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Local voters to make their picks in Nov. 3 General Election

Mark Wilson
Jason Dillard

The Nov. 3 General Election is shaping up to be anything but boring, with President Donald Trump being challenged by Joe Biden in the big spotlight.

Republican Roger Williams — a resident of Weatherford who is the incumbent holding the 25th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives — is facing Democrat candidate, Julie Oliver, and Libertarian Bill Kelsey in the election.

Granbury resident Brian Birdwell, a Republican incumbent currently in the Texas State Senate representing District 22, is facing a challenge from Democrat Robert Vick.

In addition, many local races will also spice up the ballot.

On March 18, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation for local elections to be postponed until the Nov. 3 General Election because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some races were decided, in effect, by the March 3 Primary Election, there are still a number of important choices to be made.

The local early voting location in advance of the Nov. 3 General Election will be at the Somervell County Annex Building, 206 Elm St. in Glen Rose. Early voting will start on Tuesday (Oct. 13), and will end on Friday, Oct. 30.

Early voting hours at the Annex Building will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 19, plus 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and the hours will return to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. between Oct. 21-24, and from Oct. 26-30.

The final day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election — Monday, Oct. 5 — has passed.

If you are not certain about your voter registration status, a website “powered by the Texas Secretary of State” — votetexas.gov/register — has links that include “Am I Registered” in addition to “Ways to Register” (online, or in person with the Somervell County Registrar), plus a list of voter eligibility requirements. That website gives instructions for those who have moved, if your online information needs to be changed.

Christy Covey is the Elections Administrator (registrar) for Somervell County. Her office is in the County Annex Building at 107 N.E. Vernon St. in Glen Rose.

FOUR VOTING SITES

Residents of Somervell County who are registered can pick from any one of the following four locations in Glen Rose to vote:

— Somervell County Expo Center, 202 Gibbs Blvd, Glen Rose.

— Somervell County Annex Building, 206 Elm St., Glen Rose.

— Oakdale Park Convention Center, 1019 N.E. Barnard St., Glen Rose.

— Senior Citizen Center, 209 S.W. Barnard St., Glen Rose.

Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers stated previously that, “This is the first time you can vote at any location. It’s great for the voters of Somervell County. The county had to purchase equipment to do it. It makes it easier on the voters.”

The final day to apply to receive a voting ballot my mail will be Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

Here is an overview of the local candidates (listed in alphabetical order, by last name) in the contested races that will be on the Nov. 3 ballot for registered Somervell County voters:

GRISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Four candidates are running for three expiring at-large positions on the Glen Rose Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

The four candidates — all at-large positions with three-year terms — are incumbent Jason Dillard, along with Jeff Hansen, Paul Hayes IV and Matt Langford.

GRISD Board of Trustees President Kelley Snodgrass and Secretary Andy Snow decided not to seek re-election. Snodgrass was first elected in 2002, and Snow has been on the board since 2008.

The other GRISD School Board members are Marilyn Phillips, Paul Phillips, Tanya Myers and Jason Evans. The spots held by Marilyn Phillips and Paul Phillips will be up for re-election in 2021. Myers and Evans will be up for re-election in 2022.

Jason Dillard — Dillard, who works as a field engineering manager for United Cooperative Services, is currently vice president of the Board of Trustees. He was elected to his first three-year term on the board in 2014.

Dillard graduated from Eden High School in 1988, and Tarleton State University in 1992. He has lived in Glen Rose 20 years.

His immediate family includes wife Lynne Dillard, daughters Jaylan Morrison and Joryn Dillard, and son Jayton Dillard.

Jeff Hansen — Hansen is a native of Montana who has lived in Glen Rose for approximately 26 years.

Hansen is a longtime employee of Somervell County at Squaw Valley Golf Course, where he has been the golf course superintendent since 2004. Hansen has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Montana State University. He also studied computer science, history, psychology and education at the University of Montana.

Hansen’s wife, Tracie, is a teacher at Glen Rose Elementary School. They have two sons — Taylor and Connor. Taylor is a 2013 Glen Rose High School graduate attending the UT School of Pharmacy. Connor is a 2018 GRHS graduate who enrolled at Texas A&M University this fall.

Paul Hayes IV — Hayes has worked for the Fort Worth Fire Department for more than 17 years.

After graduating from Kaufer High School in the South Texas town on Riviera, Hayes attended college at Oklahoma State University for one year and Texas Tech for one year before starting his career as a firefighter.

His immediate family includes wife Lea Ann Hayes, and three children — fifth-grader Ainslea, second-grader Paul V, and first-grader Kohl.

They have made their home in Glen Rose for more than five years.

Matt Langford — Langford is a captain with the Fort Worth Fire Department who served the country in the Marine Corps.

He was born in Bowie, and was a member of the Prairie Valley ISD School Board (2008-2013) before moving to Somervell County.

Langford’s wife, Sandy, is the head varsity volleyball coach at Glen Rose High School, and also coaches girls track and field.

Their two children are named Camden and Keltyn.

GLEN ROSE CITY COUNCIL

Six Glen Rose City Council candidates are running for three at-large seats for two-year terms.

