Parker is facing stiff competition in the race for the Republican Primary. On the ballot March 7 are three other names: Tommy Barnett of Athens, Steve Lynch of Malakoff and Pam Underhill of Cross Roads.

The winner of that primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary. There are two candidates in that race: Lloyd Arthus and Susan Till. Both are from the Malakoff area.

Parker expressed his qualifications and reasons he believes he is the best man for the job in this recent statement submitted to The Review:

“If you ask me what qualifies me to serve as Justice of the Peace Pct. 5, it would take more than one word. I think the main things I would list would be experience, knowledge of the laws, knowledge of the courtroom procedures, the ability to deliver fair and impartial judgments and availability.

“I have over 30 years experience in law enforcement. I started by career as a detention office and quickly was promoted to jail administrator. I have served in law enforcement in positions ranging from patrol officer, patrol supervisor, chief of police and criminal investigator to special agent on a major crimes and narcotics task force.

“I was employed as an enforcement agent for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for 20 years and retired from the state in November 2003. I am currently a deputy constable in Pct. 5 under Constable Brad Mires.

“I have lived in the Malakoff area since May 1998, when I transferred here while employed as an agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“I have worked alongside other justices of the peace and have a good idea of what their job requires.

“I think that a lot of people do not understand the duties of a justice of the peace. There is a lot more to the job than sitting in the office and having court occasionally. Some people do not realize the judge must be available 24 hours of the day seven days of the week.

“There are lots of times when the judge must go to the home of a deceased person and decide whether to order an autopsy or decide if the death was natural. They are called out day and night to fatality accidents.

“A justice of the peace must be available to law enforcement 24 hours a day for things such as search warrants and other service.

“The justices of the peace should share some of the responsibilities with each other, such as taking turns on weekends going to the county jail to arraign prisoners, which at this time I understand only two of the justices of the peace are doing.

“A justice of the peace must have his office open to the public at all times. He should be able to make a fair decision on the facts of a case, not on the individual.

“If a candidate cannot accept all these responsibilities then they should not be on the ballot.

“I am a full-time Henderson County resident and will be available at all times. I have no out-of-county obligations which would pull me away from the position I am seeking.”


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