The Mineral Wells Index recently asked candidates running in the five contested county races to provide information and answer – within 300 words or less – questions in order to help voters decide who to support and vote for.

The primary elections are March 3, and early voting begins February 18.

Only Republicans are running local races. There are no Democratic candidates seeking a county office.

Following are responses from Scott Mitcham, incumbent candidate for Palo Pinto County Constable Pct. 5:

Name: Scott Mitcham

Age: 59

Employment: Constable for Palo Pinto County Precinct 5

Family: I have been happily married to my wife, Thelma, for 40 years. I have two wonderful daughters. My oldest, Jessica, is married to Cheyenne Freeman and I have four wonderful grandsons, Jase, Jaxon, Braylon and Bryson. My youngest, Becky, is married to Cody Barrington, and I have two wonderful granddaughters, Breleigh and Cambreigh, and one wonderful grandson, Cole.

Education: Graduated Mineral Wells High School and Master Peace Officer License.

The Mineral Wells Index recently asked candidates running in the five contested county races to provide information and answer – within 300 words or less – questions in order to help voters decide who to support and vote for.

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QUESTION 1: What experience, qualifications, training and other background qualifies you to be constable and makes you the best candidate for the position?

I am a longtime Palo Pinto County resident and I am proud to have raised my family here. My 30 years of law enforcement experience, in both civil and criminal, has allowed me to provide the expertise this office requires.

I started my career as a patrolman for the Mineral Wells Police Department in 1985. Later, I served as a narcotics agent, undercover officer for the Cross Timbers Narcotics Taskforce, Detective, Commander of the City County Narcotics Unit and Interim Chief of Police for the Mineral Wells Police Department. As a narcotics officer and detective, I developed a large network of resources that has continued to assist with civil process and criminal investigations. I will also continue to work with all law enforcement agencies to stop illegal drug activities in our community and serve our community wherever and whenever needed.

My current experience as Constable, and past experience as Interim Chief of Police and as a small business owner, taught me how to successfully write and manage a budget. This experience has helped me to build strong working relationships with the County Offices and our community, while maintaining a conservative budget.

I have been the Constable of Palo Pinto County Precinct 5 for the last three years. I ask for your continued support and vote, so that we can preserve our way of life as we move forward.

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QUESTION 2: Please describe the primary, and then secondary, duties and roles of a county constable. What does a constable do?

Texas Constables are the law enforcement arm for the courts and are bound by the Texas Constitution to provide bailiffs for Justice of the Peace Courts. All five Palo Pinto County Constables serve as bailiffs for Palo Pinto County 29th District Court, rotating once every five weeks.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 holds court almost daily. This requires the Constable to bailiff court daily. This also generates a lot of civil papers, evictions and writs. These papers are time-sensitive and must be served without delay.

Civil standbys are executed by the Constable when parties are having a dispute and an officer needs to assist for public safety. At times being a Constable can get dangerous, especially when you go to someone’s house to serve court papers or even evict them.

I also answer emergency calls for the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office when needed, as well as back up all law enforcements agencies. I patrol neighborhoods and work traffic when time allows. You’re not defined by anything so specific that it stops you from doing what is necessary at the time. A Constable is a full-time peace officer and I will always do what is necessary to maintain the peace and protect the citizens of Palo Pinto County.

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QUESTION 3: Why do you want to be constable for Pct. 5 of Palo Pinto County?

It has been an honor to serve Palo Pinto County as the Constable of Precinct 5. I love my job and I am proud of the progress that I’ve made over the last three years, but I have a lot left to do.

As our community continues to grow, so do the challenges of my office. It is more important now, than ever, to have an experienced and dedicated Constable to meet these challenges. Unfortunately when the Constable comes to your door he delivers papers with some type of hardship. I try not only deliver these papers, but also try to help find a solution.

I want to continue to serve as your Constable, because I like to help people in time of need. I want to preserve the success of this office that I have worked so hard to achieve. I ask for your continued support and vote on March 3rd, 2020, as we move forward.  

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QUESTION 4: What are the biggest challenges faced in this office related to the roles and duties described above, and how have/will you address those?

As Mineral Wells grows, the number of civil papers and evictions also increase. Investors and developers have been remodeling our older neighborhoods and businesses which are making our town beautiful again. This creates a problem, decreasing the amount of our lower rent housing.

I execute evictions and Writ of Possessions in the Mineral Wells area. This brings people to my office trying to find housing. I work with government agencies and non-profits trying to assist people to give them options that financially suit them. These issues are not only unique to Mineral Wells, but it’s a nationwide issue. I will continue to try to help anyone to better their lives or get back on their feet.

Not only is housing an issue but our community is also having to deal with a significant number of people engaging in problematic drug use. My office assists the City and County Narcotics unit in drug enforcement. I assist with investigations and make drug interdiction traffic stops when needed. I worked Narcotics my entire career and will continue to help all law enforcement agencies with any of these issues.

The drug problem also extends to the family unit. This causes violence and dangerous situations in the house. I work closely with the Texas Child Protective Services to protect our children. Children are our most important resource and we all have to work together to protect them.

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