Shelby County's GOP race for sheriff becomes more crowded
The field of candidates seeking the Shelby County Sheriff's position grew more crowded recently with five people filing to run in the March Republican Party primary election.
Candidates filing earlier — Newton Johnson Jr.; Tanner Peace; Derek Barbee — had been joined by Joey Hudnall and Kevin W. Windham by late last week, according the the Texas Secretary of State's Office. So far no one has filed as a Democrat.
Seeking re-election to the Shclby County Republican and Democrat party chair positions were Patsy Handy, again seeking the Democrat Party chairmanship; and Leigh Porterfield, running for re-election as GOP county chairwoman.
Contested races for two Shelby County Constable positions shaped up with the filing of challengers for the Precinct 1 and Precinct 4 jobs. Ricky King has filed to run against incumbent Zack Warr for the Pct. 1 constable's position while Bryan Gray has filed to challenge incumbent Pct. 4 Constable Jake Metcalf.
Both Metcalf and Warr filed for re-election earlier.
The state's secretary of state's office reported no filings for the Democrat Party March Primary election other than Handy running as party county chairwoman.
The window for Shelby County area residents to file for a ballot position in either the Republican or Democrat primary elections in March ends at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.
The filing period opened on Nov. 9 for elected public office positions while the period to file for party precinct chairmen opened on Sept. 10. The party primary elections are set for March 3, 2020 with the winners of those races advancing to the general election ballot next November.
Shelby County level positions on the ballot include those for district attorney, county attorney, sheriff, two county commissioner seats, the county tax assessor-collector and five precinct constables.
Filing so far through early this week have been:
• District Attorney — Stephen Shires (i)
• County Attorney — Gary Rholes (I)
• Sheriff — Newton Johnson Jr.; Tanner Peace; Derek Barbee; Joey Hudnall and Kevin W. Windham.
• Pct. 1 County Commissioner — Roscoe McSwain (i)
• Pct. 3 County Commissioner — David Cheatwood
• Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace — Sean Permenter and Darrell Alford
• Pct. 1 Constable — Zach Warr (i) and Ricky King
• Pct. 2 Constable — Jamie Hagler (i)
• Pct. 3 Constable — Roy Cheatwood (i)
• Pct. 4 Constable — Jake Metcalf (i) and Bryan Gray
• Pct. 5 Constable — Josh Tipton
• County Democrat Party Chair — Patsy Handy (i)
• County Republican Party Chair — Leigh Porterfield (i)
Also filing for re-election has been incumbent District 9 State Rep. Chris Paddie, (R-Marshall). His district includes Shelby County and he filed for re-election on Nov. 9.
Shelby County Democrat Party Chairwoman Handy said she is looking for potential candidates willing to be public servants. She hopes to the the party conduct a voter registration drive in coming weeks to help get more people to polling places.
“We really need some people who are engaged with the community,” she said last week.
Leigh Porterfield, Republican Party Chairwoman, said potential candidates for county level offices can pick up filing information at the Shelby County Clerk's office.
Shelby County offices slated to be on the 2020 election ballot, include:
• County Attorney
• District Attorney
• County Tax Assessor-Collector
• County Commissioner, Pct 1
• County Commissioner, Pct 3
• Constable, Precinct 1
• Constable, Precinct 2
• Constable, Precinct 3
• Constable, Precinct 4
• Constable, Precinct 5
• County Chairman