HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) – A total of six Republican Walker County Judge candidates are running this year. Danny Pierce, the current Walker County Judge, announced he will not be running for re-election, opening the floodgates for a race without an incumbent.
A County Judge’s serves as the presiding officer of the commissioners court, represents the county in many administrative functions and serves as budget officer in counties with fewer than 225,000 residents. Most have broad judicial duties, such as presiding over misdemeanor criminal and small civil cases, probate matters and appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court. A county Judges also serves as head of emergency management.
Colt M. Christian
Colt Christian is a lifelong Walker County citizen and local business owner. The candidate oversees his family’s cattle ranch and a self-owned property management firm, all while building his own catering business. He is a conservative and businessman with over two decades of business management and leadership.
Christian has also served on and in various bureaus and boards. He’s currently the Chairman of Walker County Farm Bureau and USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee representing Walker County.
He earned both a Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from Sam Houston State University and is on multiple SHSU boards and committees.
“I have served on boards my whole life in the county,” said Christian. “Being a part of the community has made me want to run for office. I didn’t start working for the community just because I was running, I was already always involved in the community… I want to listen to the people that live here and give them an ear to talk to.”
Walker County native, Andy Isbell, has over 20 years of administrative experience serving Walker County residents and is currently the Walker County Director of Planning and Development.
Isbell grew up in Huntsville and attended Huntsville High School before attending Texas A&M University.
For the Houston-Galveston Area Council, he has served on a number of local advisory committees as well as regional ones, including the H-GAC 911 Advisory Committee, Regional Flood Management Committee, Natural Resources Committee, and Solid Waste Committee. The Texas Water Development Board named Isbell to the Regional Flood Planning Group for the Trinity River basin in 2021.
Isbell believes in strength through experience and that his two decades of experience helps set him apart.
“I think the thing that sets me apart is my direct experience. It’s not that I have 22 years of experience working somewhere or even an executive level of experience,” explained Isbell. ” I have 22 years of experience of working in county government in Walker County with the people here.”
Isbell has four children with his wife, Janis, whom he has been married to for almost 21 years. He’s excited to raise his children in the same town where he grew up and to continue to do his bit to ensure that Walker County is a great location to live and work for current and future generations.
“I will try to do everything I can to help the citizens of Walker County and keep the things they love about this place intact,” said Isbell.
Lee Killingsworth is a local heating and air condition contractor in Walker Count and owns Lee’s Unlimited, Inc. He spends most of his days working on residential and commercial heating and air systems, aerobic septic systems and minor home repair.
Killingsworth believes he will be able to represent the majority of the community while serving and thinks his years of service to the community, integrity and the ability to be straight-forward makes him a good candidate.
“The best experience I got is dealing with homeowners in their homes… I have customers from all aspects from a medium income to extremely wealthy individuals,” said Killingsworth. “Everybody wants the same thing, everybody wants to be happy, everybody wants their own space … so I am in tune with all income levels.”
Killingsworth and his wife of 32 years moved to Walker County back in 1989 and have been there ever since.
Walker County resident, Clyde Loll, has over two decades of executive leadership experience and 35 years of business management experience. Having worked in both managerial and executive positions, Loll thinks he has the necessary private industry experience to bring to and improve county government.
Loll currently serves as Chief Compliance and Sustainability Officer at BuffWater, LLC, a holding company for Gulf Marine Contractors, LLC, and CrossDock Supply, where he is vice president of Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE). He has three decades of experience in the QHSE industry.
Loll graduated from New Waverly high school and then Sam Houston State University. He also has six years of experience serving City Councils in New Waverly and Huntsville as well as multi-million dollar budget-managing experience.
The three most pressing concerns he would like to see addressed if elected are property taxes, the improvement of infrastructure and emergency management and fiscal responsibility.
“I am a conservative by nature. I am extremely conservative when it comes to people’s money, such as our Walker County Tax payers,” Loll said. ” … I have attended the commissioners court for the last eight or nine months. I have sat in all of their budgetary sessions so I have a very good feel as to how each of the four precinct commissioners work in collaboration with the county judge.”
Loll believes his experience, transparency and integrity help set him apart.
Loll says he would love to see local businesses, community leaders and SHSU come together to plan an economic growth strategy for the County.
Frank Olivares has been in the Walker County community since 1985. Olivares believes his commitment to God and the United States and his public service in the community will help equip him to serve as the Walker County Judge. He also brings 20 plus years of experience and leadership within the community.
Olivares has served in the United States Marine Corp, in the Bail Bonds business, as a Sheriff Deputy Reserve, a real estate agent and is a restaurant owner. Olivares also serves as the vice chair of the community affairs division for the Chamber of Commerce.
“Being in the ministry for about 13 years, I definitely went into prayer about it,” Olivares said about his decision to run for County Judge. “For 14 years I have been telling people why to move [to] and why Walker County is great … from elders to loved ones, from a new family looking for a home here, yes, it qualifies me tremendously.”
Alongside his wife, Sulma, Olivares is a proud father of two daughters.
Shannon “Shadrack” Riley
Shannon Riley has been a resident of Walker County for 40 years.
If elected, Riley would like to continue to help bring growth into the county as well as boost funds going into the emergency responses, roads and infrastructure.
Riley believes his integrity helps set him apart.
“I am a Christian and I am conservative, strong on both of those,” said Riley. “I have no political experience other than watching but the Judge that is in office today, I have appreciated and I believe in the way he has done things. I want to continue the route that he is going.”
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