WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Some elected officials are continuing their positions with Wichita County.
Several county officials were sworn in today, some to remain in their positions and some to change positions.
A few officials have made history with the positions that they’re in and some said they plan to work for the betterment of the county. With that, David Duke enters his 13th year and 4th term as Wichita County Sheriff.
Duke made history in 1982 as the youngest deputy ever working in the jail at just 18 years old, and has served almost 38 years in the sheriff’s office.
But he never quite saw sheriff in his future
“At 18, I never thought about being the sheriff. I had other visions of being a police officer,” Duke said. “Being able to work this long, it’s real gratifying to see where we’re at now more than we had when I first started. And so it’s day and night different.”
Meredith Kennedy enters her next term as judge of the 78th district court.
Kennedy was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to replace former Judge Barney Fudge in November 2019 after Fudge retired.
She is the first woman to preside over the 78th district and the first Republican woman to be a district judge in the county.
“It’s exciting,” Kennedy said. “I was very happy that I didn’t draw an opponent in the primary. So it was not a very difficult election luckily for me.”
Mike Little retired from his Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Place 1 position after almost 25 years in 2018.
In late 2019, Little announced his run for constable of Precinct 1 but was sworn in as Interim Justice of the Peace in January 2020 after Judge Janice Sons retired.
Little won his constable seat and is back in his element serving the county.
“I just look forward to serving the community; it’s something I’ve done,” Little said. “When I went into retirement, I really missed that. I was retired for about six months and that’s when I decided I really didn’t like being retired.”
Filing Judge sons’ seat is James Hughes.
Hughes worked in the Justice of the Peace office for eight years as a truancy case worker.
Also sworn in for new terms were county commissioners Barry Mahler and Mark Beauchamp and James Gowen for constable precinct four.
Each official present said they wouldn’t be where they are without the support of the community and their family.
Dozens of new Wichita County Sheriff’s Office deputies were also sworn in this afternoon.