By JUDY SHERIDAN
“I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution and laws of the United States and this state ...”
Parker County’s newly elected officials were sworn in — many by family members — during a well-attended and formal ceremony conducted Monday at the courthouse. There are four new faces: 43rd District Judicial Court Judge Craig Towson, Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden, Precinct 2 Constable Joe Harris, Jr. and Precinct 4 Constable Scott Jones.
State Rep. Phil King opened with an invocation, asking God to give officials “good judgment, wisdom, discretion and the courage to make the hard decisions.”
Judge Mark Riley’s office manager, Sophie Clark, sang the national anthem.
The 13 officials were sworn in according to ballot order, beginning with Towson, who was given the oath by 415th District Judge Graham Quisenberry. Towson will replace Trey Loftin, who was defeated in the Republican primaries after a hotly contested race.
“Thank you to the family and friends I knew I had and the ones I met on this campaign,” Towson, who confessed to being “overwhelmed” before the meeting, said. “I will do my best to make everyone in Parker County proud.”
Quisenberry, beginning his 19th year of public service, was sworn in by Judge Jerry Buckner. District Attorney Don Schnebly was sworn in by Quisenberry.
Judge Ben Akers, of County Court at Law 2, was sworn in by his children, Maggie and Mark.
Eliciting smiles and loud applause from the crowd, County Attorney John Forrest’s articulate second-grade son Jax administered the oath while Forrest’s wife Erika held the Bible.
Sheriff Larry Fowler, approaching 50 years in law enforcement, was also sworn in by his son, Larry Fowler, Jr. Fowler has served as sheriff for eight years.
County Tax Accessor-Collector Marjorie King, who defeated Larry Lippincott in another heated primary race, was not present and will be sworn in at a later time, according to the program.