WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — On Super Tuesday, voters will decide who will take over a seat that’s been held by the same Wichita County Justice of the Peace for more than 30-years.
Janice Sons retired from JP Precinct 1, Place 1 in December and Judge Mike Little is filling in through the rest of her term.
Now three Republican candidates are wanting Wichita County resident’s vote.
Annetta Pope, Joseph Robeson, and James Hughes are all Wichita County natives and MSU grads.
Janice Sons had a decorated career marrying more than 20,000 couples and when she announced it was time to give the seat up, Pope threw her name in the hat.
“I’m the type of person, that’s in my DNA, I work hard,” Pope said.
Pope has more than 23 years of military training and experience. She served on the Wichita Falls City Council during the drought. Her goals if she were elected is to begin e-filing cases and provide outreach for the youth in the county.
“Going out before the kids come into Place 2 for truancy, go out and talk to the kids, let them know they need to stay in school, let them know that education is important,” Pope said.
Robeson has a military background too and has spent the last 13 years on the Wichita Falls Police Department.
“Being in leadership and that environment, you combine the two and that’s what you’re gonna need as the next Justice of the Peace,” Robeson said.
He said his knowledge of the law and applying that every day will help guide him as JP if elected. As a police officer, much of the work he does in the streets ends up in the JP courtroom
“My goal is just to maintain that office, keep it running smoothly the way it has been, Judge Sons spent 31 years in that office and ran it very very well so I’m not trying to change anything, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, just want to keep the dockets moving, treating people justly, fair and applying the law,” Robeson said.
Hughes, the final candidate, is one who has worked in the Justice of the Peace office for 8 years as a truancy caseworker.
“The knowledge and the wisdom that I’ve learned working in that office has prepared me to be a judge,” Hughes said.
Hughes worked juvenile probation for 10 years and believes his almost 20 years of criminal justice experience will help him reach his goals if chosen to be the next JP.
“Working with the public, working with the community, working with the staff in that office, streamline the paper process, let people get to court as quickly as possible, make our court available, help with the truancy cases and just be there for the public,” Hughes said.
With all three candidates running as Republicans, the primary election is the deciding factor with each hoping residents decide to vote for them.
All three candidates credit their different career and life experiences to why they should be elected.
It’s now up to those who voted early and those who will participate at the polls on Super Tuesday.