By Jacqueline Brown

Killeen Daily Herald

The Lampasas County Repub-lican primary has 12 county and state candidates so far, including one candidate for county judge and four candidates for the Precinct 1 justice of the peace.

n George Mayben, 57, is a retired Department of Public Safety trooper seeking the county judges position.

Ive been involved in and around county government for a long time, the Lometa resident said. I had several citizens and county officials approach me and I agreed to run.

Mayben said everyone has the buzzword taxes, but theres more to the office than overseeing the budget including the judicial role and emergency management.

He said hes dealt with situations concerning officer and public safety and had experience with writing grants.

Mayben served on the grant review board for the Central Texas Council of Governments and started the local Narcotics Task Force. Hes also worked with the governors office and had leadership training.

If elected, Mayben will replace County Judge Virgil Lilley, who is retiring this year.

n Andrew Garcia Jr., 57, is also a retired DPS trooper and he hopes to serve as the Precinct 1 justice of the peace.

I resigned my position in order to run for this office, he said. Ive made a tremendous commitment and I feel that I am qualified for the job.

Garcia said his work with the DPS prepared him to deal with people, and if elected, he said, he plans to treat people like he would want to be treated.

n Richard H. Pickney, 69, is also running for the Precinct 1 position. Pickney is a retired game warden and says hes dealt with a lot of justices of the peace.

Im familiar with the operation and how the courts are handled, he said. I feel like I could be an addition to the court.

n Haley Dawn Wheeler, 26, is the youngest candidate in the Republican primary, so far. She currently serves as the administrative assistant for the county judge.

n Lacy Ann Alexander, 37, works as a tax deputy for Lampasas County. She said she worked for the current justice of the peace for more than three years.

She said she is the best person for the position because she is experienced and accessible.

The JPs job is not a Monday-through-Friday, 8-to-5 position, she said. Sometimes youre needed at all hours of the night.

Alexander said she is the only candidate who has experience in that office and knows how it works on an interim basis.

n Incumbent Richard Dick Lockett is the only Republican candidate who has filed so far for Precincts 2 and 3 justice of the peace.

Lockett said he decided to run for the office at the request of the late Judge Mart Adams, whom he understands was one of the longest-running justices of the peace in the history of Texas. However, the job was nothing like he expected.

There was no comparison to what was told to us when we first started, he said.

This is an OTJ job on-job training.

Other candidates who have filed for the Lampasas County Republican Primary include:

n Raymond H. Upp for Precinct 1 chair;

n Bruce Crawford for Precinct 3 chair;

n Diana McDonald for Precinct 4 chair;

n Betty Fontaine for Precinct 5 chair;

n Cynthia Zane Harry for Precinct 6 chair;

n Thomas Porter Wingo Jr. for Precinct 8 chair.

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