Breckenridge Texan

Candidate Profiles: Justice of the Peace

February 19
16:36 2018

Below you’ll find the Candidate Profile Questionnaires that were returned to the Breckenridge Texan by the candidates for the office of Stephens County Justice of the Peace, listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot. At the end of this story is an editor’s note that explains how the questionnaires were distributed, compiled, etc.

Dan Young

Dan Young

Name: Dan Young

What office are you seeking? Justice of the Peace

What is your current occupation? Corrections Officer and retired from State of Texas

Tell us a little bit about your family. Met my wife, Carie K. Young in Breckenridge. We were married June 06, 1980. We have been happily married for past 37 years and were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Danyele and Adrienne. We have moved to several locations through out the State while I was working for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. When I retired Carie and I moved back to Breckenridge to the Community of Eolian.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations? Member of the Texas Sheriff’s Association. Past member of the Lions Club. Past Grant Board member of West Central Texas Council of Government. Past Emergency Management Coordinator. Past County Sheriff and Constable in Stephens County.

What is your education/military service? High School Diploma
Associate Degree majoring in Criminal Justice
Graduation from Texas A&M Law Enforcement Academy
Over 3,000 hours training in Criminal Justice related topics
Basic Peace Officer License
Intermediate Peace Officer License
Advanced Peace Officer License
Master Peace Officer License Basic Instructor Proficiency Certificate

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? Associate Degree in Criminal Justice.  Over 40 years of Law Enforcement experience as a Texas Peace Officer and Supervisor.
4  years of service time as Stephens County Sheriff
1 year service time as Stephens County Constable.
Over 3,000 hours of training hours in Criminal Justice including extensive hours training in:

Criminal Law consisting of the Texas Penal Code and Texas Code of Criminal Procedures  Civil Law
Juvenile Law
Courtroom procedures
Mental Health Law
Investigation Procedures
Alcohol Beverage Code
Terrorism and Homeland Security
Ethics and Cultural Diversity
FEMA NIMS Resource Management
Management and Supervision

I have over 40 years of actual hands on experience working through dozens of District Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts and Municipal Courts in the State of Texas. I have worked closely  with Justice of the Peace through out Texas in criminal and civil cases. Have worked hand in hand with many District Attorney’s and Grand Juries.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?
1. The support for our Law Enforcement Community through out  the United States has been wavering more and more with each year. This includes the Judicial System from Municipal Courts, Justice of the Peace Court’s, District Courts and Federal Court’s.  As Justice of the Peace I will serve the People of Stephens County by efficient and accessible administration of justice for all, and treat all persons with integrity, fairness, and respect. I will ensure the transparency of the Office and assist the public in all matters coming before the Court.  By operating the court in this high standard of professionalism  I hope to grow the support and confidence in the Justice of the Peace Office as well as Law Enforcement.

2. Our youths are our future. We need to help in any way possible to educate and develop them into very good leaders. Unfortunately some children and young adults make bad decisions that impact their future abilities to provide and be pillars of the Community. One program in Stephens County that helps these children and guides them to be a better person is Teen Court Program. I will Continue to utilize the Teen Court here in the County. This program has a proven success in Stephens County. Unfortunately, sometimes children and young adults make a single mistake that can have long-term effect on their future life in such way’s as attending college, trade schools and military. Teen Court offers a non-binding, informal alternative to the regular Juvenile Court process. I will continue to work with local schools to ensure that the Teen Court is continued in operation. I will try to increase the use of the Teen Court Process to help the student learn from their mistakes in hopes that they will not repeat those mistakes.This program helps young offender’s understand the consequences of their actions. It enables them to help themselves to ensure this mistake does not cost them in the future.

3. During my 40 years of Law Enforcement experience I have been approached many times by parent’s who have children who have exhibited delinquent behavior. The most common question asked is “what do I do and where do I go for help”. They feel confused and lost because they just don’t know what might be available to help. I will work to gather information about services that are available to parents in these situations. I will gather information about services also available to assist victims of other crimes such as rape and other sex crimes, family violence and bullying. The Citizens deserve all the help they can get and I will do everything I can to help them get the information they need to seek that help.

4. Today’s technology is progressing rapidly every day. The Office of Justice of the Peace should be kept current in today’s technology advancements in order for it to be proficient in it’s operation’s. I will continue to keep the Office current in this technology. By doing so I can ensure that there will be good record keeping, as well as ways to identify unnecessary cost’s and cut them wherever possible.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office:
I grew up in a very modest income home. My father died when I was 15 years old. I then was raised by a single parent. I worked hard in School in the Distributive Education Program at a Bank and started College after graduating. I had aspirations even in High School to be a Police Officer. I graduated from College and was actually able to become a Police Officer here in Breckenridge. I continued to work hard and took on numerous job functions in Law Enforcement field gaining valuable training. I went to work for the State and retired after 21 years. My wife and I returned home and began I began working as a Deputy. I was later appointed and then elected to the position of County Sheriff of Stephens County. After leaving the Office of Sheriff I was elected to the position of County Constable of Stephens County. I had the drive and desire to help people and being a Police Officer gave me the perfect opportunity to do that. I have had this desire for as long as I can remember. The biggest accomplishment of which I am proud of is that I have dedicated myself to being a Police Officer and helping people of the State of Texas and Stephens County for over 40 years now. Combined with my Law Enforcement work skills, my education and training and combined with my strong desire to help people will make me the best qualified Candidate for Justice of the Peace of Stephens County. I have looked at my career as more than a job. It is my drive to help people that keeps me going in this field and I hope that I will be elected to be the next Justice of the Peace. This will afford me the opportunity to continue to help the Citizens directly and make Stephens County a better place to live and call home. I hope that my life goals and actions will show other  young adults  that through hard work and dedication they to can become anything they wish.


