86-year-old Trinity County JP running for re-election

By Holley Nees - bio | email

APPLE SPRINGS, TX (KTRE) – At 86 years old, Judge Sam Ollie Blair is running for re-election in Trinity County this November.  The Centerville High School graduate is still running for the precinct 4 justice of the peace after 20 years in the position.

He has married more than 200 East Texans, signed many death certificates, and he is running for office again.

"I married some people that their children voted for me this year, see you can vote at 18," said Blair.

His friends asked him to run for justice of the peace again and while it's a job he loves, he said it's not always easy.

"People passing away, that's the bad thing about my job, but some of us have got to do it," Blair explained.  "I do some talking with the people and do some praying with them."

Blair presides, in Apple Springs, just about eight miles from where he grew up, but he said the secret to holding the office for nearly two decades isn't all about campaigning.

"Really just be friendly and be fair with people, that's the only thing I ever promised anybody," he said.

He'll be making those promises again to try to defeat the republican candidate.

"I like Mr. Blair personally this is not a personal vendetta, I just think that I can do a better job or at least as well as he's done and he has done a good job over the years," said J.P. Republican Candidate Kenneth Holland.

"Most everybody that ever ran against me had more money, so I just had to work and I learned knocking on doors and talking to people, looking them in the eyes is the best thing you can do," explained Blair.

The World War II veteran has gained even the respect of his opponent.

"I hope I have his stamina when I'm that age," said Holland.   "I'm not going to say he's too old, but it's probably time to rest a little bit."

"As long as my health allows me to do the job, I might keep working," said Blair.

If he does face defeat, he said, "I'm going to shake the man's hand and wish him well."

Come November, he hopes to can continue setting bonds and filling out the docket for the largest precinct in Trinity County.  If he wins, he will be 90 years old at the end of his term.

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