Republican primary voters in the Amarillo area selected their new county officials in a relatively quiet election night that will certainly play a role in deciding the future of tax increases and more in Potter and Randall counties.

According to unofficial results, Potter County voters re-elected Precinct 1 Commissioner H.R. Kelly with 81 percent of the vote. Kelly bested the first primary challenger of his career, firearms instructor Ayvrie Dixon, who ran a spirited challenge to the incumbent.

For the Potter Precinct 3 commissioner seat, voters chose Sheriff’s Office Captain John Coffee in a four-man race to replace retiring Commissioner Leon Church. Coffee won 55 percent of the vote, with his closest competitor, insurance broker Brian Moore, winning 29 percent.

Potter County voters also advanced attorney Kerry Haney to the general election. In November, Haney will challenge incumbent Precinct 4 Democrat Constable Idella Thomas-Jackson.

In Randall County, voters ousted incumbent Precinct 4 Constable Chris Johnson, electing challenger Paula Hicks with 60 percent of the vote. Hicks previously ran against Johnson in 2016, falling about 20 points short, but was aided in this year’s bid by support from retiring Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson. It is widely believed that an open letter from Richardson to voters, in which he attacked Johnson’s record, may have helped flip the seat.

Randall County voters also elected Republican Party Chairman Tim Revell to his first full term after he replaced former Chairman Terry Harman in 2018. Revell defeated challenger Cara Hendricks with 58 percent of the vote.

With the exception of Haney, none of the elected primary candidates in the Amarillo area will face opponents in November.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.