Constable Michael Woodson

EDITOR'S NOTE:This article misquoted Woodson. Eviction cases, not addiction cases, are particularly difficult, he said. The story is corrected. 

Local constable Michael Woodson has announced his candidacy for Lamar County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 1. Undeterred by the heavy caseload, he’s looking for opportunities to serve the community in the coming months, he said.

“The number of cases will double, and the workload will double, but I enjoy that,” he said. “I enjoy working and being busy. I would work hard.”

The Justice of the Peace, often referred to as “the people’s court,” adjudicates misdemeanor cases punishable by a fine; enforces county and state ordinances; issues warrants for search and arrest; administers oaths; handles emergency protective orders; and can perform marriages, according to state statutes.

Woodson has worked in law enforcement since the ’90s, he said. He began his career at Lamar County Jail, then served as a patrol officer at the sheriff’s office before joining the constable’s precinct for 11 years. He holds a master peace officer certificate and has completed training in civil process at the Justice Court Training Center, he said. Through his time at the constable’s office, he has been able to see the courts at work and everything the Justice of the Peace position entails.

“I filed Saturday to be on the Republican ballot on March 3, 2020,” Woodson announced in a Facebook post Nov 11. “In the last 11 years, I have worked closely with the justice courts and have gained the experience needed to be the Justice of the Peace. I have personally observed thousands of eviction and small claim and debt claim cases, as well as criminal arraignments.”

Woodson said if he wins the seat, he expects to be presented with difficult cases, such as eviction cases which are particularly hard to see, he said. But his main concern will be fairness and a good work ethic.

His announcement received positive responses on his Facebook page, with many writing to congratulate him and support his candidacy.

While Woodson is yet to receive any public endorsements, he will gladly accept them closer to election season, he said.

“I know how to be fair and how to treat people,” Woodson said in his announcement. “If elected, I promise to work hard and to be fair and impartial.”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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