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Bowie County Judge Sterling Lacy Decides Against Running for Re-Election

Republican Bowie County Judge Sterling Lacy has decided not to run for a 2nd term in office.Lacy issued a press release today concerning the election and the last three years in office:

We are at the three-year mark in my first term as Bowie County Judge and it’s time to announce if I am going to run for a second term.  I know things looked like a roller coaster ride at times, but for me it has been a joy ride. As I tell the young people when I give my talks, “If you want to be a people-helper, consider public service.”

As County Judge I make about 1,000 rulings a year in probate, guardianship, and mental health cases. In addition to that there are many opportunities to make improvements. For instance, mental health hearings are now conducted by video conferencing. This removes a threat to our transportation officers and it was set up at no cost to our taxpayers.

Improvements have been made in the Courthouse: we have been able to pay for a new elevator and installed a new, much needed, phone system saving us thousands of dollars a year for frequent repairs. The courthouse now has a monitored smoke detection system, security cameras and panic buttons in the offices and courtrooms.

We tightened our belt by shrinking the budget from $35 million down to $29 million. And we have approved balanced budgets for two years in a row.

For the second year in a row I was inducted as a Fellow into the Texas Judicial Academy sponsored by Texas Tech University School of Law.

The Texas Leadership Circle recognizes counties who have exceeded the state’s requirements for financial transparency. Bowie County, through the efforts of my staff, has already received the Silver Award and is just weeks away from the Gold Award.

I am proud to have alerted the public to the chance to lower their taxes by petition for a property tax rate rollback election. This opportunity was possible because the Commissioners’ tax rate for operations exceeded the increase allowed by the State of Texas by more than double: from 8% to 16.87%.

I reduced the salary for County Judge by $13,000 my first year in office and kept it there for two more years all the while declining to accept the pay increases granted to all other County employees. These savings to the County over the past three years add up to over $50,000.

A number of changes have been made. Changes bring dissension. It is the dissension that makes the headline news. This is a big part of what makes up the political arena in America…always has…always will. It comes with the job.

So, am I going to run for a second term? NO.

Recent events in my life have shifted my focus. Old plans and dreams beckon completion.

I am determined to finish strong while completing my last thirteen months in office. I wish my successor well and will assist in a smooth transition.

Former Bowie County Judge James Carlow has switched from the Democratic to Republican Party and has announced intentions to seek his old job back in next year’s election. Meanwhile Bowie County resident Jeff Akin announced on Facebook today that he too is running for County Judge.

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