While it was cold, wet and dreary outside, the mood seemed comfortably warm — and optimistic — when Erath County’s elected officials took their oath of office Wednesday morning at the Donald R. Jones Justice Center.
New County Judge Alfonso Campos was sworn in first by retired Erath County District Court Judge Donald Jones. Current 266th District Court Judge Jason Cashon then took the oath of office from Jones, and administered the rest of the oaths.
Campos won the March 6 election to replace retiring Judge Tab Thompson, who chose not to seek reelection after serving for 24 years.
Sheriff Matt Coates, who won the March 6 election to continue serving in his position, was sworn in by District Court Judge Jason Cashon, along with new county treasurer Kimberly Barrier, County Court-At-Law Judge Blake Thompson, new county commissioners Albert Ray and Jim Buck, justices of the peace Shawnee Bass and Bart Greenway, District Clerk Wanda Pringle, and County Auditor Janet Martin. County Clerk Gwinda Jones was sworn in the day before, on New Year’s Day.
Campos, who lives in Hannibal, near Huckabay, had been an Erath County bailiff for almost four years. Before that he was a justice of the peace in Caldwell County for four years, following 25 years as a game warden based in Travis County.
“It’s amazing. It’s a long road to get here,” said Campos, who along with his wife of 29 years, Connie, has three children. “I appreciate everybody continuing to serve, and those weathering the storm to get here (for the ceremony).”
Campos seemed eager to get started.
“I think we’ve got to do the little things well, and keep doing the everyday business,” Campos said. “We need to do that well, and learn to work with each other. (That’s) something we can build on, and (then face) the inevitable challenges that will come.”
Coates said, “I’m going to miss the folks who are going out of office, but I’m very excited about the new people coming in. I see nothing but positives from here on out.”
Buck, the new Precinct 4 commissioner replacing Scot Jackson, said he was ready for the day to come.
“I’m looking forward to getting started, and getting the agenda going,” Buck said.
Ray, replacing outgoing Precinct 2 Commissioner Herbert Brown, said, “I’m excited about it, ready to go. We’ve got a bunch of new people, and I’m excited about it and I think there will be some good changes.”