Who the next county judge is remains unknown after members of the Cooke County Commissioners' Court decided to postpone the appointment Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 20.
“In order to make the best decision possible, we're going to sleep on it,” Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley said after coming back into open session at 3:30 p.m.
Members of the court are expected to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, to make their announcement.
Keith Orsburn, Steve Starnes, Bradley Mitchell, David Fogle, John Roane, Douglas Gossett, Vince Rippy, Deborah Longoria, Scott Neu and James Hume were interviewed for Brinkley's position Wednesday, according to information provided by county officials.
Commissioners began interviews a little after 8 a.m.
“We interviewed all that applied,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley is running to represent Texas House District 68 against fellow Republicans John Berry, Craig Carter and David Spiller. A fifth candidate, Charles Gregory, is running as a Democrat on the ballot. Election Day is Saturday, Jan. 23.
Brinkley’s candidacy for state office prompted his resignation as county judge under the state’s resign-to-run law, the Register previously reported. He is in the middle of his second term as county judge.
Members of the court unanimously approved his resignation during a specially called meeting Jan. 4. However, Precinct 4 Commissioner Leon Klement abstained from voting.
Brinkley is required to continue his duties as county judge until his successor is named.
Applications for the county judge seat were accepted for a week.
All members of the court were present Wednesday. However, Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell attended the interviews virtually.
Limited seating for the general public will be open in the commissioners’ courtroom in keeping with social distancing guidelines issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.
Commissioners will also have a live video stream and a conference call dial-in number available for the public to attend its meeting virtually.
The public may call 206-462-5569 or 855-552-4463 and enter meeting PIN 9382-84-0609 to listen to the meeting. The video feed will be broadcast on YouTube at youtube.com/cookecountytexas1848.
Anyone wanting to address the court about an agenda item will need to call 940-668-5435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least an hour before the meeting, or sign up in person at Brinkley’s office at least 15 minutes before the meeting’s start. As usual, public comment will be limited to five minutes per person or 30 minutes total.
Commissioners will gather in the Commissioners’ Courtroom on the first floor of the Cooke County Courthouse, 101 S. Dixon St.