County Judge Candidates Promise to Restore Order

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Oct 11, 2010  |  Updated 5:56 PM CDT
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Republican Wade Emmert and democrat Clay Jenkins are running for Dallas County Judge.

Ken Kalthoff, NBCDFW.com

Republican Wade Emmert and democrat Clay Jenkins are running for Dallas County Judge.

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The two lawyers running for Dallas County judge say they want to rein in the Commissioners Court.

County judge is the county's top elected official, presiding at Commissioners Court meetings and overseeing county government.

In recent months, the meetings have been unruly with commissioners fighting amongst themselves and with other elected officials over a shrinking budget.

Jim Foster, the outgoing county judge, was defeated in the Democratic primary by attorney Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins said his legal and small business experience would help him ride herd over county government.

"What we need is fair leadership that will call balls and strikes as the chair of this Commissioners Court," he said. "If you've got a county judge who is a strong personality, who will be fair to all sides -- that will maintain order in the Commissioners Court."

His opponent, Republican Wade Emmert, is also an attorney. Emmert, who served two terms as a Cedar Hill City councilman, said he also served in volunteer economic development positions in Cedar Hill.

"I have the experience, I have the relationships, (and) I have the skill set necessary to lead this county," he said. "I don't have all the answers, but I'm smart, and I'll work hard, and I've got a track record of getting things done."

The two candidates refuse to say bad things about each other. They both say it's a demonstration of their desires to bring civil, professional behavior to county government.

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