Ray Sappington

Ray Sappington

A second candidate has announced his intention to run in the Republican primary election for Cooke County Sheriff next year.

Ray Sappington, a Valley View Independent School District board member and longtime law enforcement officer, announced this week he has filed an application to appear on the March 3, 2020, Republican primary ballot as a candidate for Cooke County Sheriff. Incumbent Sheriff Terry Gilbert announced earlier he’s also seeking reelection in the Republican primary, the Register reported previously.

“Law enforcement officers are first and foremost public servants,” Sappington said in his candidacy announcement on social media. “It is important to understand that 99% of citizens who come into contact with law enforcement are good people, and we have a duty to treat them as such. We have to target criminals, not law-abiding citizens, through various techniques and aspects of criminal interdiction and increased training. I fully understand the training, as I am a law enforcement instructor and have taught various courses to personnel from across the state.”

He added he believes strongly in holding officers accountable to high standards.

Sappington worked 30 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to his announcement, rising through the ranks to lieutenant to supervise DPS operations in seven counties. He said he hoped to improve relations between the sheriff’s office and the other law enforcement agencies in the county.

Sappington and his wife live in the Prairie Grove area, the announcement indicated. He graduated from Valley View High School and earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Cooke County College, now known as North Central Texas College. He started working for the DPS in 1990 and was the first patrol sergeant ever stationed in Cooke County, according to his announcement. He holds a Master’s Peace Officer certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and is a TCOLE instructor, firearms instructor and emergency/pursuit driving instructor, the campaign announcement indicated.

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