By Jon Schroeder
The Cove Herald
Coryell County’s Republican leadership met in Copperas Cove on Tuesday for the first time this election cycle, giving residents a chance to meet candidates and current officeholders alike. About 35 people showed up to hear the speeches, which often talked of deep family connections and long-time service to Copperas Cove.
With the March 4 primary uncontested, at least among county representatives, there weren’t many points of contention between candidates. But there were some strong opinions.
Three major topics were discussed at the meeting, each by several candidates: the need for more space in the Coryell County Jail, the need to support whichever candidate receives the Republican presidential nomination and the need to attract younger voters.
In addition, candidates talked about their years of experience and ties to Coryell County, which for some candidates and current office holder are quite extensive — Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace John Guinn, who was present at the meeting but still has three years remaining in his current term, has been working in the county for the longest, at 26 years. Several of the candidates for constable, including Roger Hammack (Precinct 4) and David White (Precinct 3), have had family in the area for many years: both Hammack and White have relatives who once serves as Coryell County sheriff.
Coryell County Republican Party Chairman Ed Thompson, who served as the event’s emcee, told the audience that the goal of the event is to familiarize the candidates with the people they’ll be serving.
“I feel like I know a lot more about these guys now,” he said. “What we’re doing here is learning a lot more about each other.”
Rex Davis, running for the Place 2 Justice post on the District 10 Court of Appeals, said voter turnout will be a significant factor in the next presidential election. If a Democratic candidate (either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton) is elected, he said, “Some of our freedoms — and I’m being serious — would be in jeopardy. In the long run (the Republican candidates are) better than the Democrats, either one.”
He received the moral support, though not the official endosement, of Chief Justice Tom Gray and Place 3 Justice Felipe Reyna, both present at the candidate showcase.
The other major issue at the meeting, the need for younger Republicans, was addressed by Young Republicans representative J.D. Windham, who said “We’ve got to lower the age median of the Republican Party.”
His message was bolstered by Davis, who said the same in response: “We have got to support these young people, ladies and gentlemen.”
Others who spoke include Sid Miller, running as an incumbent for his District 59 position in the Texas House of Representatives, Copperas Cove Mayor Roger O’Dwyer, Precinct 1 Constable candidate Roger Faught, Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks, County Attorney incumbent Brandon Belt and 52nd District Judge candidate and current Assistant Coryell County Attorney Trent Farrell.
Contact Jon Schroeder at email@example.com or call (254) 547-0428