|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - April 3, 2008 - April 6, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Lee wins sheriff’s runoff race
Trinity Standard - April 2008
GROVETON – Brent Lee, a retired Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) supervisor, was the winner Tuesday, April 8, in the Trinity County sheriff’s runoff election.
Lee, a native of Groveton, defeated incumbent Sheriff Steven Jones by a vote count of 1,612 (52.3%) to 1,473 during the Democratic Party runoff.
A total of 3,085 people voted in the runoff race, which is just under 30 percent of the 11,034 registered Trinity County voters.
In the March 4 primary elections, a total of 5,254 county voters cast ballots, representing 47.6 percent of the registered total. The total includes 4,963 who voted in the Democratic primary and 291 who cast ballots in the Republican Party primary.
While the Republican primary featured no local races, the March Democratic vote included races for district attorney, sheriff, tax assessor-collector, two county commissioners and four precinct constables. In addition, it included a hotly contested presidential race between New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Tuesday’s runoff election featured only the sheriff’s race and a runoff between Mark Thompson and Dale Henry for a state railroad commission seat. In Trinity County, voters favored Thompson by a vote of 1,599 (71.6%) to 634.
During the runoff election’s five days of early voting, a total of 1,721 county residents cast votes in the election, including 1,041 at the Trinity City Hall, 309 at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton, 154 at the Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Department and 217 by mail.
Back in March, the total voting during the 10-day early voting period was 2,670, including 1,700 in Trinity, 521 in Groveton, 230 in Apple Springs and 219 by mail.
Jones has served as sheriff since April 2007 after he was appointed to the post following the resignation of former Sheriff Jimmy Smith.
A longtime resident of Trinity County, Jones grew up in Friday and Groveton and is a 1983 graduate of Groveton High School.
Prior to his appointment as sheriff, Jones served for four years with the Trinity Police Department, rising to the rank of sergeant.
Lee, a 1969 graduate of Groveton High School, joined TABC in 1972 and was assigned to the Beaumont district’s law enforcement division. When he retired in 2003, he was the supervisor of the 16-county district.
As the winner in the Democratic Party’s primary runoff election, Lee will become the party’s nominee for the sheriff’s position in the November general election.
Because there is no Republican Party candidate seeking the office, he is expected to be unopposed in November.
Because Jones was appointed to the post last year, Lee would take office immediately after the November general election results are canvassed.
During the March 4 primary ballot, Lee received 2,046 votes, or 42.6 percent of the total cast. Jones garnered 1,890 votes or 39.3 percent to finish in second.
The third candidate in the race, Pct. 2 Constable Richard “Ricky” Hortman finished with 871 votes or 18.1 percent and did not qualify for the runoff.
Under the rules of the election, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote in order to win the party’s nomination for the office.