Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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July 1, 2014

Republican Party votes Wallace, Young onto ballot

CHEROKEE COUNTY — Two familiar names will be listed among those running for local offices on the November general election ballot: Rodney Wallace and Dana Young.

On Saturday, during an executive committee meeting of the Cherokee County Republican Party Club, committee members voted unanimously to submit the names as party candidates, said new club chairman Karen Morris.

Wallace was the focus of a legal petition earlier this year, filed by Democratic incumbent Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Judge Vera Foreman, who claimed the Republican primary candidate was ineligible to run due to residency requirements.

At the meeting, however, “we had a long discussion with him and his attorney (Mike Wallace), and really based our decision on a writ” issued by visiting Judge Jerry Calhoon, Morris said.

The judge ruled in Foreman's favor during a bench trial held April 28 in the 2nd District Court.

“Judge Calhoon made no determination as to whether the defendant, Rodney Wallace is or is not qualified for future nomination of the executive committee of the Republican Party as to its candidate in the general election of 2014,” she explained, adding that Wallace's attorney – Mike Wallace – provided information from the Texas Secretary of State “saying we could place him on the ballot.”

The writ, she added, addressed only the primary election, and did not make any determination for the general election.

“Rodney Wallace meets all qualifications to be Justice of the Peace,” Morris said. “He's been a resident of Cherokee County for more than six months.”

Young's nomination as the party candidate for County Attorney was natural move, as the Rusk attorney has filled the position since early January, appointed by the County Commissioners Court when the seat was vacated by Judge Kelley Peacock. Peacock was named interim County Court-at-Law judge upon the resignation of Craig Fletcher in December.

“I think our committee was more surprised that the three other candidates for County Attorney backed out than they were about Wallace,” Morris said.

The executive committee's support of Young's candidacy is a reflection of the work she's done so far, Morris said. “She's doing a fantastic job – she's a fantastic candidate.”

Both names will be submitted soon for placement on the November ballot.

Also during Saturday's meeting, eight new precinct chairmen were elected, filling a majority of the 12 vacancies among the 25 voting precincts in Cherokee County. The new chairmen will serve a two-year term.

New officers were elected, as well, and will serve a one-year term: Jerry Ayers is the new vice chairman, while Murray Smith serves as secretary and Patricia Terry as treasurer. All three are from Jacksonville.

The group meets quarterly, and will next meet in September, Morris said.

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