Incumbent Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 James Meredith said his knowledge and experience makes him the right man for the job.
Meredith, 57, retired from the Tyler Police Department after 23 years and has more than a decade on the bench but is facing a rare challenger in the March Republican primary. He will face 23-year-old University of Texas at Tyler pre-law student Noah Butler.
“I hope the precinct voters have seen my work because I do think the experience and knowledge I have is important to this office,” he said.
He has been through the county budget process each year and said he understands what it takes to keep his court and office with three clerks moving cases and handling day-to-day business.
Meredith said he doesn’t see much need for changes in his office. The county is moving forward with its implementation of a new judicial system, which will affect his court, and other small changes, such as adding payment options for residents, have happened during his tenure.
Meredith said he would continue to focus his offices efforts on supporting local law enforcement and meeting constituent needs. He said he would ramp up his campaign efforts soon and is willing to speak before civic groups.
Justice of the Peace Courts have jurisdiction in class “C” misdemeanor cases, such as traffic tickets and cases punishable by fine only, and civil matters involving not more than $10,000. Precinct 3 includes the southeastern portion of Smith County, including the cities of Whitehouse, New Chapel Hill, Arp and Troup.
Meredith graduated from John Tyler High School and Tyler Junior College. He is married with three children and three grandchildren.