CLEBURNE – The future of the Johnson County Republican Party will be younger people and women.
That's the demographic new Johnson County Republican Women's Club president Brenda Gammon pledged she would work hard to recruit during her term that began Tuesday when state Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, administered her oath at the Johnson County Republican Club's Christmas party.
"I'm really excited to start a young Republican group. I'm passionate about that," Gammon said. "I'm also passionate about getting women involved in politics."
She pledged to work to strengthen the GOP's grip on Johnson County, if that is possible. The party had 20 candidates file for county level offices on the 2014 primary ballot. The county's Democratic party had none.
"I'm conservative and I always have been. I've always supported Republican principles," Gammon said. "We're going to make a difference in each other's lives and in the future. Just think of the things we can accomplish."
She related a story on the importance of one vote.
"My husband lost a school board election once by two votes – my mom's vote and my dad's vote," Gammon said. "Find out what the issues are and get involved."
Pete Wrench, recently appointed chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party, shared his take on what Republican is and should be. Like Gammon, he pledged to work for conservative principles and strengthening the Republican Party in Johnson County.
A collection of opposed and unopposed candidates on the Republican primary ballot rose to present a brief case in support of their candidacy a day following the end of filing.
County Judge Roger Harmon is being opposed for his seat by Justin Hewlett and Derek George.
"I think I have the track record to prove that I am conservative," Harmon said.
"I'm concerned for the future of this county like everyone else," Hewlett countered in his presentation.
George called voters the "boss" of the elected officials.
"I want to be the voice of the people. I will be the voice of the people," George said. "If there is something you don't like, come and tell me and we'll work on it."
County Clerk Becky Williams, unopposed on the ballot, told Republicans of some initiatives she took in her first term to improve her office's services, like placing property records online.
"There are lots of great things coming your way," Williams said.
Candidates for two county commissioner seats also rose to present their cases.
"I want to finish what I have started," Kenny Howell said.
He will be opposed for the Precinct 2 seat by Eddy Bransom, who did not attend the Christmas party.
Larry Wooley recalled being approached about running for commissioner about a decade ago and now deciding to make that decision.
"The time is right for me and Johnson County," he said. "I come to you with a multidimensional background of public and private experience."
He will campaign for the GOP's nod for the open seat against Bart Basham, A.J. Mathieu, David Patterson and Tim Sinclair.
"What I want to do for the county is keep it strong and make it stronger," Mathieu said.
Sinclair has served in a variety of capacities in the community, he said.
"I want the opportunity to continue to serve," Sinclair said.
Bart Basham and David Patterson did not attend the Christmas party.
Wrench will be opposed by Robin Wilson for party chairman. Each pledged their leadership would strengthen the party.
Additionally, unopposed justice of the peace incumbents Ronnie McBroom and Jeff Monk rose to speak, along with court at law judges. In court No. 2, Stu Madison and Steve McClure are vying for the open seat.
Three of the four candidates for state representative rose to speak. The candidates are DeWayne Burns, Philip Eby, Lyndon Laird and Henry Teich. Laird did not attend the Christmas party.