Navarro County Republicans Rally at the Corsicana Opry

Republican Rally Deborah Gagliardi
Republican Rally Deborah Gagliardi
By Mark Archibald - Corsicana Daily Sun
Navarro County Republicans and the Republican Women of Navarro County sponsored a rally Thursday January 18 at the Corsicana Opry and Event Center in Corsicana.

Candidates met with voters during a social hour then gave short introductions from the stage. For many voters, it was a first look at Republican candidates for federal, state, and local offices Thursday.

"Events like these are important because voters got a chance to put a name with a face of those who might represent us," said Eddie Moore, Navarro County Commissioner Precinct 3.

First to take the stage were candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Texas's Sixth Congressional District, which includes Navarro County. The retirement of Joe Barton, the long-serving Republican from Ennis, means that the seat is open for the first time since 1985.

The format of the event and time constraints did not allow for the candidates to take questions from the stage, but voters did have the opportunity to visit individually with candidates during a social hour.

Immigration, National Security, and Economic Growth were the dominant topics.

Ken Cope touched on another local issue, highlighting his opposition to the proposed High Speed Rail to differentiate himself from the crowed primary field.

Cope's position got a positive reaction from some in the crowd who believe that the plan would adversely affect Navarro County.

Jake Ellzey told the crowd of approximately 80 people that he was intent on running, even if Congressman Barton had stayed in the race. Ellzey is a former military pilot who currently works for Southwest Airlines.

"I disagreed with Barton's vote and support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," Ellzey said.

"President Trump keeps his promises. I agree with his immigration policy."

Ellzey said he would be a strong proponent for State's rights and local control.

Ellzey, who previously was a candidate for Texas's tenth district, is making his first run for Congress.

Troy Ratteree said he entered the race to represent the small business people in this district and America. Ratteree is a first-time candidate who said he was called to enter this race after prayer and consulting with his family.

"The amount of regulations that small business owners face chokes the spirit from those who are trying to better themselves and their families," Ratteree said.

The crowded field will face voters in a primary election March 6. Democrats are also facing a primary challenge as well. The winners will face-off in November 2018.

Candidates for Texas House District 8 also introduced themselves. Cody Harris, Thomas McNutt and Dr. Linda Timmerman are vying to replace Byron Cook, Republican, Corsicana.

The seat is open after Cook announced that he would not seek reelection. Harris and Timmerman are running for the position for the first time. McNutt is running for a second time, after losing a contentious primary to Texas Representative Byron Cook in 2016.

Bob Carroll, Eddie Perry, and Bradley Boyte want to represent voters in Precinct 2 as their Navarro County Commissioner.

Road maintenance, public safety and the budget management process were mentioned as priorities for all of the Navarro County Commissioner candidates.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Dick Martin plans to retire following the completion of his current term.

Precinct 4 Commissioner James Olsen is seeking to retain his position on Navarro County Commissioners Court.

Olsen said he asks that people and that he kept his promises as County Commissioner. Olsen reminded that he was an advocate for the people and that he was against the High Speed Rail proposal. He asked for people "not to change the guard." Olsen is being challenged by Terry Brooks of the Navarro County Sheriff's Department.

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace candidates Darrell R. Waller and R.D. Lewis each touted their experience and asked for the support of those in attendance. Waller is the incumbent.

The meeting was considered a success by current Republican Chairman Chris Baldwin who is seeking another term as chairman. Baldwin is being challenged by Eric R. Meyers who said he intends to unite conservatives and grow the party.

All candidates will be on the ballot March 6. Early voting will be February 20 to March 2.

Billy Elias sings God Bless America
Billy Elias sings God Bless America
Republican Rally Kevin Harrison
Republican Rally Kevin Harrison
Republican Rally Ken Cope
Republican Rally Ken Cope
Republican Rally Jake Ellzey
Republican Rally Jake Ellzey

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