County elections are shaping up

Races for county judge, county attorney and district judge contested

Republican voters in county races will have plenty of candidates to choose among in the March 1 primary election, but few Democrats have emerged with the filing deadline approaching on Dec. 13.

There are contested races for county judge, district clerk, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace and judge of the 244th Judicial District, where incumbent James Rush is retiring.

“We had somebody file every day last week and I expect more,” said Ector County Republican Chairman Tisha Crow, noting that Nov. 15 was the first day candidates could formally declare their intentions.

The contests are between incumbent County Judge Debi Hays, who has reportedly said she is running for a new four-year term but had not filed Tuesday, and Dustin Fawcett; incumbent District Clerk Clarissa Webster and Christina Bryson; 244th Judicial District hopefuls Dennis Jones and Lori Ruiz-Crutcher; and Precinct 2 incumbent JP Missi Walden and Cynthia Moreno.

Unopposed Republicans to date are incumbent County Attorney Lee McClendon; incumbent County Clerk Jennifer Martin, incumbent County Treasurer Cleopatra Callaway, incumbent 70th District Judge Denn Whalen, incumbent Court-at-Law Place 2 Judge Chris Clark and Steven Brennan in JP Precinct 1, where Crow expects incumbent Terry Lange to file.

Ector County Democratic Chairman Hannah Horick said the two incumbent Precinct 4 Democrats, Commissioner Armando S. Rodriguez and Precinct 4 JP Eddy Spivey, would probably enter her party’s primary but hadn’t done so Tuesday.

Crow said longtime Republican Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons had told her he would file and that there might be two more candidates in JP Precinct 2. “It looks like an active primary, which is always a lot of fun,” Crow said.

“It forces everyone not to take these positions for granted. When they have to work a little harder for them, they work a little harder in them. I figure we’ll see more after Dec. 1. There can always be surprises in the bunch.”

Horick is taking calls at 332-4007 and is at the party’s headquarters at 514 N. Lee Ave. from noon to 6 p.m. on Mondays, hoping for candidates “to contest races,” she said.

“I’ve had some conversations about challenging incumbents and expect a few candidates,” Horick said. “I’m trying to convince them and we still have a few weeks left.”