Shelton Gibbs

Shelton Gibbs IV handily took the Republican nomination on July 14 for the 422nd judicial district in Kaufman, but it wasn’t an easy win, he said on Wednesday morning.

“I’m just thankful for my supporters,” he said. “It was them. We had angels all over the county.” Volunteers baked, knocked on doors and made phone calls to support him. “It was a true grass-roots campaign. I just happened to be face of it.”

Gibbs, a minister in the Church of Christ, gave God credit for his win, as well.

“I’m not excited personally,” he said. “I’m humbled by it.” He said he will work with the utmost integrity, “as God gives me the ability to do it.”

Out of 6,559 votes cast in the county’s Republican primary runoff on July 14, Gibbs had 4,031 votes, compared to 2,528 votes for Chad Johnson.

Gibbs is an assistant district attorney for Kaufman County and native of Terrell. With no Democratic challenger for the position, in January he will take the seat of Judge Mike Chitty, who announced his retirement last year.

Chad Johnson, the other Republican runoff candidate, is a resident and school board member in Forney who works in civil and business law in Dallas.

“Chad Johnson was a formidable opponent,” Gibbs said. “My hat goes off to Chad. I think he’s a good man, he ran a great campaign. I have the highest regard for him and his family.”

While there have been black county officials elected in Kaufman County, Gibbs is the first elected to the state district court in the county, but he said that wasn’t a focus of his campaign.

“If people are excited about that,” he said of his historic win, “that’s great, but that’s not my focus.”

“To me as a Christian, there are things that are more important than what we see,” he added. “Fairness, justice, efficiency, values and principles are my focus, and the focus of the job. It’s never been about black or white.”

Gibbs said he does appreciate the opportunity to build bridges in the community in his new position.

The only other election on the Republican ballot in the county was for precinct chair of Precinct 14. Charlie Green captured 117 votes, with Sandra Vatsis-Taylor coming in second with 76 votes.

On the Democratic side of the runoff election, Royce West won in Kaufman County for the U.S. Senate nomination, but MJ Hegar won the overall primary in Texas and will face U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican incumbent, in November. West won 1,733 votes in Kaufman County, compared to Hegar’s 936 votes.

In the Democratic county vote for railroad commissioner, Chrysta Castañeda took 1,322 votes, with Roberto Alonzo close behind with 1,303 votes. Castañeda won the overall primary runoff, as well. The winner will compete against Republican Jim Wright in November.

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