Bell County: Officials make history at swearing in ceremony

Published: Jan. 2, 2019 at 6:32 PM CST
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At the first Bell County commissioner’s court of the year, 16 officials were sworn into office at the Bell County Justice Center Wednesday morning.

“I'm blessed to start work” Bell County Judge, David Blackburn said.

Blackburn takes over the seat after Jon Burrows announced he would not be running for a sixth term.

Burrows served as county judge for 23 years.

“One of the first things i want to do is plan and prepare and work towards a smooth transition” Blackburn said.

Two new members join the court Bobby Whitson for commissioner precinct 2 and John Driver for commissioner precinct 4.

“This transition hasn't occurred in over 40 years on the court and that's a significant change we need to acknowledge and embrace as we go forward” Blackburn said.

Another office making history is the Bell County constables.

“First woman appointed, first woman elected as a constable. There are wonderful deputy constables but I am the first constable” Bell County Constable pct. 1 Patricia Duffield said.

Duffield has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement and says she's ready for the new challenge.

“I couldn't do this job without them, Tom Prado, Rolly Correa, Edd Melton. I couldn’t do this job without those men.

Other officials sworn in include:

County Clerk-Shelley Coston

169th- District Judge Gordon G. Adams

264th - District Court Judge Paul LePak

District Clerk- Joanna Staton

County Court at Law Number 1 Judge Jeanne Parker

County Court at Law Number 2 John Mischtian

County Court at Law Number 3 Judge Rebecca DePew

County Treasurer- Gaylon Evans

Ted Duffield, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

Cliff Coleman, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

G.W. Ivey, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Place 2

William “Bill” Cooke, Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 2