Weatherford Democrat

March 5, 2014

Vinson, Hollis in JP3 runoff; Johnson wins JP4 race


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE



Easily beating her opponent with more than 69 percent of the vote, according to final unofficial results, incumbent Lynn Marie Johnson was chosen by voters as the Republican candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4.

With no Democratic challenger, Johnson will continue to hold the position through 2018.

Johnson’s challenger, Bernard Suchocki, a trial attorney who is finishing out his term on the Willow Park City Council, attempted to limit Johnson to one term as justice of the peace in East Parker County but wound up with 1,137 votes to Johnson’s 2,580.

See JP Races, page 3

“My family and I are really happy,” said Johnson, who brought her school-age daughters to the courthouse Tuesday after the polls closed. “My husband and kids and I campaigned real hard these past couple months, but the whole campaign was really focused on what we could do for our community. It’s all about service. It’s always been about, not only reflecting the community, but giving back and making a positive and constructive impact on people’s lives, particularly teenagers. And that’s what I think the result is about. A lot of campaigns are negative and ours was always trying to be positive about what we’ve done and what we continue to do, to continue to make the positive changes that we’ve made.” 

“A special thank you to all those that helped, and [former] Judge [Melvin] Simons and former constable Bob Brown and a lot of other folks that came into the picture to make this happen,” Johnson said.

The race to fill the shoes of outgoing Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Suzie Merkley, who chose not to run for election again, continues to remain undecided.

Parker County District Attorney’s investigator Dusty Vinson, who received nearly 41 percent of the vote, and Parker County Sheriff’s Deputy Anne Hollis, who received more than 32 percent of the vote, will duke it out in the May 27 primary runoffs for the chance to take on judicial responsibilities for the south and west portions of the county. No Democratic challenger filed for the position.

Vinson and Hollis, both with a long history as Parker County law enforcement officers, beat out relative Parker County newcomers Jerry Hataway, a retired Arlington police officer, and Greg Martin, a businessman, in the four-way race. 

Vinson received 1,341 votes and Hollis 1,059, while Hataway received 521 and Martin received 365.

“I feel really blessed,” Vinson said Tuesday night. “I’m thankful for the support I’ve gotten. It’s pretty overwhelming.”

“I just ask that people get out and vote during the runoff and get this done,” Vinson added.

“I’m very excited about it,” Hollis said in reaction to Tuesday’s results. “I’m glad to be in a runoff and I’m up for campaigning and getting as many people out to vote in basically eight more weeks.”

Registered voters in Precinct 3 who did not vote during the primary elections or who did participate in the Republican primary can vote in the May 27 runoff election.