Editor’s note: This is the second of two candidate questionnaires 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.
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.
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.
Early voting will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20-March 2 at the Runnels County Elections Office at 600 Strong Ave. Applications to vote by mail are available at the elections office. Contact Elections Administrator Shanna Smith at 325-365-5027 to obtain an application. The last day a ballot by mail application may be received by the elections administrator is Feb. 23.
The results from the election may determine the winner for each position unless there is a runoff, since there were no Democratic challengers.
Name: Buddy Jim Miller: I was born and raised in Winters, Texas. I am proud to say that this year marks the 100th year that my family has lived in Runnels County.
Occupation: I have been employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for over 20 years as a correctional officer.
Education: I graduated Winters High School in 1991 and received an Associate Degree from Cisco College in Criminal Justice. At Cisco College I was a member of the Student Government Association, holding the offices of president, vice-president, and secretary. I also represented Cisco College at two Texas Student Government Conventions where I served two terms as a voting delegate.
Clubs, organizations: I am a member of the First Baptist Church of Winters, where I currently serve as the president of the Youth Committee. I am also a member of the Winters Livestock Association, Winters Blizzards Athletic Booster Club, and Winters Blizzards Band Booster Club. I also support and volunteer for the Youth and Children's ministries at church, Winters FFA, West Texas Rehabilitation Center, and Ben Richey Boys Ranch.
Family: I am married to Nan Miller and we have two children: Bryce (Tree) Lanphear, a 2017 Winters High School graduate, currently attending Sul Ross State University and Karmen Miller, a first grader at Winters Elementary School. My parents are Buddy W. and Jo Miller, of Winters.
What do you feel qualifies you for justice of the peace Precinct 2?
I believe I am qualified for the office of Justice of the Peace and I am the best candidate, because I am from Winters. I grew up here. I went to school here. I chose to raise my children here as Winters Blizzards. I know the people here and they know me. I am in touch with their concerns and they will know that they can always come to me with their problems. Words of wisdom growing up here influence me, "Remember who you are and where you're from!" That simple phrase resonates with my personal core values of integrity, commitment, perseverance, and courage. Furthermore, as a correctional officer, I have worked with people from different backgrounds, walks of life, socioeconomic environments, cultural influences, and belief systems. This experience will enable me to bring diversity to the office. Lastly, I am very much an "attention to detail" person. I will strive to bring structure, organization, and efficiency to the office of Justice of the Peace.
What are the most important issues you want to address if elected as a Runnels County Justice of the Peace of Precinct 2?
I don't believe that it's a secret that one of the most important issues currently facing this county as well as Precinct 2, is the rising substance abuse issues and related crimes. The people of this county are tired of obviously impaired individuals wandering and roaming the streets, neighborhoods, and alleyways at all hours of the night. They are tired of being broken into, their property being stolen, and their property being damaged for no apparent reason. They follow procedures and file reports, but they never see their property again and feel like nothing is being done. As Justice of the Peace, I will work hand in hand with the elected officials, jail administrators, and law enforcement officials at the state, county, and local levels to set consistent and fair bond conditions that include treatment, education, and training, to address issues such as substance abuse, mental health, and underage alcoholism. Yes, we want to make sure the citizens of Runnels County and their possessions are safe and secure, but we also need to work diligently to get assistance to those who need it, in order to put a stop to this vicious cycle of substance abuse.
What do you think you can bring to the position if elected?
First and foremost, I am me, Buddy Jim Miller, plain and simple. What you see is what you get. There is no fluff, fancy words, or fat pocketbooks here. I have been inspired by God, as well as my family, neighbors, and friends to run for this position. One of the most important goals that I will bring to this position is that I want to work shoulder to shoulder with the administration and faculty of our school district to educate our young people in order to provide them the tools to avoid falling into the trap of drug addiction and alcoholism, as well as making them aware of the consequences of those pitfalls. I would like to be a vital part of these programs, speaking to and interacting with our youth, as well as approachable to them, through my involvement in school functions and youth programs, so that if they are tempted to go down the wrong path, they will know that they are not alone and can always come to me for advice and help.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The time is always right to do what is right." It's time to do what is right by helping those who need it, by educating our youth, and making our streets, and neighborhoods safe again for everyone from ages three to 93. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to earn your trust, your support, and ultimately your vote for Runnels County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2. Thank you and may God richly bless you!!