Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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December 31, 2012

Top 10 Stories of 2012

2012 Elections chosen as top story of the year

Corsicana — The year 2012 will again go down as a year of “change,” a popular buzz-word from the last presidential election year.

And change in Navarro County is documented in our selection of the Top 10 Local Stories of 2012.

A change in leadership for Navarro County’s Sheriff’s Department, the change of commissioners in Precinct 1, leaving the commissioners court with an all-GOP lineup of elected officials. In fact, all of the offices in county leadership are now held by Republicans.

And change in the business climate also took place in 2012, with net gains in jobs and a $50 million plant expansion adding some 200 positions, a definite positive move for the Corsicana and Navarro County economy — combined with an overall increase in sales tax revenues helping fuel progress.

We lost some great folks in 2012 — people who have played a big part in the growth and quality of life in our county.

And there was some disappointing news in the year as well, yet overall, and we’ll document that as well.

Here’s our look at the Top 10 Local Stories of 2012, taken from the pages of your Corsicana Daily Sun.

No. 1: 2012 Elections

Ask any candidate and they’ll tell you — running for office is a tough job. But in Texas in 2012, it was an election that went into overtime for all concerned. Disputes over newly-drawn election lines pushed back the traditional March primaries to the end of May, adding another three months of campaigning and waiting for all concerned. And Navarro County went one step further, with a runoff election held at the end of July in one race, making the 2012 primary election season one for the record books.

The races for county government saw the resignation of an elected official in mid-cycle, when Precinct 3 Constable Brad Butler resigned over a pay dispute with the commissioners court, and the local GOP committee nominated Nicole McMahan, whom Butler defeated in the primary, to replace him on the November ballot.

Elmer Tanner was elected sheriff after winning a three-way race in the primary, and comfortable victory over the Democratic challenger, John Barlow, in the November vote. And with Precinct 1 Commissioner Kit Herrington’s decision not to seek another term, Republican Jason Grant joins the commissioners court after a 20-plus year career with the Corsicana Police Department.

Several incumbents were returned to office in 2012, including State Rep. Byron Cook, State Sen. Brian Birdwell, Precinct 3 Commissioner David “Butch” Warren, Tax Assessor/Collector Russell Hudson, District Judge James Lagomarsino, and appointees District Clerk Josh Tackett and County Court-At-Law Judge Amanda Putman were elected without opposition to their first full terms. All three incumbent constables also won another term, along with McMahan in her first bid for office.

While Navarro County and Texas held strong in support of the GOP presidential slate of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term in office, and his administration and the nation immediately faced dealing with a “Fiscal Cliff” that was still in question at year’s end.

— Bob Belcher

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