As November 3rd nears, many Americans are preparing to vote for their chosen presidential candidate. Political ads are increasing, as well as news coverage of democratic debates. However, key players are being overlooked in the media frenzy of this election: local candidates for local offices. National-level voting is a huge event; yet, the majority of the most impactful actions in a citizen’s daily life are found at a county level. Have the streets of College Station been bothering you every day on your ride to work? Is Brazos County’s approach to mental health care sufficient, in your opinion? These are questions that arise and can be answered by the residents of Brazos County District. How? Through our vote within this county, there are three offices contested by more than one candidate: County Commissioner of Precinct No. 2, Sheriff, and County Attorney.
As a college student, it can be hard to take the time to research the individual candidate’s platform and values. Worry not, I’ve done it for you! In this article, I will list each position and the candidates running for them, along with their major policy points. Each of these points can be found on the candidates’ social media platform or in the mentioned interviews. Take the time to read this article, and you’ll be prepared to vote for your favored local candidate.
- County Commissioner, Precinct No. 2. Unexpired Term
Russ Ford is the Republican nominee for County Commissioner Precinct 2. Ford’s website explains that he has thirty-eight years of experience with the management and construction of civil engineering projects. His three core values concerning this position are growth, empowerment, and diligence. If elected, he has made it clear that he wants to improve infrastructure and foster growth while working within the community budget to not increase financial stress. He believes the Commissioner’s Court can work together and foster all citizens’ opportunities to take advantage of growth. Furthermore, he explains that master planning, a requirement of the position, is a simple task that is often made difficult and that “we must be cautious about not dictating where growth is allowed.” He emphasizes College Station and Bryan as the “cradle of Texas growth” due to the “community stakeholders, Blinn College and Texas A&M University.”
Ford graduated from Texas A&M University in 1982 and has been a Brazos County landowner since 1984.
Jane Sherman is the Democratic nominee for County Commissioner Precinct 2. Sherman’s website explains that while many are aware that roads and bridges are part of the Commissioner’s purview, “the county court system, health services, sheriff’s office, jail, juvenile detention center, voting, caring for the indigent” also fall under it. Her top priorities include “addressing transparency and access to county services, improving physical and mental healthcare, and […] planning for future growth to better infrastructure and encourage affordable housing.” Jane Sherman has worked at the Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity, is Board President for Tiny Hope Village, and was a missionary with InnerCHANGE.
The candidate graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and has an MBA from Eastern University. She has grown up in College Station and currently lives in Bryan.
Wayne Dicky is the Republican candidate for Brazos County Sheriff. He was born and raised in College Station, and currently works as Jail Administrator. He has previously served as Lieutenant, Patrol Deputy, Sergeant, Corporal and Jail Officer, all for Brazos County since 1986. On his website, he addresses five main issues/topics of his candidacy: mental health, re-entry, innovation, succession planning, community growth, and the “why” behind law enforcement. Dicky states that he believes in making treatment for mental health “as common and as easy to access as getting treatment for high blood pressure or diabetes.” Furthermore, Dicky explained his part in the creation and development of the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team, a special unit designed to help citizens struggling with mental illness avoid jail time for incidents and instead be re-directed to a MHMR hospital. Dicky wants to continue his creation/implementation of the Re-Entry Specialist position for Brazos County, as well his Decision Points program. Furthermore, this candidate wants to continue innovation in Brazos County, and cites his involvement in the “FirstNet” infrastructure project as proof of this. In order to build community relations between citizens and law enforcement, Dicky wants to activate a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council that would be made up of law enforcement individuals as well as “institutional and community corrections, prosecutors, judges, and other stakeholders.” This council will develop strategies “to address crime and improve quality of life in Brazos County.”
Patrick Logan is the Democratic candidate for Brazos County Sheriff. He was born in Bryan and currently works as a Detention Officer at the Brazos County Jail. Logan recorded a video for Houston Public Media’s Elevator Pitch YouTube series, in which he describes his values and goals for this position. In this video, Logan explained his desire to shift focus from punishment to rehabilitation in the jail system. Additionally, he wants to bring attention to mental health issues amongst inmates. In order to do this, Logan pledged to take a $25,000 pay cut from his own salary and donate it to local mental health programs. Next, this candidate wants to reduce crime in Brazos by taking a proactive, not reactive, approach. Logan plans to expand rehabilitation and reentry programs in the county that focus on addiction treatment and steady jobs. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement across the United States, Logan wants to build a closer relationship between law enforcement and Brazos County citizens. His core values are family, community, and safety.
Clyde Garland is the Libertarian candidate for Brazos County Sheriff. According to a Facebook account in his name, he graduated Texas A&M University in 1974, and is a member of the Brazos County Libertarians. In an interview with The Eagle, Garland explained that he believed the sheriff’s office has had a history of promoting fron within, which he did believe was one of it’s strengths. Furthermore, he hopes that the future sheriff will be one who lowers the county jail population through legal enforcement instead of arresting the individuals. Finally, Garland wants the sheriff to “recognize that federal officials have no authority over him and that they must get his permission to do any police work in his county,” according to The Eagle.
- County Attorney
Earl Gray is the Republican candidate for Brazos County Attorney. According to Gray’s website, he has practiced law in Brazos County for over 20 years and has also served as an Assistant District Attorney. He is currently the managing partner of Gray & Jones, Attorneys at Law. Gray mentions three areas of focus under his platform: directing limited resources in the County Attorney’s Office, drunk driving and family violence. Gray believes that it is the County Attorney Office’s responsibility to appropriately address drunk driving so that it does not repeat itself. He states that “each DWI case is different”, so each one needs to be approached with careful assessment to the offender. Furthermore, Gray explains the “cycle of violence” that can continue against victims in a family violence case, and he goes on to promise to try everything in his power to “eradicate family violence from our community.” Gray was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Brenham. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1990. He currently lives in Bryan, Texas, and teaches at Blinn College.
Freddie Medina is the Democratic candidate for Brazos County Attorney. According to his Facebook page, Medina has been practicing law for about 15 years, and earned his degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. In an interview with KAGS News station, Medina explains his extensive background, including practicing criminal defense law and a position as assistant Attorney General for the state of Texas. For his platform, Medina’s largest focus will be his hope to bring pretrial diversion to the county office. He believes by having non-violent offenders go through the process of counseling and paying a fine instead of being jailed, the Brazos County Courts and Attorney’s Office will be freed up to focus on other issues. Furthermore, Medina would like to install a “Mental Health Court and a Veterans Court.” His goal is to push justice reform in order to “lower the tax burden on citizens and lower stress on law enforcement.” Medina was born and raised in Brazos County, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1995.
Hopefully this article serves as a useful tool in your voting decision. Now go vote!