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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Competing for the four-year job of constable of Precinct 3 in Lamar County are the incumbent, Larry Cope; and two Lamar County sheriff’s deputies – Sam Hurst and Steven Hill.
Cope, 67, lives at 5486 FM 2352, near the Georgia community in west Lamar County. Hurst, 53, lives at 245 County Road 33830 in the Caviness community. Hill, 42, lives at 12309 FM 79, west of Sumner.
The election is Tuesday, May 29. Early voting begins Monday, May 14, and continues for two weeks, through May 25.
At the Association of Lamar Count y Republicans candidate forum on Thursday, May 3, at the Lamar County Courthouse, the three candidates were given three minutes to make their case to the more than 200 people in attendance.
Their statements, in the order delivered, follow:
Larry Cope: I am a candidate for re-election for the office of constable of Precinct 3. It has been a pleasure and a honor and a privilege to serve the residents of Precinct 3 for the past 24 years – four of them as JP and 20 as constable. During that time, I’ve made a lots of friends, and good experiences and some not so good, but overall I’ve enjoyed it all. I believe that the people are the heartbeat and the pulse of a community and will feel more freely to talk to law enforcement if you earn their trust and respect, and that’s what I base my whole campaign on. I’ve lived in Lamar County for my entire life except about a year in the Dallas area, and two years when I served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict, as they called it. I was born out south of Paris and raised in the cotton patches of Atlas and Howland. I graduated from Roxton High School, Paris Junior College and East Texas Police Academy. I hold a Master’s Police Officer certificate and have over 1,200 hours of continuing education. I’m a member of the Justice of the Peace and Constable Association of Texas, and I’m an active member of Direct Baptist Church, having taught several different Sunday School classes and earned several perfect attendance awards. As for this campaign, it’s been very long but we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. That being said, one thing you will not hear from me is anything negative about anyone during my campaign. I sincerely solicit your vote and support throughout this election process.
Sam Hurst: I am a candidate for constable in Precinct 3. I’d just like to give a brief description of my qualifications and my ideas about the constable’s position. I’ve lived in Lamar County most of my life. I live in the Caviness community with my wife, Josephine, and my two youngest children. I’ve lived in Precinct 3 for about the last 15 years. I hold a Master’s Police Officer certificate. I’ve maintained a peace officer’s certification for over 21 years. For the last four years, I’ve been employed as a patrol deputy with Lamar County sheriff’s office, working as a corporal in patrol division, answering calls for service dealing with a wide variety of issues covering all aspects of law enforcement. Prior to that, I worked with the Delta County sheriff’s department as an investigator. My duties included assembling and investigating all cases presented to the district and county attorney for prosecution. I successfully assisted in the prosecution of cases ranging from Class C misdemeanors all the way up to first-degree felonies. I accumulated varied experience involving sex crimes against children, assault, drug interdiction, as well as a large amount of theft and burglary investigation that resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of property. My experiences cover all aspects of law enforcement. My other life experiences include being a veteran of the United States Navy, serving two tours of duty abroad in the Far East and Middle East, as well as working many years in the health care industry. My goals as the constable of Precinct 3 are to increase the presence and activity as a constable – insuring public safety and protection of property being a major priority of mine. I would like to increase the amount of cooperation with existing law enforcement agencies, namely the sheriff’s department. In doing so, this will increase the amount of law enforcement personnel available to the public at any given time. I would like to be available for all the constituents of Precinct 3, utilizing my conservative Christian values and common-sense approach to law enforcement. I hope to serve the people of Precinct 3. I want to encourage you all to come out and vote.
Steven Hill: A constable needs to be available not only to the people of his precinct, but available to everyone in the county. Just because you live on the east side of Highway 271 doesn’t mean you’re not a citizen of this county. You should have the same coverage no matter where you live. I have been a Lamar County sheriff’s deputy since June of 1991. I started as a reserve officer, very quickly worked through the ranks. I was hired on as a part-time jailer and a part-time dispatcher until the county found out that I had two part-time positions with the department and that was against the rules up here, and they made me take a full-time job. I enjoyed it; my parents didn’t, because at the time I was also helping them out at the grocery store on North Main. Several people have probably been there – Buddy’s Supermarket. It’s kind of an icon on north Main Street. In coming to work at the sheriff’s department, I started as a full-time dispatcher, moved on to the streets full-time, worked myself through the ranks all the way up to CID captain. During that time, I worked 10 years working strictly crimes against children. That’s the crimes that nobody wants to work but everybody wants something done about it. I can tell you this, I have the only double life sentence for a child predator in this community. That is still standing the last time I checked. That is the most rewarding and the most challenging position I’ve ever had in my life. To wake up every day and see the kids, see them as they grow up, knowing that their perpetrators are not out hurting any more children. In 2005, I was moved to patrol division. I am now a field training officer. I am also patrol sergeant over the day shift of the sheriff’s department. I supervise on my shift anywhere from five to six officers a day, depending on holidays and vacations. I’m also custodian of the property. I handle all the evidence that comes in, sent to the labs, things like that. So I can kind of tell you, Sheriff McCoy, I’m assuming thinks a lot of me, he has a lot of trust in the things that I do. I’m a certified dispatcher. I fill in when we’re short in dispatch, and fill in with just basically anything they want me to do. As your next constable, if elected I will be a fulltime constable. I will not have my cell phone shut off. I have a cell phone that’s publicized. I also have a home phone number that’s in the book, and y’all can reach me at any time.
