Candidates make final rallies before May 22 runoff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Only 30 votes separated the top two vote-getters in the March 6 primary for the office of Coryell County judge, a race that saw a field of six candidates.
Next week on Tuesday, May 22, Coryell County voters will decide who will be the presiding judge over the Coryell County commissioners court.
Janice Gray received 1,135 votes, or 23.22 percent, in the primary, with Roger Miller receiving 1,105 votes, or 22.6 percent.
Gray has served as the Coryell County district clerk for 19 years and was a court administrator for eight years prior to that. She has served on the board for the Texas Association of Counties, and has also taught court administration for court coordinators and administrators statewide. She is married to Texas House District 59 representative J.D. Sheffield and has one son and three grandchildren.
Roger Miller is a retired first sergeant with 23 years of service in the United States Army and a fifth generation native of Coryell County. In addition to his military service, Miller is also the president of the Gatesville Planning & Zoning Commission, and the vice-president and founding member of Keep Gatesville Beautiful. He also led an effort to save the 1904 Leon River Bridge.
In the race for the office of Coryell County District Clerk, candidate Becky Moore fell short of the more than 50 percent majority vote, receiving 48.55 percent or 2,270 votes. Behind her was Jeremy Pruitt, with 24.66 percent or 1,153 votes.
Moore is a Gatesville High alum who has worked for Coryell County since 1998 in the county clerk’s office, where she began as a clerk and then rose to the level of deputy clerk/office manager. In addition to her work in the county clerk’s office, Moore has also volunteered with the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the museum board, the Exchange Club, and the 4-H youth fair.
Pruitt is likewise a lifelong Coryell County resident who has worked in management and is the local membership manager of AirMedCare Network. The Gatesville High alum studied business at the University of North Texas, and has also completed studies in EMT/Firefighter and EMT/Intermediate training at McClennan Community College and Central Texas College, and is a former firefighter for the City of Copperas Cove.
The race for county treasurer in the primary was also a close one, with only 102 votes seaprateing candidates Randi McFarlin and Cindy Hitt. The two received came in a close second, with 35.82 percent, or 1,647 votes.
Randi McFarlin is a native of Jonesboro, where she graduated as valedictorian from Jonesboro High School in 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tarleton State University. Since 2015 she has served as an assistant county auditor, working closely with the county treasurer. She computes and processes payroll for all 200-plus county employees and serves as the county’s benefit administrator, and volunteers on numerous county committees. She has more than 10 years of bookkeeping and accounting experience in both the public and private sector, and was previously the business manager at Jonesboro Independent School District where she was responsible for payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Cindy Hitt is a graduate of Gatesville High and Texas State University, before returning to the area in 1993, she worked in marketing and sales in northern and southern California, selling to major corporations, negotiating contracts and managing revenues, costs and expenses for her sales region. In 2000, she and husband, Randy, started Hitt Insurance Agency. More recently, Hitt has taught for the Gatesville Independent School District since 2007, where she is a family and consumer science and personal finance teacher, and with special education.
On Friday evening, the Open Road Social Club sponsored an election rally for candidates Miller and Moore at the Gatesville Civic Center, something which Miller called a celebration. He acknowledged it has been a long election season and wanted to thank voters for their support, and also to remind voters of the upcoming runoff.