NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County has elected Greg Sowell as the Republican nominee for county judge.
He defeated Mike Perry, the incumbent judge. There is no Democratic nominee, so Sowell is now preparing for a career change.
In January or sooner, decades of law enforcement service will come to an end.
"Congratulations," a supporter told Sowell Wednesday.
Sowell, a sergeant with the Nacogdoches Police Department, received lots of congratulatory greetings at the Nacogdoches Senior Center. For years, he's served on the board, most recently as chair. It's just one of many hats he'll have to take off when he assumes the county judge duties in January.
"I look at this as not changing jobs," Sowell said. "It's not changing philosophies. It's not changing anything other than position because I have tried my best to work for the public."
Sowell served 38 years in law enforcement. The sergeant says he doesn't know when he'll take the badge off.
"As far as how long I will work, I don't know," Sowell said. "I haven't made that decision yet."
The transition can take up to seven months. Judge Mike Perry lost his bid for another term, but he's confident he'll forever remain a community servant.
"I've been interested seeing that the taxpayers get what they deserve," Perry said. "It's been a good ride."
"Judge Perry is a fine man and I wish him the best," Sowell said.
Sowell will be joined by two new commissioners. Like so many past judges, his goal is to create a spirit of cooperation.
"I think a lot of that is done by example; the judge can set the tone," Sowell said.
For now, the tone is nothing but gratitude.
A total of 672 votes separated the two candidates. Sowell's name will be on the November ballot for the judge's position. There are no opponents.