LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What happened to the American way?

I remember a day in the Ector County GOP when a qualified candidate desired to seek public office, all they needed to do was file with their County Chair, Elections office or the Party Secretary to get their name on the ballot for the office for which they wished to run. For some reason, the Ector County Republican Party has added a clause requiring the signatures of 10% of the Precinct Chairs on a petition in order for a potential candidate to get their name on the ballot for County Chair.

That should be easy enough. Just look up who the Precinct Chairs are, call them up and ask them to sign one’s petition.

The local GOP headquarters advised that a list of the Chairs could be obtained from the Secretary of States office but that list still had JoNell Sims as a Pct. Chair. Mrs. Sims was a Pct. Chair for many, many years but she became inactive a couple of years before she passed away. I tried looking on the ECRP website but knew there was a problem when Debi Hays was listed as Vice-Chairman of the party. Hays resigned her position as Pct. Chair to run for Ector County Judge in 2017. So much for finding accurate records for the Ector County Republican Party.

Signing a petition is not a pledge to vote for an individual. It just makes it possible for their name to be added to the ballot. Contrary to what some believe, it is also permissible to sign the petition of more than one candidate.

Donna Kelm, whom I know to be highly qualified for the position of County Chair, has had difficulty in securing the required signatures. Donna currently serves as President of the Ector County Republican Women and has been active in the Republican Party for many years. She and her husband, Derek have been business owners and operators in Odessa for a number of years and are lifelong residents of Ector County.

In case you wonder why I have an interest in the politics of Ector County it’s because I served as a Precinct Chair while I was a resident there. The patriots with whom I served believed in the American Way and the right of any qualified person to have an opportunity to have their name placed on the ballot.

Donna Kelm would like the opportunity to serve the citizens of Ector County as Chairperson of the Ector County Republican Party and I hope that there are 3 of the Precinct Chairs who will sign her petition allowing her name to be on the ballot.

Let the voters decide… .It’s the American Way!

Jolene Hawkins

Breckenridge, TX