Justice of the Peace Race

Gregory Johnson, left, won the Democratic primary for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4 Place 1. He will run against Republican winner Michael Keefe, center, in the November general election.


After 100% of the votes were reported in Bell County, Gregory Johnson and Michael Keefe were leading their Democratic and Republican races for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Place 1.

Johnson won the Democratic race over Daryl Peters by 3,424 votes, according to unofficial results.

On the Republican side, Michael Keefe was leading Chet Southworth and Hal Butchart with 65.79% of the vote in the Republican race.

The winners of the Democratic and Republican races will go on to compete in the general election in November for the Justice of the Peace place.

Around 70 people were at the Bell County Expo Center on Tuesday night as results of the election rolled in.

Keefe felt confident in the position he was in after the early voting and mail-in ballots were reported.

“I feel pretty confident that the numbers will stay pretty close to what the early voting has shown and that’s just from feedback we had from block walking, talking to folks, I think our volunteers got out there and hustled and that was the difference,” Keefe said.

Johnson also expressed confidence in where he stood.

“I’m feeling pretty good, I think the campaign did a pretty good job starting out … we got out there and stomped into the neighborhood,” Johnson said. “I’m feeling pretty confident, I tell you I’m pretty excited, pretty happy.”

Johnson said he is ready to gear up the campaign for a win in the general election in November.

Justices of the Peace serve four-year terms. JPs do not need to have a law degree. The base annual salary for the position is $61,971, not including travel or other expenses according to the 2019 Bell County budget.

Precinct 4 includes all of Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and areas south and west of Killeen in Bell County.

Johnson is a small business owner and a current Killeen City Council member. Peters served in the U.S. Army and worked at Fort Hood for 15 years. He retired from the base’s directorate of human resources in 2015.

On the Republican side, Keefe, 59, is an Allstate Insurance Agency owner, Southworth, 63, is a local attorney and Butchart, 72, is a U.S. Army Veteran.

Monique Brand - Killeen Daily Herald

mbrand@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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