Ellis elected officials sworn in to new terms

New elected officials take office with turn of the calendar to 2021

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
New Ellis County sheriff Brad Norman is sworn in during ceremonies held at the Ellis County Historic Courthouse on Friday, Jan. 1. Norman won a runoff in July and was unopposed in the November general election.

On Friday morning, New Years Day, multiple Ellis County officials rolled out of bed, ventured to the Ellis County Historic Courthouse, raised their right hands and swore an oath to uphold the laws and constitution of the state and nation.

The new year rung in a handful of newly-elected county officials, including a new Ellis County sheriff, Brad Norman. Norman was elected in a runoff July 14, defeating incumbent Chuck Edge, whose term ended Dec. 31.

“It is my privilege and honor to serve the citizens of Ellis County in this capacity,” Norman said afterward. “I swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution as well as the Texas Constitution and I will honor that oath.”

After being sworn in within the Commissioners’ Court chambers, the newly-installed sheriff came outside to the courthouse lawn to administer the same oath to dozens of sworn deputies.

A new county and district attorney, Ann Montgomery, was sworn in as well. Montgomery won the Republican primary in March with more than 63 percent of the vote, and had no Democratic opposition in November.

Montgomery replaces her former boss, Patrick Wilson, whose term ended Dec. 31 after he decided not to seek re-election.

Montgomery gave out lots of thanks following her swearing-in: to the judge who administered her oath, Judge Melody Wilkinson from the 17th District Court in Tarrant County; the citizens of Ellis County for electing her; and all family, friends, colleagues and supporters.

“My entire life has been dedicated to justice,” Montgomery said. “I’ve always lived by the rule of law and that’s what I will continue to do as the next district attorney. My goal has always been to keep our society safe. To see that justice is done. Justice is not retribution. Justice is not retaliation. But neither does justice turn a blind eye.”

Although her predecessor has recused the office from the case, Montgomery’s office inherits a potentially explosive accusation of vandalism at the Ellis County Historic Courthouse involving County Judge Todd Little, who is being investigated along with another man for allegedly painting over a segregationist-era sign in the courthouse basement. Neither man has been charged to date.

Other public officials taking office with the new year are Judge Joe Gallo, who assumes the bench in the new County Court at Lew No. 3; County Tax Collector-Assessor John Bridges; Precinct 1 Commissioner Randy Stinson; and Precinct 3 Commissioner Paul Perry. Bridges and Stinson were unopposed, and Gallo and Perry won their March 3 GOP primaries.

Also taking the oath of office were all four county constables, with a couple of footnotes. Precinct 1 Constable Roy Callender, Precinct 2 Constable Terry Nay, Precinct 3 Commissioner Curtis Polk and Precinct 4 Constable Mike Jones were all formally sworn in.

However, Nay announced recently his intent to resign after 24 years as a constable, and his replacement will be appointed. Polk, notably, is the only elected Democrat serving in Ellis County office.

Randy Bellomy was chosen as Ellis County chair of the Republican Party, and Kelly H. Blackburn was named county chair for the Democratic Party.