Cathey elected county commissioner

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Republican candidate Billy Cathey captured the only contested seat in Roosevelt County’s general election Tuesday garnering 57 percent of the vote over Democrat Charles Bennett in the District 3 Roosevelt County Commissioner’s race.

Cathey tallied 548 votes to Bennett’s 405 (43 percent). Those results are unofficial until the returns are canvassed by the county commissioners.

“I am excited and glad that its over with” said Cathey.

Charles Bennett could not be reached for comment.

Feeling he had a good shot after doing well in the primaries, Cathey said he is ready to start work with the county commissioner’s and the county administrator. The Dora welding business owner and operator said he is looking forward to getting a feel for how things will work and what the process will be to get things done, he said.

More than 37 percent of Roosevelt County’s registered voters participated in the 2006 General Election. The heavier than expected turnout surprised election officials who were also dealing with a new balloting system this election.

Roosevelt County Clerk Janet Collins said the new machines and systems were working well. No problems had developed during the day. Tabulation of the votes have also gone much faster than normal, said Collins.

“This is the best that it’s ever gone,” said Collins. “Our reporting is going as fast as it’s ever gone.”

Pleased with voter turnout, District 5 Commissioner Paul Grider, who ran uncontested in the general election, felt that with the election of Cathey, District 3 would be gaining another commissioner who would continue serving and working for the people of Roosevelt County, he said.

Also running uncontested in the election was Darren Hooker, who won the office of sheriff during the June primaries. Relieved that he did not have to continue through the November elections, Hooker stated that he was excited to soon be taking office.

“We just want to go in and give people what they desire and deserve,” said Hooker.
Canvassing of the votes will take place on Friday morning, said Collins. Other areas of business will have to be taken care of, such as counting the 22 provisional ballots and auditing the write-in ballots, before the results are official, said Collins.
“These (results) are very likely and very close,” said Collins.