When Precinct 3 Constable Ronnie Griffin made a last-minute filing to run for Austin County Sheriff last spring, he left the position of Precinct 3 Constable open without a candidate.
Now, he and two others are seeking the seat in the Nov. 3 election, but their names will not appear on the ballot. Instead, all three are write-in candidates. Joining Griffin in the race for the seat he holds are Bellville Police Officer Tobey Baggerly and certified law enforcement officer and small business owner Robert Campbell.
The Sealy News posed questions to each of the candidates and the following are their responses:
What are your qualifications for this position?
Griffin: Past president of Austin County Peace Officers Association and past state trustee of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Baggerly: 30 years in law enforcement; Master Peace Officer (2006); Advanced Police Officer (1996); Intermediate Police Officer (1993); Advanced Jailer (2004); Mental Health Officer (2009); over 2,800 TCOLE hours. I have served as a jailer, jail sergeant, jail captain, patrol deputy, patrol officer, weights and measures deputy, traffic officer, warrant deputy, and animal control officer.
Campbell: I have been in law enforcement for 10 and a half years. I currently hold TCOLE Basic Instructor’s Certification and I am also a Certified Mental Health Officer.
What issues would you like to address in the department?
Campbell: (No response)
Baggerly: I will be in the justice of the peace court as bailiff as the law requires, making it safer for county employees and citizens attending court. Comply with all lawful orders and requirements of the court. Restripe the constable vehicle so citizens and criminals alike can recognize it as a patrol vehicle. Patrol the neighborhoods to keep the citizens and their property safe. Assist all departments for added officer safety.
Griffin: Continue to work with the commissioners court to push the department to a fully funded agency.
How could you improve the department?
Baggerly: I can improve the department by implementing each item I have listed above. I am able to make the constable position my top priority. I currently work as a patrol/animal control officer for Bellville Police Department. If I am blessed enough for the citizens of Austin County to choose me as their constable I will be able to retire my position in Bellville to devote my full attention to the constable position.
Griffin: I continue to look for grants that will improve the agency with no cost to county residents.
Campbell: If I am elected, I will make sure the citizens in my precinct know who represents them and I will make sure no one will ever say again that they didn’t know we had a constable in Precinct 3.
Why should voters write your name in?
Griffin: During my tenure as constable I have acquired thousands of dollars in funding at no cost to county residents. I am constantly updating the equipment and providing a better service for the safety of our community.
Campbell: Voters should write my name in because I am very approachable, and my door will always be open to the citizens of Precinct 3.
Baggerly: I feel with my experience and knowledge, I would be an excellent officer of the court. I started my law enforcement career in Austin County in 1989. I worked for the Austin County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years, Travis County Sheriff’s Office for four years and Bellville Police Department for 13 years. Austin County has always had officers and police departments that work together and that is important for all citizens. I would be able to devote my full attention to the job of being constable. I would be able to provide assistance during emergencies and manpower shortages. I will be in justice of the peace court as bailiff. I will serve all papers issued to me by the court. I will patrol my area and provide assistance anywhere in Austin County where it is needed. I appreciate Sheriff Brandes’ support and will work closely with the sheriff’s office and all police departments to serve the citizens of Austin County.