James 'Barry' Barnett to run for Smith Co. Commissioner's Court - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

James 'Barry' Barnett to run for Smith Co. Commissioner's Court

From the campaign of James Barnett:

Barry was born on July 26, 1963 and graduated from Leverett's Chapel High School where he currently serves as the President of the Ex-students Association. Barry, his wife Kerri and their three of five children are residents of the Omen community and attend the Arp Emmanuel Baptist Church. Barnett is a certified firefighter with the Arp Volunteer Fire Department and served as President of the Northeast Texas District for the State Firemen's and Fire Marshal's Association of Texas. He currently serves on the SFFMA Public Action Committee as well as the SFFMA Legislative Affairs Committee. Barnett is the Executive Director of the East Texas Playoff Preview which promotes high school basketball in Texas. The ETPP event is held each February at the University of Texas at Tyler and has expanded to other locations. Barnett works closely with both boys and girls coaches in East Texas to help promote high school student athletes and provide resources for scholarships to further their education.

Barry received his Bachelors Degree in History from the University of Texas at Tyler and received an Associates of Applied Arts and Science from Tyler Junior College. He served sixteen (16) years with the United States Air Force both on active duty and as a reservist. He served through Desert Shield, Desert Storm, assisted with recovery of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and was recalled to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom which was a result of the attack on America on September 11, 2001. In 1997 he came back to East Texas and chose to make Smith County his home and settled down to raise his family.


Barnett is a successful business owner and operates an aviation management company, ETJS, LLC. He oversees all maintenance for a local charter company at Tyler Pounds Field Airport and he is one of the founding directors of the Wings over Tyler Air Show in 2011.


Barnett, a Republican said that the people of Smith County are not looking for Washington style politics here at home. "The citizens of Smith County elect commissioners to take care of items such as roads, county services and oversee county finances. One of the main reasons voters elect County officials is to make sure things are done in a responsible manner and that private agendas are not part of the picture. "You can't run for an office and then serve the needs of special interests groups. That is how he I feel about the office of Commissioner for Smith County," Barnett said. He further stated, "I am seeking election as commissioner to insure the needs of each and every taxpayer is met by listening to the people of Smith County. I have a proven record of listening to the community as illustrated in my service as President of the Northeast Texas District for the State Firemen's and Fire Marshal's Association. The responsibility of a county commissioner is to serve ALL of the taxpayers of Smith County. The County Commissioner's job is to answer all complaints from the taxpayers and minimize the influence of special interest groups," he said. Barnett brings successful business management as well as great customer service skills to the court. Some of his goals are to improve the county roads in Precinct 2, help reduce the yearly budget and improve the county infrastructure.

Barnett noted that there has been an emphasis placed on transparency in government. "When you go and vote to give pay raises to the commissioners court knowing that there are lots of county employees that deserve a raise and didn't get one, then I have a huge problem with that. The Smith County Sheriff's office has done a commendable job of showing strong ethics and making the department one of the most transparent departments in the state," he said. It is something that Barnett wants to work hard with each department within the county including the Smith County Commissioner's Court to improve on. Barnett feels there should not be any secrets and all emails or communications should be available upon request by the citizens of Smith County, the media or heads of other county departments.

More information and details regarding Mr. Barnett's campaign will be available as the race begins to unfold.

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