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Wichita County Officials, Deputies Take Oath of Office

With the new year comes some new faces taking over government offices around the country and here in Texoma.  Tuesday morning, those newly elected or re-elected to Wichita County office took their oaths and were sworn into their positions.
    Wichita County officials elected during the november elections took their oath of office Tuesday morning.
    Tommy Smyth was sworn in as the county's tax assessor collector.
    "Probably about the first month or so we really want to go in and more or less absorb, observe, and look around and kind of get a real good feel or the operational and functional side of the office," Smyth says.  "I really don't plan on any point in time any immediate changes."
    Smyth says down the road, he will consider implementing creative approaches in how he thinks the tax assessor collector office should function.
    "You know, it's not uncommon in Dallas and even in Lubbock that you can go to the supermarket and get your tags renewed at the supermarket," Smyth says.
    Sheriff David Duke ran unopposed in the election, and was sworn in as Wichita County sheriff for a second term.
    "Although I was unopposed, I think it says a lot about what i was able to do my first term to change things that really need changing and to do things that are positive and [have] a proactive approach toward law enforcement for Wichita County," Duke says.
    In the next four years, he says he hopes to implement neighborhood watch programs in unincorporated areas of Wichita County.
    "You know, the more eyes we have out there to help look for bad guys, it's best for all of us," Duke says.
    And for the second time in county history, Wichita County deputies also took the oath of office.
    "I want these deputies to stand in public to honor their badge and honor the office with integrity and to me that's very important," Duke says.  "That's what I believe.  That's what I stand [for] as sheriff and what I want this agency to follow."
    Eighty-ninth District Judge Mark Price won his contested race and was sworn in.
    Seventy-eighth District Judge Barney Fudge also took the oath of office; as did Precinct One Commissioner Ray Gonzalez, Precinct Three Commissioner Barry Mahler, who won his contested race; Justice of the Peace Precinct One Place One Janice Sons; Precinct One Constable Mark Brewer; Precinct Two Constable Tom Black; and Precinct Three Constable Randy Alsup.
    Wednesday will be Smyth's and other officials' first day in office for their new term.
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