LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The race is on, early voting is underway, and already the County Commissioner Precinct 4 is a highly contested seat in Angelina County.
With incumbent Lynn George not seeking re-election, the seat is wide open.
Democratic Candidate Delbert Jones and Republican Scott Cooper are fighting for the spot.
It's a hotly contested seat, the same one Jones held eight years ago.
"I do believe it does give me a leg up, because I know the court, I know how it works," said Jones.
"If you look at it as a job you were hired for, he was fired and so we have a candidate who was fired, and a candidate who has a broad set of skills," said Cooper.
"He wasn't hired," said Jones. "He lost worse than I did against the same man, so you know, I don't pay much attention to that."
Cooper has run for the seat before and lost.
This time around, the budget is the big issue.
"You can't please everybody, but you can get a consensus, figure out what the people want, how much they're willing to pay, you know tax them accordingly," explained Cooper.
"I understand last year that only the Judge was meeting with the department heads on the budget and I promise the people this, it will be me and the judge, it won't be just him," said Jones.
Bad roads out in the county are something whoever gets in office will have to deal with, but both candidates said road work will be a priority.
"I will work to make sure everyone's roads are safe, accessible and to the best construction level that our budget can provide, that I can promise," said Cooper.
"When you come in, and say my road hasn't been patched, blah, blah, blah, whatever, then we pull the sheet out, see where our problem is because I know this road was worked, what day and who did it," said Jones.
Both candidates said they'll work to get more jobs in the area.
"I think the people will look at me and say well he does have the experience and well my opponent, he's a good fellow, don't get me wrong, and I like him, but I've just got him out-qualified," Jones stated.
"Look at the skill sets, look at the background that we have, I have education, agriculture, technology, and finance," said Cooper. "I bring energy and direction, a willingness to lead, a willingness to listen to the people."
One thing they both agree on, it will be a close race.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 and 3 are also contested races in the county.
Former Texas Game Warden Donnie Puckett is challenging Democratic incumbent Commissioner R.G. Bowers for the position.
Incumbent JP Morris Morehead will face Republican nominee Bradley Stringer for the Precinct 3 JP spot.
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