By Deanna Kirk — Corsicana Daily Sun
November 10, 2018
The untimely and tragic passing of Navarro County’s beloved District Attorney R. Lowell Thompson has left a void in the county government process.
Many around town have pondered the question, “Who will take Thompson’s place in the DA’s office?”
The process is not one First Assistant District Attorney Will Thompson was familiar with, until now. Research of Texas Government Code 601.002 indicates that the first assistant immediately becomes the Interim District Attorney.
“The next step is that the Governor will appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next General Election,” Thompson said. “There are criteria for qualification to be appointed, very similar to criteria to file to run for election.”
Referring to the Texas Election Code 141.001, Thompson said this was an election year for Lowell, he simply did not draw an opponent either in the Primaries or the General Election. “The Governor will appoint someone to fill the vacancy who will serve until the next General Election in 2020,” he said. “Then presumably someone will run, whoever wins that election will serve a two-year term until the end of that term 2022. Then it would return to the normal schedule.”
Thompson said he was willing to serve in the capacity for the two years, but upon doing the research, learned he was not eligible since he is not a Navarro County resident. “I’m not sure the rule with regard to the timing of when the Governor will make that appointment,” Thompson said. “I am told it will likely fall somewhere between the middle of November and the middle of January, but nothing hard and fast with regard to schedule.”
In the Governor’s office, there is an office of appointment that handles appointments for all types of vacancies for many different offices. Thompson said he has spoken with someone in that office, and they are currently very busy with a number of other appointments, including some judges’s seats.
“They collect applications for various vacancies and process those and make recommendations or interview or whatever they do for the Governor,” he said. “Anyone wishing to be appointed will have to submit an application to the appointment office in the Governor’s office.”
But until that happens, First Assistant District Attorney Will Thompson is the Interim District Attorney. That is automatic, and requires no approval or appointment by anyone.