Results From Contested Sheriff Races in Texoma


It’s unusual, but this time around, we have several contested races for Sheriff to report, with incumbents and some new faces in the field.

There are four races in particular KFDX followed tonight.

The first is in Clay County where it looks like Sheriff Kenny Lemons will serve a third term, beating Jeff Lyde, a former sergeant with DPS.

Sheriff Lemons said his track record speaks to his qualifications, everything from being fiscally responsible, to reducing the crime rate.

“The crime rate has dropped somewhere around 71 percent since I took office in 2009,” Sheriff Lemons said. “And at the same time, we’ve increased the solve-ability of the cases by eight percent.”

No Democrat filed in this contest.

There’s also no Democrat filed in the Montague County Sheriff race, and incumbent Paul Cunningham will not be serving a third term, as he was unseated by former Texas Ranger Marshall Thomas.

“I want to be a leader not a supervisor, I want to be out there with the guys when possible,” newly elected Sheriff Marshall Thomas said. “There are times that I’ll have to be in the office, taking care of jail, budgets, and all that, but I believe I need to be out there as a leader working cases with the guys.”

Paul Cunningham said regardless of tonight’s results, he has pride in the job he’s done for Montague County.

“The seven years I’ve been sheriff, I’ve passed all the jail inspections with flying colors,” he said. “I’ve even received praise from the Jail Commission on the ability that we have to manage the jail and keep it up to standards. I’m pretty proud of that.”

To the west in Wilbarger County, there will be a new sheriff after incumbent Sheriff Larry Lee announced his retirement earlier this year.

Deputy Bill Price, who had the support of Sheriff Lee, won without a runoff, with Kevin Holland coming in second.

Price said he’s always thought it was his destiny to be sheriff, and he uses the same office his great-grandfather sat in beginning in 1928.

He will go against Democrat Clinton Nava in the November election.

Interim Wilbarger Sheriff, Kenny Alexander, will serve until the end of December.

There will eventually be a new top man in the Young County Sheriff’s Office after Bryan Walls didn’t file to run again.

Five candidates filed in the Republican Primary, sending the top two from tonight’s polls to a runoff.

Tim Bay came in with about 30 percent and Billy Jay Hutchens got about 28 percent.

Bay has 24 years law enforcement experience, including time with WFPD, and twenty years with the Young County Sheriff’s Office.

Hutchens has 22 years experience, including with the Graham Police Department and Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office.

The winner of the runoff on May 24 will be elected sheriff, with no Democrat filing.

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