• • • ELECTION 2006 • • •
          Editor’s Note: Early voting in the Democratic and Republican party primaries begins Tuesday, Feb. 21. In Hopkins County, there are only two contested races for party nominations, both in the Democratic Party primary. Seeking the post of Hopkins County Treasurer are Jim Rooks and Treva Watson (outgoing treasurer Betty Bassham announced her plans to retire last year). In the running for Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace are incumbent Yvonne King and challenger Demetra Robinson.
          To help voters become better acquainted with the candidates, the News-Telegram submitted questionnaires to the candidates covering a variety of subjects, from family background to stands on the issues. These are their responses.

Jim Rooks
Democratic Party Candidate for County Treasurer

Family information:

Wife -- Nancy, educational diagnostician with Sulphur Springs ISD. Daughter, Anne-Michelle Penson, 4th grade teacher at Lamar Elementary. Son-in-law Dave Penson, works at Jeld-Wen. Grandsons -- Gage, age six, student at ECLC and Rafe, three months. Nancy and I have been married for 38 years.

Why are you seeking this office?

To ensure that the treasurer's office remains an independent financial check and balance directly responsible to the voters of Hopkins County.

What are your qualifications?

My wife, Nancy, and I moved to Sulphur Springs in 1974 with our infant daughter, Anne-Michelle, following my discharge from the Air Force and my service in Vietnam. We have built a rewarding life here through our family, church and our careers. We have the wonderful experience of being a part of our two grandsons' daily lives. Hopkins County is a special place to all of us. These life experiences, I believe, are an important part of my qualifications for this office.

Additionally, I have a bachelor of science degree in history and government. I worked 17 years for the Texas Department of Human Services as a program auditory, supervisor and assistant regional director with budgetary responsibility. I served two years as district director for Congressman Jim Chapman and seven years as regional director for Local Government Assistance for Texas Comptroller John Sharp.

Identify what you consider the three most significant areas of interest, need or concern in the office you are seeking:

It is vital that the treasurer's office retain its independence from other divisions of county government so as to maintain the role as a financial check and balance as intended by the Texas Constitution.

All required duties of the treasurer must remain with, or return to, that office.

If elected, how would you address these concerns?

In consultation with all other county elected officials, I would review all of the current duties of the treasurer and make any adjustments to those duties required by the Texas Local Government Code.

Please provide a short statement to voters about your candidacy:

Elected officials occupy a position of public trust -- something to be taken seriously. The treasurer's office belongs to the people of Hopkins County, and the officeholder is a custodian of the people's trust. It is the officeholder's duty to maintain the office as required by law and not diminish the office by his or her actions during their term in office. 

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