CAMPAIGN CONTROVERSY: Race for Smith County constable heats up prior to primaries

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – As the primaries venture closer, candidates met at the NAACP office to give their position as to why they should be elected.

During the event, three candidates spoke for the position of Smith County Constable of Precinct One.

Correction officer Curtis Harris is running along with Constable Bobby Garmon and Constable Willie Mims.

However, tonight didn’t come without a little heat between them.

Incumbent, Constable Bobby Garmon has recently filed a lawsuit claiming one of his opponents, Constable Willie Mims doesn’t meet the requirements to be on the ballot.

“Recently one of my opponents have put out something that really wasn’t true. I think they slandered my name a little it, but I’m pretty sure we are going to bounce back from it,” said Mims.

According to the lawsuit, Constable Bobby Garmon claims Mims does not meet requirements to run. He said out of the 200 signatures submitted to run, 85 of them were invalid. He went on to state that 17 of them did not have birthdates or voter registration number, eight of them did not contain the date in which the person signed, and 60 of them were from people not registered in precinct one.

“What we are going to stick to is the facts. The facts is that Willie Mims filed the petition on time, it was accepted by the county chair, the democratic party chair, and the secretary of state,” said Claretta Allen, Campaign manager for Mims.

The current chairman of the Smith County Democratic Party Michael Tolbert said, “The secretary of State will defend us as long as we are acting in good faith and acting in accordance with the law.”

KETK reached out to Constable Garmon, but he said he has no comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Chairman Tolbert said the judge has to make a decision on whether to allow Mims to run or not before voters head to the polls on March 3.

Biographies of each candidate are below:

Constable Bobby Garmon

On December 14, 2017, I was appointed as Interim Constable of Precinct One. Since day one, I have worked to build relationships in the community and with other agencies. With much prayer and support from my family, friends and community, I today hereby announce my candidacy for Constable Precinct One. I have the training and experience that it takes to be an effective leader and represent the community.

  • Marries to Cheryl Garmon 38 year
  • Two sons Robert US Deputy Marshall and Terrance Attorney
  • Member Ebenezer AME Church
  • 38 years Law Enforcement Experience
  • Chief Deputy Smith County Sheriff’s Office (retires)
  • Master Peace Officer
  • Managed a $25 million government budget
  • Supervised 350+ employees

Constable Willie Mims

Precinct 1 family – besides my real family you all truly have blessed me and supported me in more ways than I can count. I am so lucky and fortunate to live my whole life in Precinct 1 (with the exception of my military service), growing up in East End, making amazing friendships along the way and having a growing network of supporters over the last 18 years of my peace officer career. When I was in the military and serving the country I love overseas in Korea, I came home and through paramedic training I made the decision to become a cop. When the opportunity arose to take that path and do service rather than be served, my family and the Precinct 1 Community that I love so much has been my main focus to keep the streets safe from all enemies foreign and domestic. To know this community is to love this community and it’s been my life’s mission (since I was a young man) to protect it.

  • Precinct 1 Constable officer (2005 to current)
  • Holds on Advanced Peace Officer license
  • VP of East Texas Constable & Justice of the Peace Association (2018-current)
  • Voluntarily served in the US Army for 6 years and served overseas in Korea
  • Wants to bring back the community Policing Program (ended in 2017)
  • Wants to bring back the Tobacco Program (ended in 2017)
  • Wants to bring strong leadership back in the office (ended in 2017)

Correction officer Curtis Harris

With over 13 years of experience in the Criminal Justice Field, I have work in Adult and Juvenile Corrections as well as County Detention earning my Corrections certification in 2006, Jailers License in 2009 and Peace Officer Certification in 2013. I also earned My B.S. in Criminology with a minor in Criminal Justice in 2015. I am the only candidate with a degree in Law enforcement. I was born and raised in Tyler attending Ramey, Boulter and John Tyler before graduating from Robert E Lee. I am the best candidate to move precinct one forward by focusing on community relations and youth engagement through internship.

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