‘Duck Dynasty’ relative, ex-NBC 5 anchorman vying to be Tarrant County tax official

The ballot for the 2018 primary elections in Texas is now set.
The ballot for the 2018 primary elections in Texas is now set. jlmarshall@star-telegram.com

The trickle-down effect of U.S. Rep. Joe Barton’s decision amid a sex scandal to not seek another term has led to an interesting race — for Tarrant County tax assessor-collector.

That office opened up earlier this month when its former occupant, Ron Wright, resigned to run for the 6th Congressional District in the hopes of replacing Barton, R-Ennis, in Congress in 2019.

Four Republicans are now vying to become the next tax assessor-collector: former NBC 5 anchorman Mike Snyder, former Keller councilman Rick Barnes, former Mansfield councilwoman Wendy Burgess and Trasa Robertson Cobern, a Hurst councilwoman and the daughter of “Uncle Si” Robertson on the popular reality show “Duck Dynasty.”

Snyder, Cobern and Barnes filed Monday, the deadline for candidates to be listed on the March 6 primary ballot.

“When this position opened up, I felt like it was an opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale,” Cobern said, adding that she wants to have a “strong voice” in finding a solution “to our ever-increasing property tax.”

Snyder, who left NBC 5 after 30 years in 2010, said he has long thought about running for a political office. “I’m a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is expected,” he said, adding that if he’s elected, he’d like to continue work begun by Wright. “It’s time.”

Burgess, who served six years on the Mansfield City Council, said if elected, “I promise to lead this important office with a commitment to accuracy, transparency and integrity.” She is married to Tarrant County Constable Clint Burgess.

As for Barnes, he withdrew a previous bid to run for Tarrant County Republican chair. While seriously considering running for tax assessor-collector, he said, he “reached out to a number of supporters and looked for advice.” Then, late Monday, he “made the commitment.”

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Ollie Anderson in November.

This is just one of the several primary battles that finally shaped up Monday.

“There is a great deal of fluidity in Texas politics at the moment,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. “No one is quite sure what political base will show up at election time, but every candidate thinks they can energize it.

“For Republicans, they don’t know if the Trump coalition will come back. For Democrats, they don’t know if the Sanders coalition will come back. This has encouraged candidates of all stripes to run.”

Some familiar names will be back on the ballot:

▪ Former Texas Criminal Court of Appeals Judge Larry Meyers of Fort Worth has filed to challenge Republican incumbent Glen Whitley for the post of Tarrant County judge.

▪ Former state District Judge Maryellen Hicks has filed to run for judge of the 322nd District Court.

▪ And statewide, former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson filed to reclaim his former post, now held by George P. Bush, a former Fort Worth resident who is nephew to one president and grandson to another.

“We will have a very interesting primary,” said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University.

Political observers note that a larger-than-average number of Democrats who filed for spots on the ballot in Tarrant County, one of the nation’s reddest areas.

“The political climate has been churned up dramatically in many directions from top to bottom,” said Allan Saxe, an associate political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. “With the political landscape so much in turmoil, it is not too surprising to see all challengers.”

Here’s a look at races that will be on the Tarrant County ballot, according to lists that may not be complete but were posted on the websites of the Texas secretary of state and state and local Republican and Democratic parties.


Senate: Republicans: Ted Cruz (i), Bruce Jacobson Jr., Geraldine Sam, Mary Miller; Democrats: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Edward Kimbrough.

Congressional District 6: Joe Barton, R-Ennis, came under fire for a nude photo and private messages with sexual overtones he exchanged with a female constituent and announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. Here are the candidates who have since filed to run for the post: Republicans: J.K. “Jake” Elzey, Deborah Gagliardi, Ron Wright, Mark Mitchell, Troy Ratterree, Mel Hassell, Craig Walker, Shawn Dandridge, Kevin Harrison, Adrian Mizher, Ken Cope; Democrats: Ruby Faye Woolridge, Jana Lynne Sanchez, Levii R. Shocklee, John W. Duncan, Justin Snider.

Congressional District 12: Republican: Kay Granger (i); Democrat: Vanessa Adia.

