Early voting has begun in political party primaries. Candidates for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 in the Republican Primary are Cliff Coleman and Richard Sapp. Below are short profiles on each.
Cliff Coleman grew up in Salado and has seen the historic village transform from a farming and ranching community to the growing inviting area it is today. “Being from Salado, I feel the awesome responsibility of investing myself back into our Precinct, of providing leadership for the generations after me, and for helping regulate a sustained growth and vision that benefits all. As Justice of the Peace, I promise to serve with the true conservative values and honor that I learned growing up in this area.”
Said Coleman, “The most important duties of the Justice of the Peace are court-related, which are so important because many people will form their ideas about our Justice System at this level. The J.P. also has duties overseeing motor vehicles and highway safety. The J.P. is charged with administration of certain financial transactions, collections, and compliances. And the J.P. governs over Community-related needs like civil complaints, bodily conditions, and truancy calls.”
Coleman says he is the one that those in Precinct 2 are going to want overseeing those tasks. “First, I have the Leadership experience people want. I’ve been an Army Cadet, a Military advisor, a Houston Police Officer, and a member of the Special Response Group. I understand how and why our Justice system must function and have ample experience helping it do so. I also have Highway safety experience from handling vehicles and being in Law Enforcement. I have practical Management experience from owning my own business and managing employees. I’ve had to supervise both large and small scale financial dealings. And I’ve had to oversee a lot of different participants in a lot of different organizations.”
Coleman adds the fact is that he has Community experience in the Precinct from which he would serve. “I’m grew up in Salado, went to school here, and made the conscious decision to come back here. We still live in a Country where local folks who care, can do something for those they care about; where responsibility is still ours; and where those in Public Office can still function effectively for those who aren’t.”
Richard Sapp is a lifelong resident of Bell County. He and his wife Aida have been residents of the Salado area for the past 12 years. Both serve others through their church, The Worship Place, in supporting elders and their caregivers in the community.
Richard’s career has been that of a Law Enforcement Officer and College Instructor. He completed 32½ years with the Temple Police Department and retired as a Detective. He worked with youth, families, and adults as well as serving as a mentor for numerous criminal justice students and new police officers and detectives. Additionally, he earned significant awards and citations for his professionalism throughout his tenure with the City of Temple.
Richard earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University in 2001. He holds a “current and active” Master’s Peace Officer certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and is a licensed Peace Officer Instructor. He continues to serve as a college instructor, and for 16 years has taught criminal justice and law courses at various institutions of higher education.
The Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Bell County is also the Truancy Magistrate for the entire county. During many years as a juvenile investigator he worked closely with youth, parents, and schools. He has developed a working knowledge of the Education Code and the Texas Family Code. He has taught college classes on youth related issues and has provided input on the state and local levels concerning the development of youth related statutes.
He firmly believes a Justice of the Peace not only needs to know the law but how to apply it at an advanced level. In order to make legal decisions that are fair, unbiased, legal, and appropriate, a JP must possess a solid working knowledge of statutes, ordinances (criminal and civil procedures), and processes. His current knowledge and qualifications along with his certifications are critical to fulfill the requirements of this Office.
He asks all Precinct Two voters to compare the qualifications of the candidates as part of the decision-making process for this serious position. “Experience Matters”.