Also, there is a special election for one of the at-large places — a one-year unexpired term currently held by Richard Vaughn. Last August, Vaughn was appointed by a 3-1 vote of the City Council to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Rhonda Hawthorne.Chip Joslin, a former manager of Oakdale Park, is the challenger taking on Vaughn in that special election that will be on the ballot.The other City Council candidates for the three regular two-year terms expiring this year, are: Chris Bryant, Julia Douglas, Randy Elmore, Kelly Harris, Jack Johnson and Dennis Moore. Bryant, Douglas and Johnson are incumbents.

Neither current City Council member Johnny Martin nor current Mayor Pam Miller are involved in the Nov. 3 election. Their two-year terms won’t expire until May 2021.

Chris Bryant — Bryant is a Glen Rose High School graduate who works for Texas Health Resources as a project manager for IT Infrastructure and Development.

Bryant has parents and siblings who reside in Somervell, Hood and Bosque counties. He was born in Fort Worth, and moved to Glen Rose in 1978.

Overall, Bryant has been a Glen Rose City Council member for approximately 12 years, although not in consecutive terms.

Julia Douglas — Douglas was born and raised in Glen Rose, and is a Glen Rose High School graduate who works as an office manager for a custom home builder in Granbury.

She graduated from Tarleton State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Douglas’s immediate family includes husband Scott Douglas, along with children Randall Douglas, Kris Douglas, Brandyn Douglas, Kiersten Wright and Rory Wright.

Douglas was first elected to the Glen Rose City Council in 2018. Previously, she was the chairperson of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission (2016-2018) and an Oakdale Park Committee member (2017-2018). She has been secretary/treasurer of the Somervell County Republican Club since 2018.

Randy Elmore — Elmore is a former professional touring, recording and session musician and who is now retired from the entertainment industry after about 42 years. He has been teaching music in Glen Rose for about a dozen years.

He was born in Fort Worth and graduated from Lake Worth High School in 1972.

Elmore has two sons, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He has never held any public office.

Kelly Harris — Harris was named in November 2019 by the Somervell County Commissioners Court as the county’s director of tourist promotion and economic development.

Harris has worked in municipal government for 20 years in Glen Rose, Crowley and Burleson. She graduated from Seminole High School, and attended Southwest Texas State University and Weatherford College. She has never been elected to a public office. She has accumulated more than 80 college credits and has various business certifications.

Harris has lived in Glen Rose for approximately 10 years, and has one daughter, Sheyenne Smart.

Jack Johnson — Johnson is completing his first term as a member of the Glen Rose City Council, which is the first public office he has held.

He is a retired seismic engineer and former professional musician who was born in Glen Rose and has lived here for a total of about 12 years in all. He lived in Glen Rose as a child until his parents moved to the Houston area when he was six years old. He moved back to Glen Rose about six years ago, and now works for the Somervell County Commission on Aging.

Johnson graduated from the University of Houston, where he majored in engineering. He has two daughters.

Dennis Moore — Moore has been pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Glen Rose for well over 30 years.

He was born in Cleburne, grew up in Glen Rose, and moved back here in 1989.

Moore was mayor of Glen Rose from 2013-2015, and was on the City Council for four terms (2011-2019).

Moore earned an associate degree from Texas State Technical College, and a bachelor’s degree from Arlington Baptist University.

SPECIAL ELECTION

GLEN ROSE CITY COUNCIL

Chip Joslin — Joslin, a former manager of Oakdale Park, is a Glen Rose High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Arlington.

He listed a 16-year-old daughter as his immediate family member on a previous candidate questionnaire.

Joslin was born in Arlington and moved to Glen Rose in 1981. He lived elsewhere for a while before moving back to Glen Rose, full-time, in 2012. He has not been elected to a public office.

Richard Vaughn — Vaughn was born in Hamilton, was a Marine Corps infantry officer whose time included combat service in Vietnam, and worked 25 years in industrial distribution management. He then worked 11 years as a contract federal investigator, based in Fort Worth.

Vaughn earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree in public administration from National University in San Diego.

His wife, Cindy, is an Air Force veteran.

Vaughn was appointed to his current partial term on the City Council, but had never been elected to a public office. He was appointed to serve on the city’s Planning and Zoning Board before joining the City Council.

HOSPITAL DISTRICT

The Somervell County Hospital District announced in March that its May 2, 2020 election to fill the expiring seats on the Glen Rose Medical Center’s Board of Directors was canceled.

There are seven board members in all. Three of those currently holding seats on the seven-person Board of Directors that are expiring this year — Pat Bruce, Pam Parsons and Dwayne Griffin — chose not to seek re-election.

Five people who met the filing deadline to be on the ballot — new candidates Bryan Barnes, Max Bly and Jeannie Simpson, plus incumbents Margaret Drake and Dr. Steven Vacek — were certified as being unopposed for the open seats, and therefore will take seats on the board.

OTHER UNCONTESTED LOCAL RACES

Somervell County’s other Nov. 3 uncontested races, decided by either the Republican Primary or the Republican Runoff include:

Sheriff — Alan West.

Precinct 1 commissioner — Jeff Harris.

Precinct 3 commissioner — Tammy Ray.

District 59, Texas House of Representatives — Shelby Slawson.

There were no Democrats or Independents running in those races. Therefore, after votes are officially canvassed the winners of the runoff will be taking office as of Jan. 1.

Jeff Hansen