6 filing for open Shelby County DA seat - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6 filing for open Shelby County DA seat; 4 hoping to unseat sheriff

CENTER, TX (KTRE) -

A host of candidates in Shelby County have filed to try to capture two of the top law enforcement positions in the county.

Six candidates have signed up to become district attorney, which is an open seat after Lynda K. Russell announced earlier this year that she would be resigning in December.

Four candidates have signed up on the Republican ticket to try to unseat Democratic Sheriff Newton Johnson, including Center Police Detective Joey Haley, who was on trial earlier this year on a felony charge.

For the DA position, the list includes two lawyers who worked for the office as special prosecutors and a former district attorney of Shelby County.

Those running for the position on the Republican ticket are Louie Des Champs, of San Augustine; Kenneth Florence, of Shelbyville; Cornelia Hartman, of Center; Karren S. Price, of Center; and John R. Smith, of Center. Stephen Shires has signed up on the Democratic ticket.

Price is a former district attorney and district judge. Smith worked as a special prosecutor in the case against Haley and Shires worked as a special prosecutor against Mark McAvoy, a former Shelby County deputy who was acquitted of animal neglect charges.

Running for sheriff on the Republican ticket are Willis B. Blackwell, of Center; Haley, of Joaquin; Troy J. Massey, of Center; and Josh Tipton, of Timpson.

Haley was on trial in October for aggravated perjury in connection to a case of a fight between two deputies. A visiting judge issued an acquittal in the case after a key witness for the prosecution opted to plead the Fifth Amendment, giving the prosecution no evidence in the case.

Blackwell is a former Texas game warden and deputy with the sheriff's office.

Tipton is a former deputy with the sheriff's office.

Johnson is running for reelection on the Democratic ticket, a position he has held since 2005.

Below is a complete list of candidates who have signed up for the primary election in Shelby County.

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

* Louie Des Champs

* Kenneth Florence

* Cornelia Hartman

* Karren S. Price

* John R. Smith

SHERIFF

* Willis B. Blackwell

* Joey Haley

* Troy J. Massey

* Josh Tipton

TAX ASSESSOR/COLLECTOR

* Teresa Raymond Hughes

* Pam Shofner

COMMISSIONER, PCT. 1

* Donnie Borders

* Roscoe McSwain (I)

COMMISSION, PCT. 3

* Kenneth "Bo" Parker

* Travis Rodgers (I)

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PCT. 1

* Melissa Crouch

* Randy Robertson

CONSTABLE, PCT. 3

* Billy Hearnsberger (I)

* John Pope

CONSTABLE, PCT. 4

* Bryan Gray

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

DISTRICT JUDGE

* Guy Griffin (I)

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

* Stephen Shires

COUNTY ATTORNEY

* Gary Rholes (I)

SHERIFF

* Newton Johnson (I)

CONSTABLE, PCT. 1

* Zach Moore (I)

CONSTABLE, PCT. 2

* Shad Sparks (I)

CONSTABLE, PCT. 3

* Roy Cheatwood

CONSTABLE, PCT. 4

* Fred Walker (I)

CONSTABLE, PCT. 5

* Stanley Burgay (I)

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PCT. 1

* Maxie Eaves (I)

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