Editor's note: This is the first of two candidate questionnaires to be published ahead of the first day of early voting on Feb. 20.
There are five candidates vying for two Runnels County positions which will be determined in the upcoming March Primary Election to be held Tuesday, March 6.
Three candidates will be on the ballot for the Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace position including Mike “Doc” Neeley, Lane Pinckney and Clay Bullock. Incumbent Glenda Wood did not file for re-election.
Two candidates will be on the March ballot for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 position including David Sellers and Buddy Jim Miller. Incumbent Richard Hamilton did not file for re-election.
Early voting will be from Feb. 20-March 2 at the Runnels County Elections Office at 600 Strong Ave.
The results from the election may determine the winner for each position since there were no Democratic challengers.
Name: Lane Pinckney
Occupation: Retired Texas Game Warden
Education: Graduate Lampasas High School, Texas Game Warden Academy
Clubs/Organizations: Texas Game Warden Association served on Board of directors and as Vice President; Game Warden Peace Officers Association; National Rifle Association
Family: My wife of 29 years is Martha Matchen Pinckney, she is a secretary for Ballinger ISD, Co-op for Special Services. We have one daughter Hannah Pinckney, a 2014 graduate of Ballinger ISD and graduated from ASU in Dec 2017.. She is employed by Empire Paper Company.
What do you feel qualifies you for Justice of the Peace Pct 1?
I feel that my 29 years in law enforcement has given me a good base foundation for the Justice of the Peace duties. 90% of all the criminal cases Game Wardens deal with are Class C Misdemeanors which go through JP court. I have worked with J.P.s not only in Runnels and surrounding Counties but in other counties across the State where my Game Warden duties took me. Additionally, a large part of a Game Warden’s job is resolving conflict between sportsmen and/or landowners from time to time. I feel this experience has helped prepare me on the civil litigation end of things when a Justice of the Peace must preside over civil issues where the amount of damage or pecuniary loss is less than $10,000.
What are the most important issues you want to address if elected as a Runnels County Justice of the Peace in Pct. 1?
I feel the most important issues to address as a Justice of the Peace would be to ensure that no individual’s civil rights are violated. J.P.s are always issuing search warrants and arrest warrants. It is imperative that a J.P. review these requests in detail to ensure that sufficient probable cause exists for the issuance of such warrants.
What do you think you can bring to the position if elected?
I am confident that I will be firm yet fair with anyone I deal with. A judge must treat every person with respect and dignity and consider all facts of each case in the interest of justice, every person must be treated fairly and equally under the law. J.P.s are called upon at all hours to review and sign warrants and perform death inquests. As a Game Warden I became well accustomed to answering the call of duty at all hours of the day and night. If elected your J.P. I would continue to answer that call.