Several office holders up for re-election have opted out of next year's race.

Doug Eberhart, commissioner of precinct 3, said he will not seek another term. Instead, he plans on spending time working his cows and pecans, and enjoying life.

“I'll stay busy, Eberhart said. “I've been serving as commissioner for almost 18 years and I think it's time for me to step down.

Eberhart said he will miss working with the “many good, solid people who work for the county, and who made his job easier during his years of service.

Likewise, Jerry Martin, precinct 1 commissioner, says he is 75 percent sure that he will not seek a fourth term.

“I want to make sure someone good is in place to run before I step down, Martin said.

Martin said if a suitable candidate doesn't step up, he would consider seeking another term.

Last week, Carey Fraser announced that he would not seek a third term as county attorney.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Carey said she is planning to run for a seventh term as tax assessor/collector.

Sheriff Tommy Bryant also said he's in for a fourth term. Bryant took office in 1997 and has not garnered an opponent since he was elected.

“I am proud of the way the employees here work together as a family, Bryant said.

When he took office, Bryant said the sheriff's department received an average of 6,500 calls a year. Today, the number of calls deputies respond to has soared to more than 20,000 a year.

“We have definitely faced an increase in demands over the years, but I think we have responded very well, he said.

Constables Lee Roy Gaitan and Larry Ciccarelli also said they will seek re-election. Gaitan will seek a second term, while Ciccarelli will run for his third.

State Representative Sid Miller also said he will seek a fifth term.

District Attorney John Terrill was out of town attending a conference and could not be reached for comment.

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.