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Ten people have thrown their names into the hat to be the new county judge.

Jay Atkins, Mark Hutchins, Toby Wilkinson, Randy Tarpley, Jerry Minter, David Bird, Bobby Stovall, Gabriel Wittkopf, Tod McMahan and Larry Fitzgerald are all vying to be the next judge for Hunt County.

Administrative Assistant for the County Judge’s Office Amanda Blankenship said, although there is no statute saying when a new judge should be chosen, it does have to been done during a regular commissioners meeting.

“Our next meeting is Jan. 8, 2019,” she said, “but I don’t anticipate they will be able to pick that soon.” 

The need to appoint a new judge comes months after former Hunt County Judge John Horn passed away suddenly after a short illness. His official duties included overseeing the agenda process for meetings, rendering informal legal opinions to Commissioners’ Court, ensuring notice was given for all court meetings and that meetings were conducted in accordance with state law.

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He served as president of the North Central Texas Council of Governments and on the boards for the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Regional Transportation Commission, Texas Association of Regional Councils, North Central Texas Housing Finance Commission, Hunt County Alliance for Economic Development, Regional 911 Advisory Committee and the Presidents Board of Workforce Solutions of North Texas.

Horn served as Hunt County Sheriff’s deputy prior to becoming Hunt County Judge.

The Commissioners’ Court will appoint a new county judge to serve until November 2020, when the next election will be held.

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