By MARY RAINWATER
Palestine native Sue Coslett Sessions announced this week her campaign for Anderson County district clerk, hoping to bring some changes to the office, if elected, including faster turnaround time and more public access.
“Since I came back to Anderson County 17 years ago, I have always thought about doing this,” Sessions said about the reason for running for office. “For me, now is the time to make that change in my life.”
Sessions has almost 40 years in the field of law enforcement, beginning her career with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office in 1975 under then-sheriff Roy Herrington. She continued her career in Tarrant County before moving back to Palestine in 1995 and returning to the ACSO.
She currently works as a sergeant with the department and is in charge of Civil, Warrants, Writs, Bailiffs and the Sex Offender Registration Divisions.
“I currently work hand-in-hand with the district clerk's office as well as all the offices in the courthouse and annex,” she said. “If it doesn't involve patrol or the jail, I am pretty much in charge of it.”
The role of the district clerk's office is to maintain records for the district courts — felony trials, divorces, child custody and land dispute cases and civil lawsuits.
While working with the district clerk's office, Sessions stated that she noticed some areas of concern that she would like to change and make better.
“I would like to see a faster turnaround time in work that is brought in,” she said. “I would like to see the office have its own website as well as computers installed on the front counter for public viewing. I want the office to catch up and stay caught up on its billing with the Attorney General.”
In making the office more accessible to the public, Sessions stated that she would like for the office to open at 7:30 a.m. and remain open during lunch.
“I know that an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. time is not convenient for everyone and this is an office that should be open to the public and for public concern,” she said. “Making access to the public is a top priority.”
Sessions also expressed a desire to see a clerk assigned to the County Court at Law courtroom on a permanent basis along with a second clerk in district court on docket days.
“I feel that this would allow the courtrooms to move faster and more smoothly,” she explained. “One of the most important changes I would like to make is faster and friendlier service at the counter when you walk in.
“I see many challenges for the district clerk's office and I can't wait to tackle them,” she said. “I give my word that if elected, I will give you 200 percent of my time and energy at making this the most efficient office I can.”
Sessions was born and raised in Anderson County and attended Palestine ISD schools. She is the youngest daughter of W.O. “Buck'” and Pearl Fletcher Coslett. She has four sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary and George Alvarado and Sadie and Barry Murray of Palestine, Shirley and Bob Silva of Humble and Fay and Curtis Rea, now deceased.
She has three children, Rob and Rachel Conaway of Teague, Ronnie and Hannah Conaway of Springtown and Destinie Conaway Richter of Arlington; and five grandchildren. She was married to Keith Sessions, who passed away in July of 2011.
Sessions has a Master Peace Officer's license, and has obtained thousands of hours of continuing education credits. She was nominated officer of the year for the ACSO and in 2011, won the Peacemaker Award for the Texas State Sheriff's Association.
She will face incumbent republican Janice Staples on the March 4 Primary Election ballot.
For questions or more information, contact Sessions after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on the weekends at 903-723-2270 or 817-673-2182.