Solemn but celebratory

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David Minton/DRC
Denton County Sheriff William Travis, left, is sworn in Tuesday by 431st District Judge Jonathan Bailey in the Commissioners Courtroom at the Courthouse on the Square in Denton.
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Crowd welcomes new and returning county officials

The Denton County Commissioners Courtroom was filled to the brim New Year’s morning as friends and family turned out to support the 12 new and returning elected officials as they were sworn into office.

Commissioners, judges, constables, a tax assessor and a new sheriff took their turns pledging to uphold the duties of their office to repeated rounds of applause from the people gathered there. County Judge Mary Horn called the day a culmination of hard work, time, effort and money but above all else, an honor to serve Denton County.

“We have some who are re-elected and some elected for the first time,” Horn said. “There was a huge crowd at the courthouse. You could feel the excitement in the air. I am very happy for the people who worked so hard to make this day a reality.”

The commissioners started off the proceedings followed by a number of judges, the sheriff and tax assessor/collector, with the constables finishing.

“I am extremely ecstatic to serve the citizens of Denton County and do a great job of providing them a better quality of public safety,” said new Sheriff William B. Travis after the proceedings. “I’m just pumped as all get out, and I can’t wait to get on my job.”

There was a pause in the proceeding when it came around to the county constables as Precinct 2 Constable Mike Truitt commented that there were supposed to be six constables sworn in Tuesday and requested a moment of silence for Constable Jim Dotson, who recently lost a battle with cancer.

Newly minted tax assessor/collector Michelle French said the day marked the reward of two years of work she and her supporters had put in.

“It was such an honor to be sworn in by my mentor. She [Horn] has taught me so much,” French said. “I am looking forward to the future and definitely looking forward to being able to put all this good work to use for our taxpayers.”

Horn said it was a particular pleasure for her to swear in her friend and protege.

“It was 20 years to the day when I first took office,” she recalled. “When you’re elected the first time, it’s a wonderful feeling, and I am happy for them. And I know we have some very dedicated people that are going to do a great job for the citizens of Denton County, and I am proud to be working with them.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6889. His e-mail address is .


Denton County officials taking their oaths of office Tuesday were:

Hugh Coleman: commissioner, Precinct 1

Bobbie Mitchell: commissioner, Precinct 2

Sherry Shipman: 16th District Court judge

Doug Robison: 393rd District Court judge

Jonathan Bailey: 431st District Court judge

William B. Travis: sheriff

Michelle French: tax assessor/collector

Mike Truitt: constable, Precinct 2

Jerry Raburn: constable, Precinct 3

Tim Burch: constable, Precinct 4

Doug Boydston: constable, Precinct 5

Ron Smith: constable, Precinct 6

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