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Vying for the four-year job of constable of Precinct 1 in Lamar County are the incumbent, Madaline Chance, and former Precinct 1 constable Randy Boren.
In 2008, after 20 years as constable, Boren ran for Lamar County sheriff. After finishing third in that race in the primary, he tried unsuccessfully to keep his job as constable by running a write-in campaign against Chance in the General Election.
Chance, 53, lives at 85 County Road 13685 northwest of Biardstown. Boren, 52, lives at 643 FM 196, south of Pattonville.
At the Association of Lamar Count y Republicans candidate forum on Thursday, May 3, at the Lamar County Courthouse, both were given three minutes to make their case to the more than 200 people in attendance.
The election is Tuesday, May 29. Early voting begins Monday, May 14.
The statements by Chance and Boren to the forum follow:
I have been in law enforcement for over 28 years and achieved my master peace officer’s license in 2007. I was the first officer in Lamar County to pass the Texas Civil Process Proficiency test. I graduated from Sam Houston State University and Lenox Constable Leadership College in May of 2011. As class president and spokesman, I now have a total of 3,878 training hours with the State of Texas.
I am very pro-active and implemented a vacation and special watch program and neighborhood crime watch program. I have a yearly ladies’ self defense class that we put on. I use inmates from the county jail and community service workers to help with projects in my precinct that need assistance. I’m also the same officer that you see standing out there on Highway 271-South and 196 on Friday nights after the football games at Prairiland. I direct the traffic for those people so they can get out in a timely manner.
In October of 2011, I started a reserve program and I currently have three fulltime licensed deputy constables that are available to fill in with the school districts when they are needed.
Law enforcement is one aspect of a constable’s job, but it is not all of it. The civil side is far more important. If the county receives papers and we fail to do something, our county is being sued. Last year alone, I served 199 civil papers. I answered 212 calls for service. I covered 15 shifts for patrol, five shifts in dispatch – this is when there were deputies that were sick or on vacation; same with the dispatchers. I do work well with all the law enforcement in this county, and out of this county. The majority of my time is spent on duty, at night, when the costs for service is high, along with the crime.
My phone is always on, and if I don’t answer right away, leave a message and I will call you back. I do not have any other jobs or businesses, therefore I am a fulltime rural constable.
Randy Boren: Of course, probably most of you know me. I’ve been in law enforcement for 27 years. I was constable of Precinct 1 for 20 years. I’ll stand on my record as constable of Precinct 1. Of course, I ran for sheriff, and after that I was told by a lot of people wanting me to run as a write-in for constable. A write-in is a hard way to get back in office and stay in office, but I did run as a write-in, and I received nearly 600 write-in votes. That was more votes than I got the last time I ran as constable. But a lot of people took the time to write my name in.
I kinda disagree with Madeline a little bit. She says civil is more important. To me, criminal is more important – protecting our children, our families, their property. I mean, the crime rate has really went up in Precinct 1 since I left office.
You know, I was approached on a daily basis to run again as constable again for Precinct 1, and me and my wife talked about it, and I decided to go ahead and do it, because I love law enforcement. I wasn’t ready to retire when I ran as sheriff, but it just ended up that I WAS retired. But hopefully I’m going to make a comeback and, like I said, you know, we got to focus on the crime.
You people read the paper daily, and people’s property is getting stolen, and they want their property back, and they want the people put in jail that stole their property, and I got a good track record of that. I probably put too many people in jail, made a lot of people mad. But, I done my job in Precinct 1, and most people out there will tell you that, that I did do that.
If elected as constable, I’ll go back, I’ll serve the people full time. I’ve got a trucking business right now. It’s a successful business. I’ve made more money in the last three years than I have in my whole life. But I’ve got one driver that drives one truck, and I drive the other one, but if elected constable I’ll put a driver in my second truck and they’ll keep running the trucks. I appreciate your vote and support.
