Potter County Republican Party endorses write-in candidate over incumbent GOP County Judge

The Potter County Republican Executive Committee has passed a resolution to endorse Tom Warren for Potter County Judge, making him the first candidate to receive such an endorsement from the local party. Warren was endorsed over incumbent Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner, who won the GOP primary against challenger Ed Heath this past March.

In addition, Potter County Republican Party Chairman Dan Rogers, Potter County Republican Party Vice Chair Mike Yazbek, and Potter County Republican Party Secretary Jason Foglesong have personally endorsed Warren.

"I am honored to have the support of the Potter County Republican Party and Chairman Rogers.

“I am the only candidate in this race who has pledged to uncompromisingly fight for the same issues local Republicans care about – gun rights, election integrity, and lower taxes – and our local Republican leaders know it. 

"I cannot wait to continue sharing my vision for Potter County over the next few weeks, talking about the types of issues that local taxpayers are ready to address," Warren said.

Warren has launched a write-in campaign to challenge Tanner this coming November.

"Since Nancy Tanner has been in office, she has raised taxes numerous times, issued millions of dollars in debt without taxpayer approval, kept businesses shut down unnecessarily for months during the pandemic, aligned herself with anti-veteran organizations, overseen the county’s failed response to the worst cyberattack on a local government entity in Amarillo’s history, appointed Democrats to powerful local government positions, and has done all of this while showing total disregard for the citizens of this county.

"I am running for Potter County Judge as a referendum on Tanner and her record: higher taxes brought to you by a career politician. Tanner does not deserve to be re-elected unopposed, and I will make sure that she can’t win re-election without a fight," Warren states on his campaign website.

A judicial misconduct complaint was recently filed against Tanner concerning an incident that occurred while Warren was filing the necessary paperwork and monetary fee to challenge the incumbent as a write-in candidate during the upcoming November election.

The complaint accuses Tanner of disclosing private information that was not readily available to the public solely for the purpose of lashing out at her opponent in the November election. 

The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 3, Section B, Number 11 states:

"A judge shall not disclose or use, for any purpose unrelated to judicial duties, nonpublic information acquired in a judicial capacity. The discussions, votes, positions taken, and writings of appellate judges and court personnel about causes are confidences of the court and shall be revealed only through a court's judgment, a written opinion or in accordance with Supreme Court guidelines for a court approved history project."

The Texas Constitution vests broad judicial and administrative powers to Tanner as the county judge, who presides over a five-member commissioners court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.

The county judge handles such widely varying matters as hearing on admittance to state hospitals for the mentally ill, and temporary and permanent guardianships for special purposes. The judge is also responsible for calling elections, posting election notices and for receiving and canvassing the election returns. 

A county judge in Texas may have judicial responsibility for certain criminal, civil and probate matters - responsibility for these functions vary from county to county. In those counties in which the judge has judicial responsibilities, the judge has appellate jurisdiction over matters arising from the justice courts. The county judge is also head of civil defense and disaster relief, and county welfare.  

In counties under 225,000 population, such as Potter County, the judge prepares the county budget along with the county auditor.

Before Tanner was elected to her first term in office, she served for 20 years as the administrator to previous Potter County Judge Arthur Ware. Ware eventually fired Tanner for what he termed a “procedural/policy violation."

In previous interviews, Tanner admitted that she stepped up and fulfilled many of Ware's duties after he suffered a stroke in 2010. Tanner said she "tried to function for the Judge but was not given the authority."

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