By Kris Smith
Connie Hickman, Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace, has announced her intent to retire after 40 years of service.
Hickman has proudly served Navarro County for eight terms of office, but began her service as a clerk for Badie Stewart, who was Justice of the Peace before the precincts were divided into the precincts they are today.
Several advances in the local JP court system took place under the leadership of Hickman during her tenure as Justice of the Peace, including the computerization of the court’s record system and the establishment of a truancy court to work with the youth of Navarro County.
“The success stories I saw from Truancy Court makes me very, very proud,” Hickman said, hearing from people whose lives changed for the better, to being able to help a struggling student by purchasing some much-needed eyeglasses their family couldn’t afford.
Hickman is the longest-tenured elected official in Navarro County, and is also the highest decorated Justice of the Peace in the State of Texas. Among her achievements while serving the people of Navarro County:
- Served as president of the Texas Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas (JPCA) from 2006-2007;
- Recipient of the Judge of the Year by the JPCA;
- Recipient of the TA Vines Award in 2007, the highest honor given to former JPCA leaders;
- Past President and Board Member of the Texas Association of Counties;
- Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the JPCA in 2016.
Judge Hickman decided to make this announcement well ahead of this fall’s filing requirement for the 2022 March Primary election, which will determine the makeup of the 2022 General Election that will choose her successor. Announcing early will give individuals who may be interested in seeking the office time for consideration and to give the voters of Navarro County ample time to research the candidates.
“It is now time for younger people to have these opportunities,” she continued, adding that those who may seek the office needs to be fully committed to the job and work hard to earn the trust of those they deal with. “You need to have a heart for public service and for helping people. When I was elected, I decided to make this a career, I was invested in everything I did.”
The Justice of the Peace stated, “It is with mixed emotions I am moving on to the next chapter of my life. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, but I am not done being a servant to Navarro County.” Hickman plans to continue serving four municipal courts in Blooming Grove, Frost, Richland, and Angus.
The last day to file for Texas’ March Primary Election is December 13, 2021, depending on when the redistricting of Texas finishes.