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Local News

June 1, 2012

County Commissioner election ends in runoff

ROCKWALL — The May 29 county commissioner race has yielded a runoff.

The County Commissioner Precinct 1 position, which was open after current commissioner Jerry Wimpee opted not after 20 years in the position ended with a very close margin between candidates Cliff Sevier and Bill Cecil.

Cecil, who received 39 percent of the vote said he is prepared for the July 31 runoff. Candidate Dick Demien finished with 25 percent of the vote.

“I’d say voter turnout is a very key issue going into any election, but especially a runoff election,” he said. “You adjust your campaign to fit the circumstances that you face. I understand this runoff process and recognize that it’s going to be a very unique one, and am grateful that [the voters] are continuing to offer their support to me. I’ve received very positive feedback from them.”

Sevier is also confident things will go his way in July.

“I absolutely [believe things will turn out in July],” he said. “I’m going to continue knocking on doors and walking the streets and asking people if I could please get your vote. Everybody I talk to was just happy we got to the runoff, which we expected would happen. It’s a new race now and we’re going to do what we have to do and I think that when it’s all said and done we’re going to come out on top.”

Cecil spoke on his qualifications for the county commissioner position.

“If you look at my background and my breadth of experience, I think it speaks for itself and qualifies me to be County Commissioner of Precinct 1 in a very positive way,” he said. “My very first priority is to balance the budget, and I am very interested in economic development on the county level and how that can help lower taxes on the rooftops. I also feel that we need to place an emphasis on our roads and infrastructure, and I hope to build trust between the county government and the community, as those things are very important to our community in terms of growth.”

Sevier said he thinks he knows what the people of Rockwall County want and how best to serve them.

“The people [of Rockwall County] are going to look for someone to be conservative and spend the money wisely,” he said. I’ve noticed that all through the campaign, if you look at Mr. Cecil’s material, he doesn’t say one thing he’s going to actually do. All he says is that he’s a leader, he’s a listener, etc. Cecil does have more experience than I do on the technical level, but if you look back at his ‘conservative voting’, it’s not very conservative at all. I think that Demean did a great job, he’s very honest and he [campaigned] very well. I respect him a lot. As for [Bill Cecil], I have no comment.”

Despite his disagreement with Cecil’s campaign tactics, Sevier said he would still support him if he loses the runoff.

“No matter how it turns out, if he wins, I will support him in what he does, and if I win, I hope he will support me in what I do, as well,” he said. “I just want to do this because I believe it’s the right thing for Rockwall.”

This is the highest Sevier said he hopes to climb politically.

 “If elected, I believe that this is as high as I really want to go, and have no plans on trying to run [for a different position in the future],” he said. “I just want to do as good a job for the county as I believe I did for the city of Rockwall.  I’m in this for the long haul.”

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