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Polk County Enterprise - Local News

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March candidate list complete


LIVINGSTON – Former 258th District Judge Elizabeth Coker filed Monday to seek the Republican Party nomination as the Polk County Criminal District Attorney only days after her judicial resignation took effect. In a deal worked out in October with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, Coker resigned effective Friday, Dec. 6, after serving for 14 years as a district judge for Polk, San Jacinto and Trinity counties. Accused of improperly texting prosecutors and meeting with jurors during trials, Coker admitted no guilt and the judicial commission issued no formal findings as part of her resignation agreement. While a part of that agreement bars her from holding any judicial post in the future, it does not exclude her from serving as a prosecutor. Coker will be challenging incumbent District Attorney Lee Hon in the March 4, 2014 Republican primary election. Filing for positions on both the Republican and Democratic party ballots ended on Monday and the list of local candidates is now complete. In the Republican primary, the list of candidates for judge of the Polk County Court At Law has grown to four. Connie Slocum added her name to the list of candidates for the post now held by Judge Steven Phillips, who is retiring. Others in that race include John Wells, Tom Brown and Pamela Walker. Another addition to the ballot was Tammy Barker, who filed to challenge incumbent District Clerk Kathy Clifton in the Republican primary. Other candidates who have filed to run in the Republican Party primary include three who have entered the race for the Polk County Judge's position now held by Judge John Thompson, who also is retiring. Those seeking the office include former Republican Party Chairman Benny Fogleman, Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sydney Murphy and former State Rep. Dan Ellis. The only other contested race in the Republican primary will be for the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace's office, currently held by Judge Steven McEntyre, who is retiring. That race includes Lisa Ellis Sloan, Jamie Richardson- Jones and Paul Finney. Incumbent office holders who have filed for re-election in the Republican Primary but who will be unopposed in March include County Clerk Schelana Walker, County Treasurer Terri Williams, Pct. 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent, Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet, Pct. 1 JP Darrell Longino and Pct. 2 JP David Johnson. The only non-incumbent who will be unopposed is Sean Burks, who is seeking the Precinct 3 JP position now held by Judge Larry Whitworth. Whitworth is one of only two local Democrats to have filed to run in that party's March 4 primary. The other is Ricky Joe Black, who will be seeking the Precinct 2 county commissioner's seat. In addition to the county and precinct offices, local voters also will be asked to nominate candidates for the 258th District Judge's position, which was formally vacated by Coker on Friday. Candidates seeking this office filed with the party headquarters in Austin. In the March primaries, one Democratic and three Republican party candidates are seeking the nomination to the judge's post. Republicans include Shelly Bush Sitton, Cecil E. Berg and E.L. "Ernie" McClendon while the Democratic contender is Joe D. Roth. In other district races, State Rep. James E. White of Dayton and State Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville will both be unopposed on the Republican primary ballot. No candidates for either office have been listed on the Texas Democratic Party's website. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman surprised most observers Monday when he withdrew his re-election bid to the District 36 House of Representatives seat and refilled to challenge Senator John Cornyn in the Republican Primary. Republican candidates seeking the District 36 position, which includes Polk County, are John Amdur of Houston, Chuck Meyer of Lumberton, Dave Norman of Webster, Phil Fitzgerald of Hull, Kim I. Morrell of Seabrook and Doug Centilli, no address listed. There was no Democratic Party candidate listed for the District 36 house seat. Winners of the party primaries will advance to the November general election where the nominees will face one another on the ballot.


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