Local businessman Terry Johnson has secured the Republican nomination for Midland County Judge and will face Democrat nominee Steven Schafersman in November.

In a close runoff election against former Republican County Chair James Beauchamp, Johnson received 2,483 votes, or 52 percent; Beauchamp received 2,321.

The two candidates were forced into a runoff in March when neither garnered more than 50 percent. Contrary to the runoff results, Beauchamp led in the primary election with 40 percent of the vote compared to Johnson’s 32 percent. The third candidate, Stephen Robertson, received 28 percent.

After interviews with Beauchamp and Johnson earlier this year, Texas Scorecard published an article assessing the pros and cons of each candidate. The following was said about Johnson:

“In Johnson, Midland County would have an experienced entrepreneur who has started and managed numerous service companies. He understands business, particularly the oil and gas business and all that comes with it, such as responsible spending, budget cuts, planning for economic ups and downs, and managing a large staff. He’s a political ‘outsider’, which has its appeal. Yet what may be Johnson’s greatest appeal could also be a weakness.

During his interview with TFR, it was apparent Johnson has much to learn about county and local government policy. While his answers reflected principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility, they were short, simple, and lacked specificity. It’s likely that, if elected, Johnson will bring a business-minded approach to the county, but have a steeper learning curve that could be taken advantage of by staff and political opponents.”

While no endorsement was made following the interviews, both candidates seemed prepared to make tough and much-needed changes to Midland County’s government. With Johnson, it’s likely voters are hopeful that he’ll bring business sense to the county’s often scrutinized spending habits.

Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau of Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.


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