is the tiniest county in the state. I’m used to working with other agencies. I’ve worked with a lot of sheriff’s departments, game wardens, the highway patrol. I’ve just worked with every kind of officer there is, and I enjoy the work that I’ve done. I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, and I want to continue being the constable in Precinct 4.
Gene C. Hobbs Jr.: I am running for reelection to the office of constable of Precinct 5. This will be my fourth term that I am seeking. Like Rick, I started off in law enforcement at the ripe age of 20, and I can understand when you have to have your dad go sign for your first pistol to carry on the streets. Anyway, I have 32-plus years in law enforcement, both with the Paris Police Department and the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, and 15 years with the constable’s office of Precinct 5. I have attended Paris Junior College, I’ve received training from Sam Houston State University, and the Justice of the Peace and Constables Association, Collin County Community College and several others. In Precinct 5, the constable has to serve as bailiff for justice of the peace court, I provide some security for the courthouse, both in the district courts and the county court-at-law. I work truancy cases; as a matter of fact, in the past two years I served 497 truancy summons. That’s a lot of truancy cases for Paris and Lamar County. I hold a National Peace Officer license, I have a Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Instructor’s License, I have received specialized training in courtroom security. In the last two years, I have made 405 arrests, served 557 evictions in Precinct 5, served over 300 civil citations, served over 800 different papers for mental hearings to assist the sheriff’s department. If we weren’t serving this for them, they would have to pull a deputy in to come into Paris just to serve these papers, so we’re assisting them with that. I’m married. My wife, Tonia, and I have three children and seven grandchildren. It has been an honor to serve Paris and Lamar County, and I wish to continue to do so, so I ask for your continued support in reelecting me as constable of Precinct 5.
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