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3 from 02 race in different contests now

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - Three candidates from 2002’s Ellis County Court at Law No. 2 race now find themselves in a different political atmosphere and in new campaign roles.

Cindy Ermatinger, Car-ol Bush and Steve Burnett finished the 2002 race for the seat Gene Calvert eventually won third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

The three lawyers now are pitted in various races: Ermatinger in a race against three other Republicans in the 40th District Court race; Bush, appointed county judge in April, in the race against Kelly Kovar and Burnett, running in a four-candidate GOP primary for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4.

Eight years ago, Republicans swept the entire county.

Now, Republicans are increasingly facing opposition from within their own ranks and from a record number of Libertarians (Democrats only filed one for 2010, Curtis Polk, the incumbent and uncontested candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 3.)

Ermatinger, Bush and Burnett, all lawyers, agreed the 2010 elections are much different from eight years ago.

"Cindy, Carol and I are in different races, so the dynamic is different," Burnett said.

"In 2002 I was new to the county and for me meeting all the new people was terrific.

"Running again, I thi-nk is a testament of the genuineness of our desire to serve.  We enjoyed and respected each other as candidates, attorneys and people. 

"I still have that same respect for them.  I see much of that same mutual respect in the 2010 races.  We are all anxious about our separate races, but determined to do our best to improve life in Ellis County."

Ermatinger, who like Burnett lives in Midlothian, said the 2002 race was exciting.

"In 2002, I didn’t know Steve or Carol very well," she said. "Even though we were running against each other for the same bench it was an exciting race.   "We were all very professional to each other but still ran a race hard.  Now in 2010, thank Heavens they are not running for the same bench I am.  

"Over the years I have gotten to know them better and they are very good people.  I wish them well in their races as I am sure they wish me."

Bush, appointed in April 2009 to fill the seat left vacant by then-County Judge Chad Adams’ abrupt resignation, carried the endorsement of the Waxahachie Daily Light in 2002’s race. Calvert, who is running unopposed in the primary and Nov. 2 general election, won a run-off for the new seat.

This election marks the first time Calvert will not face an opponent. The two previous runs, he drew opposition from Democrat Cindy Hellstern, dispatching her easily in Republican-heavy Ellis County.

"It is interesting to note that some of the names are the same, but 2002 was eight years ago," Bush said.

"The races are different; the positions are different.  Certainly the office of county judge is different from the county court at law bench; apples to oranges really. 

"I am already here and already doing the job, and I find that it is a very good fit. I look forward to serving another four years."

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