Applewhite, Terry move to next round

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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New Numbers

NEW NUMBERS – Wise County Treasurer Katherine Hudson writes updated vote totals on the white board at the local Republican watch party Tuesday night at Fuzzy’s in Decatur. Hudson ran unopposed for re-election in the Republican primary. She doesn’t have a Democratic opponent in November, so she will start her sixth term in January 2019. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Charles Applewhite of Aurora and Terry Terry of Boyd are the last two standing in the race for Wise County Precinct 3 constable.

Applewhite and Terry were the top two in Tuesday’s Republican primary in the four-person race and will move on to the May 22 runoff. With no Democratic opponent in November, whoever wins the primary will fill the unexpired term left vacant by the resignation of Doug Parr following his criminal plea deal in August. The term runs through December 2020.

Applewhite led the pack with 436 votes (34.25 percent) of the 1,273 votes counted by 10 p.m. Tuesday. The Wise County Elections Administration reported 130 outstanding mail-in ballots.

“It starts again, not from scratch, but there’s a lot of work to do,” Applewhite said about moving ahead.

Applewhite campaigned on his law enforcement experience. He’s worked in the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Bedford Police Department, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Samson Park Police Department and Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

“I believe it was my level of experience in law enforcement and the fact that I want to be a full-time constable,” Applewhite said that appealed to voters.

Terry, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Boyd, finished second with 352 votes (27.65 percent). Terry picked up 234 votes on election day to move from third in the race to second and get into the runoff.

“After the early vote, I was thinking maybe not. But things change. People came out to vote for me,” Terry said.

“[Now] I have to get into more homes and remind people to vote in May. I’ve never been in an election, but I’m told the voting turnout is lower in the runoff. I have to encourage people to get out and vote.”

In the past few weeks, Terry said he was able to get his message out to the public. Terry was the lone person in the race without law enforcement experience. He more than doubled the 111 votes he picked up in early voting on election day.

“People know me as a pastor. I was out answering questions for people and telling them I’m willing and able to serve in this capacity,” Terry said.

“It’s a communication process. I’ve been serving my community and this is another opportunity to serve.”

Cary Mellema, a Denton County deputy constable who lives in Aurora, finished third with 273 votes (21.45 percent). Mellema was in second after early voting with 122 votes. He picked up only 147 votes Tuesday.

“Charles went out and hit the pavement, and Terry obviously did, too,” Mellema said. “They were able to convince voters they were the ones to vote for.”

Mellema quickly endorsed Applewhite.

“He’s the one with law enforcement experience,” Mellema said.

Tony White of Rhome, a former officer and currently a safety director for a pipeline contractor, finished fourth with 212 votes (16.65 percent).

“I was a little shocked. I thought I’d fare better than I did. That’s the way elections go,” White said.

White threw his support behind Applewhite.

“I told him ahead of time, if he was in the runoff, I’d support him,” White said. “We’ve been friends a long time.”

Early voting in the May 22 runoff will start May 14.

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