With early voting just weeks away, Collin County voters vetted two candidates vying to represent them on the commissioners court.

Collin County Precinct 3 Commissioner Darrell Hale and his Republican primary challenger Steve Terrell fielded questions Monday night at a forum hosted by the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch. Candidates were quizzed on property taxes, county growth and infrastructure priorities, taxpayer-funded lobbying, and transparency, as well as their experience and qualifications.

Hale, elected in 2018 to fill the unexpired term of now-County Judge Chris Hill, focused on his record while serving as commissioner. Hale reminded voters that he kept his promise to hold county property taxes flat by voting for the effective tax rate, and described the ways he regularly communicates with constituents about court activities.

Terrell touted his 23-year experience as mayor of Allen—a position he acknowledged just last week that he automatically resigned from on December 9 when he filed to run for commissioner. Terrell said he sees no reason for the county to ever set property taxes above the effective tax rate, though the city of Allen never hit that target during his tenure.

Both candidates said they disapprove of taxpayer-funded lobbying, and identified roads and expansion of the county jail as priority infrastructure projects for the next four years.

Ahead of the forum, the club installed officers for 2020: President Ted Puchacz, 1st Vice President Jack DeSimone, 2nd Vice President Joan van Vliet, Secretary Tim Borck, and Treasurer Philip LaRose.

Click here to read a transcript of the forum.

Voters will have another chance to hear from the candidates at a forum hosted by the McKinney Tea Party on February 11.

Early voting in the March 3 primary elections begins on February 18. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is February 3.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.