WICHITA COUNTY, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Nancy Viavattene has been the Wichita County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 for 31 years. But she has competition this year from 16-year Wichita Falls police officer Rodney Burchett.
"Every four years the people of Precinct 2 decide whether I've done a good job or not," Judge Viavattene said. "And at that point in time, I've been very blessed that they have re-elected me all these years."
"I've known Nancy all my life," Burchett said. "So it was a decision my wife and I did not come about lightly."
Burchett said he decided to run because he'd love to go back home to Burkburnett and retire from the police department.
"I thought what better way to carry on than to go back home, which is Burkburnett and our tight-knit community, and run for Justice of the Peace so that I can go from bringing folks before the bench to actually sitting behind the bench," Burchett said.
Justice of the Peace judges have many duties, including signing warrants, as well as overseeing civil and truancy cases. Burchett thinks his experience as a cop will help in those areas.
"That's one of the big magistrate duties of the JP," Burchett said. "To review search and arrest warrants that are brought before the Justice of the Peace for review before they're signed."
Judge Viavattene thinks her record speaks for itself.
"There is something new and exciting every day," Judge Viavattene said. "Sometimes it's like we just shake our heads and go on. I enjoy being with the people of Precinct 2. They're a good group of people."