On Jan. 1 more than 100 people gathered at the historic Rockwall County Historical Courthouse to watch the swearing-in of 14 newly elected and re-elected county officials.
All of those elected in Rockwall County, whose population now exceeds 80,000, were Republicans. The ceremony included those elected to the four newly created offices of Justice of the Peace and Constable.
“It was a great event,” Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, who presided as master of ceremonies, said. “There was a real sense of excitement in the room. I was glad to be a part of it.”
Congressman Ralph Hall, who was scheduled to appear, was delayed in Washington D.C. because of the fiscal legislation debate.
5th District Court of Appeals Justice David Bridges, Judge Brett Hall, Judge David Rakow, Judge Brian Williams, and Judge Jack James administered the oaths in his stead.
The following elected officials were sworn in:
• Justice David Evans – Fifth District Court of Appeals
• Judge Brett Hall – 382nd Judicial District Court
• Judge David Rakow – 439th Judicial District Court
• Judge Brian Williams – Rockwall County Court at Law
• Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson
• Rockwall County Tax Assessor-Collector Kim Sweet
• Cliff Sevier – Precinct 1
• Dennis Bailey – Precinct 3
Justice of the Peace
• Judge Mark Russo – Precinct 3
• Judge Liana Whitten – Precinct 4
• John Benedetto – Precinct 1
• Trey Chaney – Precinct 2
• Tom Egan – Precinct 3
• Randy Parks – Precinct 4
Russo and Whitten will serve in the two newly-created Justice of the Peace positions established by state legislation. Rockwall County now has four precincts, based upon the county’s increased population.
Sweet has been serving as tax assessor-collector since replacing Barbara Barber on Sept. 1. Sweet fulfilled the rest of Barber’s term.
Sevier will replace former county commissioner Jerry Wimpee.
Wimpee did not run for reelection.