When Anderson County commissioners convene for the first time in 2007, a new face will occupy precinct 2’s seat at the table of five.

Twenty-six year-old Rashad Q. Mims I, a local car salesman, defeated former two-term commissioner Rodney A. Howard Sr. Tuesday to earn the Democratic nomination for precinct 2 commissioner.

Mims, a first-time candidate, finished with 400 votes (56.3 percent), while Howard, who previously served on the Anderson County commissioners’ court for two non-consecutive terms, had 310 votes (43.7 percent).

Mims now faces Republican Larry Coker in the Nov. 7 general election.

After finishing last month’s three-way primary with 13 more votes than Howard, Mims said he planned to concentrate “heavily” on the rural sections of precinct 2 leading up to Tuesday’s runoff.

Apparently, the strategy worked as Mims took a 13-vote lead after the posting of the early voting numbers and carried all six of the precinct’s boxes by margins ranging from two-to-29 votes.

Following last month’s primary, Howard expressed disappointment that he did not win the party’s nomination without a runoff and also indicated he hoped to attract supporters of the race’s third candidate, L.W. Terry, to his camp.

The precinct 2 commissioners’ race did not feature an incumbent as current officeholder Darrell Emanuel held true to his pledge to serve just one term as commissioner. Emanuel, however, is seeking to earn a spot on the November ballot as an independent candidate for county judge.

The Mims-Coker victor will not be the only newcomer on the Anderson County commissioners’ court as Anderson County Judge Carey G. McKinney was defeated Tuesday by longtime Anderson County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Linda Bostick Ray in the county’s other Democratic Primary runoff.

Less than 10 percent of Anderson County’s more than 28,000 registered voters voted in Tuesday’s primary runoff elections, with a total of 2,748 voting on the Democratic side and 123 on the Republican side.

Anderson County Republicans had no local races on their ballot Tuesday, with the only race being the Place 8 spot on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals between Charles Holcomb and Terry Keel.


Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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