Congressional District 24: Republican: Kenny Marchant (i); Democrats: John Biggan, Edward “Todd” Allen, Jan McDowell.

Congressional District 25: Republican: Roger Williams (i); Democrats: Julie Oliver, West Hansen, Kathi Thomas, Chetan Panda, Chris Perri.

Congressional District 26: Republicans: Michael Burgess (i), Veronica Birkenstock; Democrats: Linsey Fagan, Will Fisher.

Congressional District 33: Democrat: Marc Veasey (i); Republican: Willie Billups.

Statewide offices

Governor: Republicans: Greg Abbott (i), SECEDE Kilgore; Democrats: Andrew White, Lupe Valdez, Grady Yarbrough, Adrian Ocegueda, Tom Wakely, Cedric Davis Sr., Joe Mumbach, Jeffrey Payne, James Jolly Clark, Demetria Smith; Libertarian: Kathie Glass.

Lieutenant governor: Republicans: Dan Patrick (i), Scott Midler; Democrats: Michael Cooper, Mike Collier.

Comptroller: Republican Glenn Hegar (i); Democrats: Tim Mahoney, Joi Chevalier.

Attorney general: Republican: Ken Paxton (i); Democrat: Justin Nelson.

Agriculture commissioner: Republicans: Sid Miller (i), Trey Blocker, Jim Hogan; Democrat: Kim Olson.

Land commissioner: Republicans: George P. Bush (i), Jerry Patterson, Rick Range, Davey Edwards; Democrat: Miguel Suazo, Tex Morgan.

Railroad Commission: Republicans: Christi Craddick (i), Weston Martinez; Democrat: Roman McAllen.

Supreme Court, Place 2: Republican: Jimmy Blacklock; Democrat: Steven Kirkland.

Supreme Court, Place 4: Republican: John Devine (i); Democrat: R.K. Sandill.

Supreme Court, Place 6: Republican: Jeff Brown (i); Democrat: Kathy Cheng.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 1: Republicans: Sharon Keller (i), David Bridges; Democrat: Maria T. (Terri) Jackson.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7: Republican: Barbara Hervey (i); Democrat: Ramona Franklin.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8: Republicans: Jay Brandon, Michelle Slaughter, Dib Waldrip.


Senate District 9: Republican: Kelly Hancock (i); Democrat: Gwenn Burud.

Senate District 10: Republican: Konni Burton (i); Democrats: Beverly Powell, Allison Campolo.

House District 91: Republican: Stephanie Klick (i); Democrat: Jeromey Sims.

House District 92: Republican: Jonathan Stickland (i); Democrat: Steve Riddell.

House District 93: Republican: Matt Krause (i); Democrats: Nancy Bean, Nisha Matthews.

House District 94: Republican: Tony Tinderholt (i); Democrat: Finnigan Jones.

House District 95: Democrat: Nicole Collier (i)

House District 96: Republican: Bill Zedler (i); Democrat: Ryan E. Ray.

House District 97: Republican: Craig Goldman (i); Democrat: Beth Llewellyn McLaughlin.

House District 98: Republicans: Giovanni Capriglione (i), Armin Mizani; Democrat: Mica J. Ringo.

House District 99: Republicans: Charlie Geren (i), Bo French; Democrat: Michael Stackhouse.

House District 101: Democrat: Chris Turner (i)

Other races

Texas Board of Education District 11: Republicans: Patricia “Pat” Hardy (i), Feyi Obamehinti; Democrats: Carla Morton, Celeste Light.

Texas Board of Education District 13: Republican: A. Denise Russell; Democrat: Aicha Davis.


Tarrant County judge: Republican: Glen Whitley (i); Democrat Lawrence “Larry” Meyers.

Tarrant County Commissioners Court: Republicans: Andy Nguyen (i), Precinct 2; J.D. Johnson (i), Precinct 4; Democrats: Devan Allen, Precinct 2; Syed Hassan, Precinct 2.

Tarrant County district attorney: Republican: Sharen Wilson (i); Democrat: Albert Roberts.

