Candidates competing in three upcoming local races stepped up to the podium to introduce themselves and make their cases during Thursday’s monthly luncheon of the Alvarado Chamber of Commerce.
“This is not a debate,” Chamber President Marty Douglas made clear.
No moderator oversaw the event and the candidates fielded no pre-prepared questions. Instead, each candidate received five minutes to discuss their qualifications for office and plans if elected. Candidates were also prohibited from discussing their opponents.
“We’re looking at the person,” Douglas said. “Not who they’re going against.”
Candidates competing in the Precinct 3 county commissioners race as well as the precincts 3 and 4 constable’s races participated. All will compete in the March 3 Republican or Democratic primaries.
Precinct 3 commissioners race
Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer chose not to seek re-election, a decision which prompted three to file for the seat. On the Republican side, Burleson resident Roxanne Ancy faces current Precinct 3 Constable Mike White in the Republican Primary.
The winner will face the Democratic candidate, Alvarado resident Christopher Evans in November’s general election. Evans, the sole Democrat competing in a local race, did not attend Thursday’s event.
Ancy cited her business and civic experience.
“I’m a former president of a large commercial construction company that generated over $40 million in revenue,” Ancy said. “I can easily take on the critical concerns of the budget for Johnson County based on that experience.”
Ancy said she and her husband moved to Johnson County 17 years ago.
“We love this place,” Ancy said. “We call it home. We’re here for life.”
Ancy said she hopes to increase the amount of roads repaired if elected, and plans to hold town hall meetings to “share concerns while offering solutions” with residents and to update them on county affairs.
Ancy said she’s met with city managers of cities in Precinct 3 to better understand the goings on of the cities and to determine how to strengthen county/city bonds.
While growth is underway, and important, it’s also important to maintain Johnson County’s country feel, Ancy said.
White said he and his wife moved to Johnson County 21 years ago after his wife earned her veterinarian degree.
“We chose Johnson County because of the rural lifestyle and what it had to offer here,” White said.
White worked as a road crew worker for Precinct 3 before hiring on as an officer for the Alvarado Police Department. From there he went to work for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for three years before he was elected constable, a position he’s held for 15 years.
White said he decided to run for commissioner because he has a servant’s heart and feels he has much to offer residents.
“The roads and budget are the two most important tasks a commissioner faces,” White said. “That’s because the budget affects your tax rate and because every single citizen drives on county roads.”
White cited budget experience having presented the budget for his current department to the commissioners court for the last 15 years.
“I’ve presented a minimal budget to run my office,” White said. “And, at the end of the year, I’ve actually come in under budget and returned money back to the county”
White labeled himself fiscally conservative and promised if elected not to waste taxpayer dollars.
Constable Precinct 3
With White having chosen to run for commissioner instead of another term as constable, Republican candidates Robert Herod and Steve Williams decided to compete for the seat.
Herod, who now works as the chief deputy of the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, said he’s lived in Alvarado since 1980. Herod cited both his law enforcement and his civic experience.
“I’ve constantly been involved in some type of volunteer organization,” Herod said.
Herod first volunteered with the Lillian Volunteer Fire Department in 1985 and received the Rookie of the Year Award and went on to become the department’s training captain.
Herod said he’s also been involved with the Chisholm Trail 100 Club, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Johnson County and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Johnson County.
Herod said he holds certification as a mater peace office, field training officer, detention office and as an National Rifle Association certified pistol instructor.
If elected, Herod said he plans to surpass state training standards for himself and his deputies.
“You can never have too much training,” Herod said. “I feel everybody’s better off to have as much education as they can.”
Herod said he will also maintain an open-door policy and maintain a feasible budget.
Williams cited his law enforcement experience, which stretches back to 1987, a career he followed in the footsteps of his father, uncle and grandfather. Williams added that his great-great-great-grandfather was sheriff of Fannin County.
Williams has served as a constable deputy for nine and a half years, the last eight of which he served under White.
Williams referenced his master peace officer’s license and other certifications and achievements and said he took part in career days at Alvarado High School, the Shattered Dreams program and that he participates in the VFW motorcycle toy run every year.
“I plan to run an open and well respected office, Williams said. “Well respected by both the public and peers. As your constable, I want my office to exemplify faith, honor, integrity and respect at all times.”
Constable Precinct 4
Precinct 4 Constable Tim Kinman seeks re-election challenged by Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Troy Fuller.
Kinman began working for the constable’s office in 2010 and became chief deputy in 2011 before being elected constable in 2016.
“I began handling the budget in 2011 and, as constable, my budgets are fiscally very good,” Kinman said. “I get what we need to run the office for the year. My average working budget, minus salaries, is $39,000 to $41,000 per year.”
Kinman cited numerous certifications and said he’s been in law enforcement since 1989. Kinman said he previously spent 20 years at the sheriff’s office and gained a lot of knowledge from the sheriff’s, captains, lieutenants and officers he worked with.
“I’m very servant at heart,” Kinman said. “I love doing this job and love being there for the people. I love talking with anybody that wants to call, come by or sit at my desk and ask questions.”
Fuller began working for JCSO in 1984 and said he’s worked all facets of the sheriff’s office. His current position is administrative lieutenant.
Fuller said he’s been involved in putting together and presenting the sheriff’s office’s budget for 22 years.
If elected, Fuller said he will strive to promote transparency and community involvement.
“I want to get the community involved whether that be input or forming committees,” Fuller said. “I would like to put all those things out there to see what works for the office, see what makes it better.”
Fuller said his experience on the North Central Texas Council of Government’s board in which he and others evaluated and graded grant applications inspired him to learn how to write grants.
He’s since written about 30 grants, which have helped the county start school resource officer and mental health programs. A recent grant resulted in $86,000 to purchase a robot for the sheriff’s office, something that greatly improves officer safety.
Fuller said he will be fiscally responsible if elected and do his best to serve the community.