Smith County interim constable tabbed to finish term after death of previous officeholder

Smith County interim constable tabbed to finish term after death of previous officeholder

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Garmon was taking over the office due to eligibility requirements. Garmon is taking over the office following the death of Henry Jackson.

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An interim Smith County constable who was defeated in a May runoff election was chosen to finish the term Tuesday after the man he was filling in for died.

Smith County commissioners reappointed Bobby Garmon as Precinct 1 Constable during a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning. The decision was made following the death of Constable Henry Jackson.

Judge Nathaniel Moran said Traylor-Harris was ineligible for the appointment because he had not lived in Smith County for the previous six months. Moran added that the eligibility rules differ between applying for election and being appointed to the position.

Traylor-Harris is the Democratic nominee for the position and is slated to take over the office in January. Moran said in court Tuesday it was the Smith County Democratic Party’s wish for Traylor-Harris to take over the position.

The race for Precinct 1 was hotly-contested and included Garmon filing a lawsuit to remove another candidate, Willie Mims, over the validity of signatures on Mims' petition for candidacy. A judge would eventually order a May 26 runoff between Garmon and Traylor-Harris after Mims was declared ineligible by the court.

Garmon was originally appointed by the Smith County Commissioners Court to take over the role vacated by Constable Henry Jackson when Jackson was suspended and sent to prison in Dec. 2017.

The office was officially considered vacant upon Jackson’s death.

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