Rematch set in county judge race

2010 rivals in GOP primary; 12 already file for ballot

Candidates Frank Summers (L) and Dave Barkemeyer during Saturday filing. 
Photo courtesy Milam County GOP Candidates Frank Summers (L) and Dave Barkemeyer during Saturday filing. Photo courtesy Milam County GOP Milam County’s 2014 Republican Primary will be a repeat of the 2010 general election.

At least it will in the county judge’s race. Incumbent Dave Barkemeyer and the man he unseated three years ago, three-term county judge Frank Summers, both filed for the office on Saturday as Republicans.

Twelve candidates—nine Republicans and three Democrats—have now filed, according to interim GOP County Chair Kyle Deal and Democratic Chair Richard Stone.

Another contested primary race also developed on the GOP ballot Saturday. Incumbent Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Andy Isaacs and challenger Kim Stewart both filed for that post.

REMATCH—The county judge’s race features the same two men but in a different party alignment.

In 2010 Republican Barkemeyer defeated Democrat Summers 3,570 to 2,749.

Summers was elected three times as a Democrat, in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Summers won re-nomination in the 2010 Democratic Primary, defeating challenger Chip Dunsmoor 996 to 737.

Barkemeyer is the first Republican Milam County Judge in modern times.

CONTEST—Isaacs, who is now challenged in the primary by Stewart, provided the 2010 election’s biggest upset when he unseated Milam County’s longest-serving county official, at the time.

Isaacs edged 25-year, six-term Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Twila Harris, a Democrat, by 22 votes, 798 to 776.

Deal listed other Saturday GOP filings as follows:

• County treasurer, Donna Gilbert Orsag (incumbent).

• Precinct 1 County commissioner, unexpired term, Chuck “ Tank” Balch (incumbent).

• Precinct 1 justice of the peace, Rick Gommert (incumbent).

• Precinct 2 justice of the peace, Sam Berry (incumbent).

• Precinct 3 constable, unexpired term, Jay Beathard.

No Republican filings have yet been reported for district clerk, county clerk, Precinct 2 commissioner, Precinct 4 commissioner or Precinct 4 justice of the peace.

DEMOCRATS—Incumbent County Clerk Barbara Vansa, incumbent Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Gary Northcott and incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner Jeff Muegge all filed for re-election as Democrats, according to Stone.

Vansa is seeking her third term. She was first elected in 2006, following the retirement of longtime County Clerk LaVerne Soefje, and was re-elected in 2010.

Northcott is seeking his third term, Muegge his second.

CANDIDATES—Final day for candidates to file for either primary is Dec. 9.

Deal said anyone wanting to file as a Republican may contact him at 254-627-9349 or e-mail

Stone said anyone wanting to file as a Democrat may contact him at 512-760-5748 or by e-mail at

Also, filing in person can be done during normal business hours at the Hollis Lewis Law Office, 202 East Sixth.

See photos of the candidates who have filed so far for the 2014 Republican and Democratic Primaries on page 2B.

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