Because several hot political races are on the horizon, on Thursday night Kaufman County voters were presented with the first of several candidate forums that will provide voter’s with information about the candidates seeking election in the March Primary.
Several Kaufman County offices are expected to turnover in leadership as a result of the upcoming primary election, and due of this expected shift of authority a record number of candidates have filed for election.
The voters may ultimately need a score card to keep up with the many candidates campaigning, so it’s simply easier to note the current officials who will be re-elected unopposed.
Kaufman County officials; Criminal D.A. Erleigh Wiley, 86th District Court Judge Casey Blair, Court at Law No.2 Judge Bobby Rich, District Clerk Rhonda Hughey and Precinct 2 Commissioner Skeet Phillips must each be preforming adequately within their respective positions since each of these officials did not attract a challenging opponent and they will therefore be re-elected without opposition.
The race to elect a new Kaufman County Judge, to replace retiring County Judge Bruce Wood, has attracted three candidates; former City of Terrell Mayor Hal Richards, current Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jakie Allen and current County Treasurer Ronnie Oldfield.
Held at Kaufman High School this first political forum was hosted by Kaufman County Republican Party Chair Jimmy Weaver, and it presented candidates for only three races; 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, Kaufman County Judge and County Court at Law Judge No.1.
The candidates seeking election to the 5th Circuit Court were the first to speak and these four candidates were allotted almost forty minutes of the program in which to answer a handful of questions that mainly pertained to their legal experience.
Next up were the candidates seeking election to the County Judge position, and unfortunately these three candidates, Hal Richards, Jackie Allen and Ronnie Oldfield, were provided less than fifteen minutes in which to introduce themselves and then answer three audience submitted questions.
Running behind on time, the program moderator was KCO Republic Chair Jimmy Weaver who next introduced the candidate’s seeking election to the Kaufman County Court No.1; incumbent Judge Dennis Jones and Candidate Tracy Gray.
Both of these candidates introduced themselves before answering three questions which pertained to their legal experience and their opinions on how the County Court system is currently functioning.
Other campaigns that area voters will want to keep a close eye on will include the race to become the Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace upon the retirement of longtime JP Patricia Ashcroft. This race will most likely result in a run-off election, and all four candidates; Amy Tarno, Matthew Scharmen, Scott Whitaker and Ty Burnes are Forney residents.
The retirement of District 5 U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling has attracted nine candidates including State Representative Lance Gooden, Dallas resident Bunni Pounds and Canton resident Sam Deen.
And hoping to fill the vacant chair of Rep. Lance Gooden, President of the Forney ISD School Board, candidate Keith Bell will compete for election to the District 4 State Representative position against four other candidates including Forney resident Marty Reid and former State Rep. Stuart Spitzer.
The video tapes captures during this candidate's forum will be made available to the voters of Kaufman County at The Forney Post on Facebook
Click here for an entire listing of all candidates campaigning for election during the March Republican Primay.
Written by: Denise Bell