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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Here is the recap of Friday’s early voting for the Paris City Council election, the Paris Junior College regents election, the Paris City Council election, the North Lamar ISD school board race, and the Paris ISD school board race. Friday’s early vote was the largest since Tuesday.
Early voting began Monday and continues through Tuesday, May 8. Election Day is Saturday, May 12. Through Friday, 252 votes had been cast in the four city council elections, and 505 votes had been counted in the PJC at-large election, in which all registered voters in the city could vote in the at-large race. And 184 votes have been cast from PJC district 6 for that election.
There are four council seats up for election:
District 1: Aaron Jenkins vs. Don Shelton
District 2: Robert Avila (incumbent) vs. Sue Lancaster
District 3: John Wright (incumbent) vs. Marvin Wroten
District 6: Edwin Pickle (incumbent) vs. Cleonne Holmes Drake
There are two PJC regent seats open:
Place 6: Barney Bray (incumbent) vs. Ginna Walker Bowman
Place 9 (at-large): Paul Gene Roden (incumbent) vs. Curtis Fendley
There are three people running for two at-large North Lamar ISD trustee seats:
There is one Paris ISD trustee post open:
Place 6: Jenny Wilson vs. Trase Christian
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.
Here is the day-by-day recap of the voting, through Friday:
Constable candidates visit in the minutes before the “Association of Lamar County Republicans Candidate Forum” got under way at 6 p.m. Thursday in the second-floor courtroom of the Lamar County Courthouse. At far right is John Krunterad, the GOP county chairman. Seven constable candidates present – Madeline Chance and Randy Boren for Precinct 1; Larry Coper, Sam Hurst and Steven Hill for Precinct 3; Rick Easterwood for Precinct 4; and Gene Hobbs for Precinct 5 – got a 3-minute opening statement each. A dozen other candidates got a 3-minute opening statement and then fielded questions. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
The forum mostly filled the courtroom — as indicated by these photos. A head count revealed 218 people were at the nearly two-hour forum. This photo is from the front, looking toward the right side of the room. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
This photo is of the right-center section of the courtroom. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
This photo captures the crowd at the left section of the courtroom. At left-center is the Rev. John Kelley, pastor of the Grace Presbyterian Church, who gave the invocation. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
Shown in the top row, sitting in the courtroom’s jury box while other candidates are at the microphone, are (from left) county tax assessor-collector Haskell Maroney; Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Cindy Ruthart; and her opponent, Jesse Freelen. Shown in the bottom row are Lawrence Malone, the Precinct 1 county commissioner; Dennis Johnson, who opposes Malone; Rodney Pollard, who seeks to reclaim the Precinct 3 county commissioner’s job he held for 12 years before losing four years ago; and Kevin Jenkins, who beat Pollard in 2008 to become the Precinct 3 commissioner. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
Three candidates for Lamar County sheriff and two candidates for 62nd State District Judge were looking on from the left side of the jury box. On the top row were, from left, former sheriff’s deputy Robert Hughes; former longtime Department of Public Safety trooper Johnny Williams; and Lamar County chief deputy Scott Cass. On the bottom row, from left, were judicial candidates Will Biard, local attorney and former mayor; and State Rep. Erwin Cain. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Early voting continues at the Lamar County Courthouse Annex (old post office) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week. Election Day is a week from Saturday.
Thursday, 36 votes were cast for the four city council races, which are two-year terms. About half the votes came from voters in District 6, where incumbent Edwin Pickle is being challenged by Cleonne Holmes Drake.
Seventeen votes were cast in the Pickle-Drake race.
Nine votes were cast in the District 3 race between incumbent John Wright and Marvin Wroten., 4 votes were cast in the District 3 race between incumbent Robert Avila and Sue Lancaster, and 6 votes in the District 1 race between Aaron Jenkins and Don Shelton.
In the PJC regent election, the race between incumbent Paul Gene Roden and Curtis Fendley is one that every registered voter in the city is eligible to vote, since the Place 9 position on the board is an at-large spot. Thursday, 78 votes were cast in that race, increasing the four-day total of votes to 396 — a clip of almost 100 a day.
The District 6 berth between incumbent Barney Bray and Ginna Walker Bowman attracted 19 voters, raising the four-day count to 151. PJC regents serve six-year terms.
In the school board races, where the terms are for three years, the three-way battle among Dave Osborn, Amy Stephens and Jimmy Womack for two at-large positions on the North Lamar school board drew 35 votes on Thursday, increasing the four-day early vote total to 151.
No one showed up at the Paris ISD ballot box Thursday for the Place 6 election between Jenny Wilson and Trase Christian, and the total turnout remains at 33.