North Texas Daily

Long-time Denton County Judge resigns, endorses a county commissioner

Long-time Denton County Judge resigns, endorses a county commissioner

December 06
15:16 2017

At a commissioners court meeting on Nov. 14, Judge Mary Horn announced she will not seek re-election for the 2018 election.

The first female tax assessor, first female county judge and the longest-serving judge, Horn has spent 25 years working for Denton County government.

With grandchildren in Austin and Houston, Horn said she and her husband want to spend time with them without worrying about rushing back to Denton for the commissioners court meetings on Tuesdays.

“After a while, it is somebody else’s turn,” Horn said. “I’m 72 years old, it’s time someone else did this. I want to enjoy my good health while I have it.”

Horn was chosen as the Republican candidate for county judge in the March 2002 primary. When then-judge Scott Armey resigned in June 2002 to take a federal job in Fort Worth, Horn fulfilled the rest of his term before beginning hers in Jan. 2003. Armey served from 1996 to 2002.

In the four-and-a-half terms Horn has served, her focus in the county was transportation, facilities and getting Denton County to a AAA credit rating.

Funding for I-35 and other roadways, expanding government facilities and establishing policies are some of the things Horn has accomplished as promised during her original campaign.

With Horn, Denton County became one of the four counties in North Texas that have AAA ratings. There are 254 counties in Texas.

Horn said the growth of Denton County is something she has kept her attention on as the county has kept expanding.

“Since I took office, [we’ve grown] 65 percent by population,” Horn said. “When you have a population like that, you need to provide more services to the citizens.”

When she announced she wouldn’t be seeking re-election, she revealed her endorsement for commissioner in Precinct 4, Andy Eads. Eads officially announced he would be running for county judge on Dec. 2, and filed with the Denton County GOP on Dec. 4.

Eads has served on the commissioners court since 2007 and has been a part of many boards throughout the county.

“I am humbled by the incredible amount of encouragement I have received,” Eads said on his Facebook page. “It has been an honor to serve my community on the Denton County Commissioners Court and I hope I can continue to serve them as Denton County judge.”

Currently, there is no Democratic nominee, and the Denton County Democrats could not be reached for comment.

At a commissioner court meeting on Aug. 15, Denton County NAACP president and active member of the community Willie Hudspeth announced he intends to run for the county judge position in 2018, but recently hasn’t said anything about the run.

The final day to file for candidacy is Dec. 11, according to a Denton County Elections Administration employee. Candidates first file with their respective parties, then file with the election administration to begin campaigning.

“Andy has been in office for 11 years,” Horn said. “He has worked really hard in his precinct and has good communication skills. He’s got a relationship with a lot of people in the region, which can be very helpful.”

Not only will Horn be leaving the county, but she said there will be a lot more internal change for the government. The county auditor will be retiring as well as some other employees.

Denton County will still be her home, where her and her husband, former State Representative Jim Horn, reside in Sanger.

“Change is good and healthy,” Horn said. “State law changes and you’ve always got to address those things. I feel confident I’m leaving those things in great hands.”

Featured Image: Denton County Judge Mary Horn has been the sitting judge for 15 years. Horn has endorsed Andy Eads for the November 2018 election. Cameron Roe

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Julia Falcon

Julia Falcon

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