BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS
GILMER–Some 10 newly-elected or recently re-elected Upshur County officials, and 115th District Judge-elect Dean Fowler, will be inaugurated at the Upshur County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. New Year’s Day Tuesday.
Following the ceremony, East Texans for Liberty will host a public reception for the officials across the street at Gilmer Brewing Company, 101 W. Tyler. The Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce will also sponsor a reception for them from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at First National Bank on U.S. 271.
Fowler, who is concluding his 16-year tenure as county judge, said he would swear in his successor, Todd Tefteller, who will then administer the oath of office for district judge to Fowler. Fowler said he would swear in some of the other officials while Tefteller will inaugurate the rest.
The public ceremony will be held in the county courtroom on the courthouse’s third floor, where the county commissioners court meets. In a memo to the incoming and re-elected officials, Fowler reminded them to bring their bonds for execution.
Fowler was elected without opposition by voters in Upshur and Marion Counties in November to succeed Lauren Parish, who did not seek re-election to a seventh four-year term. He and all the others being inaugurated Jan. 1 are Republicans.
Re-elected incumbents who are scheduled to begin their new terms include District Clerk Karen Bunn, County Clerk Terri Ross, County Treasurer Brandy Vick; Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Wyone Manes, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter and Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Rhonda Welch
Newly-elected officials besides Tefteller and Fowler scheduled for inauguration, and their offices, include Dustin Nicholson, succeeding Don Gross as precinct 2 county commissioner; Jay W. Miller, succeeding Mike Spencer as precinct 4 county commissioner; and former Sheriff Anthony Betterton, succeeding Becky Skinner as precinct 4 justice of the peace.
Spencer lost the Republican Party runoff for county judge to Tefteller, while Gross and Skinner, who are also Republicans, did not seek re-election.
All officials taking the oath of office Tuesday were elected or re-elected to four-year terms in November after winning the GOP primary or runoff earlier in the year. Some faced no opposition in the primary and/or November general election.
In a press release issued by East Texans for Liberty President Stacy McMahan concerning ET4L’s third bi-annual Upshur County Inaugural Reception, she said guests would be served hors d’oeuvres, catered by Lori Metcalf, and a congratulatory cake donated by Lisa Sneed of LadyFingers Cakes.
McMahan said the reception “is our way of thanking those elected and re-elected officials, as well as their famly members, for their committed service to our great county.”
Concerning its Jan. 10 reception, the chamber stated “The Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes and honors all local, state and national elected officials for the Gilmer area. This event gives attendees an opportunity to speak one-on-one with their elected officials and staff.”