Smith County voters will decide on their next sheriff. Candidates Larry Smith and Chris Green emerged from a field of four to face off for the position (there’s no Democratic candidate for November, so the winner on July 31 will take office in January 2013).
And statewide, Republicans will choose between U.S. Senate candidates David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz. The winner of the GOP runoff will be heavily favored to win in November against a Democratic opponent.
The sheriff’s race has been long, expensive and increasingly contentious. But based on his long list of accomplishments and qualifications, the Tyler Paper proudly stands by its endorsement of Larry Smith.
Smith is a former ATF and DEA agent. Of all the candidates, Smith seems to possess the professionalism and communication skills that will help him navigate the highly charged situations he’ll face with the best set of tools. He shows a maturity indicative of a seasoned veteran, along with a welcome humility and thoughtfulness that should serve him well in public office.
Smith, 54, has spent 34 years in law enforcement experience, beginning in the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office and later becoming a federal agent.
In the Senate race, the Tyler Paper continues to endorse Dewhurst.
The race for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison originally presented Texans with three well-qualified conservatives — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.
Dewhurst, a businessman and rancher, served in the U.S. Air Force and in the Central Intelligence Agency before going to the State Department. In 1998 he became the Texas Land Commissioner, then ran for the lieutenant governor position in 2002 against heavily favored Democrat John Sharp.
His hand was firmly at the tiller in 2003 when redistricting increased the number of Texas Republican seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from 15 to 21. And as lieutenant governor - the most powerful political position in the state — Dewhurst has been a part of many of the decisions that have made Texas the best state to do business in.
We can be proud to send David Dewhurst to Washington.
Cruz, likewise, has a formidable resume. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and he has argued a number of significant cases in his role as solicitor general. In 2007, for example, he successfully argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that Texas was within its rights to execute a Mexican national who raped and murdered two young girls in Houston.
Still, Dewhurst remains the clear choice for U.S. Senate.
The Tyler Paper has one more endorsement to reiterate on the July 31 ballot. In the Smith County Commissioner Precinct 3 race, we see little need to replace incumbent Smith County Commissioner Terry Phillips, whose first term has been marked by a solid conservative voting record and a consistent willingness to look at all sides of an issue.