Three county races to be decided in today’s runoff election
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A total of 2,238 voters cast their votes during last week’s early voting for today’s runoff election.
Of those voters, a mere 364 voted in Copperas Cove, with 1,328 voting in Gatesville, and the remainder of the votes – 546 – being mail-in ballots.
Polls are open today until 7 p.m. in Copperas Cove at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, 1206 W. Ave B and at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1001 Georgetown Rd. Polls are also located elsewhere in the county at the Gatesville Civic Center, 303 Veterans Memorial Loop; Evant City Hall, 598 E. Hwy. 84; and at the Turnersville Community Center, 8115 F.M. 182. Coryell County registered voters may vote at any location in Coryell County.
Today, voters will decide who will be the new judge over the Coryell County commissioners court, to fill the spot that will be vacated by present county judge John Firth, who announced last summer that he would not run for reelection.
The initial field of six candidates for county judge was narrowed to two during the March 6 primary, present Coryell County District Clerk Janice Gray, and Gatesville native and retired veteran Roger Miller. The two emerged from the primary in nearly a dead heat, with Gray besting Miller at the polls by a margin of 30 votes, 1,135 to Miller’s 1,105 votes.
Gray has been 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.
Another race to be decided today is that of Coryell County District Clerk, with candidates Becky Moore and Jeremy Pruitt vying for that position. During the primary, Moore received 48.55 percent compared to Pruitt receiving 24.66 percent of the votes. They were the top two vote-getters in an original field of four.
Moore has worked for Coryell County since 1998 in the county clerk’s office, where she 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 the son of the current Coryell County district clerk and is the local membership manager of AirMedCare Network. The Gatesville High alum studied business at the University of North Texas and 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.
In the race for Coryell County treasurer, Randi McFarlin and Cindy Hitt are in the runoff. McFarlin is a native of Jonesboro and has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tarleton State University. Since 2015 McFarlin 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 benefits administrator. 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, Hitt 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. She and husband, Randy, started Hitt Insurance Agency in 2000. Since 2007, Hitt has taught for the Gatesville Independent School District, as a family and consumer science and personal finance teacher, and with special education.