Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 27, 2013

Election season heats up

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Some Henderson County officials could be bound for new locations depending on the results of the March primary elections.

Campaigning will pick up speed after the holidays for several contested seats. Going in we know the county will elect a new judge in the County Court at Law No. 1.

Voters will also select a new county clerk and two new justices of the peace.

When Gwen Moffeit retires after a quarter-century as County Clerk at the end of the year, her replacement will come from between two Republican woman who have experience as employees in the office.

Leticia Carpenter has been in the office since 2001 and was given the title Assistant County Clerk in 2011. Mary Margret Wright worked under Moffeit for five years.

After her stint as Deputy Clerk, Wright took a job at a title company where she is currently employed as an abstractor. There is no Democrat seeking the County Clerk position in 2014.

All three Repub­lican candidates for Commissioner Pre­cinct 4 have held positions with the county.

Incumbent Ken Geeslin is seeking a second term in the office. After an unsuccessful bid in 2006, Geeslin won the seat over Democrat incumbent Jerry West in 2010.

Also filed, is Gordon Folmar, a civil and mental health deputy with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. Folmar came to the county after 25-years with Trinity Valley Electric Coop. The other candidate in the GOP primary is Kelly Harris.

Harris has been Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace since he unseated longtime incumbent Sue Tarrant in the 2010 general election.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Larry West, who has served on the Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees. West’s career includes  more than 30 years for the Texas Department of Transportation.

The Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace spot being vacated by Kelly Harris has drawn two candidates. The chief clerk of the JP 4 court Edie Walker hopes to stay at the office in Poynor by moving into the JP position.

Milton Adams, formerly Precinct 6 Justice of the Peace has also filed.

Adams’ former precinct was eliminated during redistricting in 2012. He hoped to keep his years tenure in office going by winning the JP 4 slot.

Sue Starnes long tenure as Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace is coming to an end. Starnes has held the office since 1987 and will be replaced by one of two challengers Susan Carver and James A. “Tony” Duncan.

Another longtime office holder, Matt Livingston, is leaving the County Court at Law  No. 1 bench. First Assistant District Attorney Mark Hall is challenging the seat as is attorney Scott Williams.

 The last day for citizens to register to vote in the primary is Feb. 3, 2014. Early voting is Feb. 18-28.  Election day is March 4.