CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The people of Clay County have cast their ballots and chosen their Justice of the Peace after a contentious primary election season.

Lanny Evans, a 25-year member of the Henrietta ISD School Board, defeated incumbent John Swenson after his first term in office.

The winner of the May 24 Primary Runoff will represent the Republican party in the November General Election with no Democrat running against him, effectively securing their seat.

The runoff election came at the advice of the Secretary of State after a candidate on the ballot in the March 1 Primary was disqualified from running for office.

Michael Russell was disqualified because officials say they didn’t find he wasn’t registered to vote until he tried to vote. Russell came in third with 18% behind Evans and Swenson.

Following the disqualification of Russell, Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said under election law when a candidate is ruled ineligible, the candidates in the runoff are determined in the regular manner, without regard to the votes received by the ineligible candidate.

This would have given the victory to Evans, who received nearly 100 more votes than Swenson.

Tensions in the race rose even further after a citation to remove Swenson from office was filed in Clay County on May 7, the same day as the special election called for amendments to the Texas Constitution.

According to the Clay County Leader, the citation alleges Swenson engaged in official misconduct, including “improper courtroom proceedings” and “false criminal complains against both elected and appointed County Officials.”

**OPTION 1**

Despite Swenson winning the May 24 Primary Runoff Election, the allegations made against him raise concerns about how long his second term as Justice of the Peace will last.

**OPTION 2**

The allegations against Swenson would appear to be a formality with Evans set to take office following the November General Election.

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