VALLEY VIEW — A former Justice of the Peace threw his hat in the ring for a position that serves his prior court.

Royce Martin of Valley View filed a campaign treasurer’s report with the Cooke County Clerk’s office and announced his candidacy for Precinct 4 Constable. He said he is uncertain which party’s ticket, if any, he will run on, and is also considering whether to run as an independent.

Richard “Dick” Roth, currently chief deputy for Precinct 4 Constable Tony Ward, announced his candidacy and intends to run as a Republican.

Ward previously announced he is not seeking re-election.

The Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office is located on the Valley View town square. Martin held the position of Justice of the Peace there for about 18 years.

Martin, who is retired and said he spends most of his time following after his several grandchildren, said he misses public service.

“I don’t plan on throwing a lot of money into this election,” Martin said. “At this age, I’d rather be spending that money on my grandkids ... I just love helping people.”

Precinct 4 covers most of southern Cooke County. Precincts 2 and 3 were abolished in the mid-to-late ’80s by the Cooke County Commissioners Court, and Precinct 4 was never renumbered.

The race for Precinct 1 Constable is currently uncontested, with incumbent Terry Gilbert having filed his campaign treasurer’s report and planning on running as a Republican.

Gilbert, the owner and operator of Gilbert Wrecker Service and a Gainesville native, said since taking office in 2004 he helped to upgrade the Constable’s office with new equipment and software.

According to the Texas Association of Counties description of the office of Constable, they are “the first link in the county’s chain of law enforcement.”

Along with their deputies, Constables have all the enforcement powers of Texas peace officers. They are sometimes referred to as the executive officer of the justice of the peace courts. Their duties are to: subpoena witnesses; act as bailiff for the Justice of the Peace courts; execute judgments; and serve the civil process.

In addition, they may perform patrol functions and make criminal investigations. They are involved in the overall effort to reduce the effects of crime in their respective communities.

See future editions of the Register for more on Martin’s campaign and updates on other contested races of the 2008 election.

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted at andyhoguegdr@ntin.net

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