Tarrant County district clerk: Republicans: Tom Wilder (i), Frank Palomino; Democrat: John Derewitz.

Tarrant County clerk: Republican: Mary Louise Garcia (i); Democrat: Karroll W. Parker.

Tarrant County tax assessor-collector: Republicans: Wendy Burgess, Trasa Robertson Cobern, Mike Snyder, Rick Barnes; Democrat: Ollie Anderson.

Tarrant County Republican Party chair: Darl Easton

Tarrant County Democratic Party chair: Deborah Peoples (i)


2nd Court of Appeals, chief justice: Republican: Bonnie Sudderth (i)

2nd Court of Appeals, Place 4: Republican: Wade Birdwell (i)

2nd Court of Appeals, Place 5: Republican: Dabney Bassel

2nd Court of Appeals, Place 6: Republican: Mark Pittman (i)

Justice of the peace, Precinct 1: Republican: Ralph Swearingin (i)

Justice of the peace, Precinct 2: Republican: Mary Tom Cravens Curnutt (i); Democrat: Ernesto Gloria.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 3: Republicans: Bill Brandt, Russ Casey (i), Lenny Lopez.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 4: Republicans: Toni Rhodes Glover, Charity Deville, Jacquelyn Wright (i), Christopher Gregory, Courtney McBride; Democrat: Roger Metcalf.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 5: Democrats: Sergio De Leon (i), Steve Thornton.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 6: Republicans: Chris Garcia, Gary Ritchie (i), Jason Charbonnet; Democrat: Deborah Hall.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 7: Republican: Matt Hayes (i); Democrats: Dustin Ray Webb, Frieda Porter, Kenneth Sanders.

Justice of the peace, Precinct 8: Democrats: Lisa R. Woodard (i), Malinda Miller, Don A. Middlebrooks Sr.

Criminal District Court No. 1: Republican: Elizabeth Beach (i)

Criminal District Court No. 3: Republican: Robb Catalano (i)

Criminal District Court No. 4: Republican: Mike Thomas (i)

141st District Court: Republican: John P. Chupp (i)

231st District Court: Republican: Jesse Nevarez (i)

233rd District Court: Republicans: Kenneth E. Newell, Lori DeAngelis Griffith.

236th District Court: Republican: Tom Lowe (i)

297th District Court: Republican: David Hagerman (i)

322nd District Court: Republicans: James B. Munford, Jennifer Moore; Democrat: Maryellen Hicks.

323rd District Court: Republicans: Riley Shaw, Alex Kim; Democrat: James C. Teel

324th District Court: Republican: Jerry Hennigan (i)

325th District Court: Republican: Cynthia Terry, Judith Wells

342nd District Court: Republicans: Kimberly Fitzpatrick, Pat Gallagher, Julie Camacho

352nd District Court: Republican: Josh Burgess (i)

371st District Court: Republican: Mollee Westfall (i)

372nd District Court: Republican: Scott Wisch (i)

432nd District Court: Republican: Ruben Gonzalez (i)

Probate Court No. 1: Republicans: Catherine Goodman, Chris Ponder, Louis Stefanos, Patricia Cole, Mark Sullivan.

Probate Court No. 2: Republican: Brooke Allen (i)

County Court at Law No. 1: Republican: Don Pierson (i)

County Court at Law No. 2: Republican: Jennifer Rymell (i)

County Court at Law No. 3: Republican: Mike Hrabal (i)

County Criminal Court No. 1: Republican David Cook (i)

County Criminal Court No. 2: Republican: Carey Walker (i)

County Criminal Court No. 3: Republican: Bob McCoy (i)

County Criminal Court No. 4: Republican: Deborah Nekhom (i), Mamie Johnson

County Criminal Court No. 5: Republican: Jamie Cummings (i)

County Criminal Court No. 6: Republican: Molly Jones (i)

County Criminal Court No. 7: Cheril Hardy (i)

County Criminal Court No. 8: Republican: Charles L. “Chuck” Vanover (i)

County Criminal Court No. 9: Republican: Brent Carr (i)

County Criminal Court, No. 10: Republican: Phil Sorrells (i)

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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