Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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June 3, 2014

New Republican Party Club leader named

Nominations for county attorney, Precinct 4 JP positions on agenda

CHEROKEE COUNTY — A changing of the guard will take place June 16, when Karen Morris takes over as the Cherokee County Republican Party Club Chairwoman.

Morris, of Jacksonville, has been a member of the local political club since 2001, serving as a precinct chairman and election judge, as well as treasurer for the club's political action committee.

This is her first elected position, for which she will serve a two-year term as party club chairwoman.

She and husband, James Morris, live in Jacksonville. She is a small business owner who operates a salon in Smith County.

Morris, elected to the position during the March primaries, said her goals are to establish a headquarters for the county's party club.

“I also would like to educate the executive committee on the structure of the Republican party, of why it does what it does – the executive committee, the party chairman, the county conventions,” she said.

The Cherokee County Republican Executive Committee meets every three months, unlike the party club, which meets monthly.

The next executive committee meeting is slated June 28 in Jacksonville.

Morris said among the items to be addressed are party nominations for County Attorney and Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace.

The County Attorney's position is currently filled by Rusk attorney Dana Young, who was appointed in early January to fill the position vacated when Judge Kelley Peacock was named interim County Court-at-Law judge after county commissioners accepted the resignation of Craig Fletcher in December.

The JP candidacy was challenged after the March primary, when Democratic incumbent Vera Fletcher filed a petition claiming Republican candidate Rodney Wallace was ineligible for candidacy due to residency requirements.

Visiting Judge Jerry Calhoon ruled in her favor during a bench trial held April 28 in the 2nd District Court.

According to an April 29 report in the Daily Progress, attorney John Ament – who represented Foreman – explained that Judge Calhoon granted an injunction instructing Republican Party county chairman for Cherokee County Jerry Rix “and his successor to not certify Rodney Wallace as a candidate in the 2014 general election.”

However, Morris pointed out that it was up to the executive committee to decide who to nominate as candidates for the two positions, “if that is decided on that day.”

Morris also said because the county has 25 voting precincts and only 13 Republican party chairpersons were nominated as representatives in March, the executive committee will consider appointing additional people to chair the remaining positions during the June 28 meeting.

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