Leslie Blackerby

Leslie Blackerby

Name: Leslie LeBus Blackerby

What office are you seeking? Justice of the Peace

What is your current occupation? College Professor (Mathematics) for Cisco College, Southern New Hampshire University and University of Phoenix

Tell us a little bit about your family. I have been married to Paul Blackerby from Breckenridge for 39 years in April. We have three wonderful kids. They are married and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Jason and Melinda are in Fort Worth and have an (almost) 7 year old son, Garrett. Ben and Kirsten live in Dallas. Camille and Tye are also in Dallas. They have three kids: Brooks, 6 years old, Clara, three years old and Tate, one year old. Our family includes two precious dogs, Lucy, a border collie and Mia, a shih tzu and one persnickety cat, Patch.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Friends of Historic Breckenridge
Breckenridge Library Association
Humane Society
American Heart Association

What is your education/military service? I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Tarleton State University and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Texas A&M, College Station. I earned the designation of Master Math Teacher with Texas Education Agency in 2007. It is my belief that education is power. I am looking forward to attending as many training schools as I possibly can, both required and non-required.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? I have been active in both secondary and collegiate education as a teacher/professor. I taught at BHS for 24 years and was the Mathematics Department Chairperson for seventeen years where I was responsible for mentoring younger teachers and managing the department’s finances. We have an ongoing tradition of providing calculators to students who need them. This was a daily exercise in organization. I also was the National Honor Society as well as the Student Council Sponsor. In these positions, I required students to do community service. I believe in laying the groundwork of service early in our young people’s lives. I currently teach on the collegiate level and have for several years, both online and Dual Credit classes at BHS. I served as a member of the Vestry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for several years. This involved the daily running of the church as well as the finances. As an educator, we trained every year on mental health issues that face our students and what resources are available to them.

As far as my characteristics that will benefit me in office, I am an organized self-starter with experience based common sense and skilled decision making abilities. I will carry these skills into the office and dedicate myself to fairness and honesty.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected? There is no doubt that one of the main passions in my life is helping young people. With this in mind, it is my intent to work hand in hand with BISD in the area of truancy, teen court and mentoring. There are wonderful avenues in place that address these issues. I will have an active part in the workings of these avenues. Our youth is our future.

I will work to increase opportunities for community service. This county and its inhabitants have a duty to lend a helping hand to those in need.  My office will work hard to see that needs are met in various and creative ways. Blessed are those who bless others.

I will never allow bias to enter into any ruling I make. Every person should be afforded respect and an unbiased ear. My court will strive to not be hasty in any decision, giving each and every person due process.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office? An accomplishment of which I’m proud must be my positive influence on the many students I have been fortunate enough to teach.  I made it an everyday practice to push them to their highest limit and then beyond.  It didn’t win me any popularity contests while in the midst of it, but in the years that followed, I have been contacted by so many former students and thanked for setting the bar so high. As an educator, I had many opportunities to dismiss those students who had a nearsighted vision of the future, both in my regular classroom and also my honors classroom.  I chose to never walk away from a child, until I knew, without a doubt, I had gotten every ounce of try from them.  What a blessing it is to be able to watch young people exceed their hopes and dreams. I am so very proud of the students who walked into my classroom with doubts, and walked out as winners.  As one of my students told me, I have always been firm but fair. This accomplishment will be carried over into my courtroom as I administer my duties.


Steve Spoon

Steve Spoon

Name: Steve Spoon

What office are you seeking? Stephens County Justice of the Peace

What is your current occupation? Pastor at LifeChurch and aviation assembly at R.E. Dye Manufacturing

Tell us a little bit about your family. I have been married to Carey, my wife, for 25 years. We have two children, Caleb (22, senior at Hardin-Simmons Univ.) and Courtney (20, junior at Hardin-Simmons Univ.)

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations? Breckenridge Ministerial Alliance; chaplain at The Open Door; created two program to help mentor youth in Breckenridge – Finishing Strong and FREE Lunch which is cosponsored by The Open Door.

What is your education/military service? I graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, OK. I attended Tulsa Junior College and Oklahoma State University, majoring in economics and accounting.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? I have been in the ministry for 28 years and have dealt with virtually every family and life crisis during those years. Our family served as missionaries for 15 years. We lived seven years in Suriname, South America and then eight years in South Africa. As a missionary, you must adapt to different cultures, languages and styles of living. I believe those lessons have helped shape me to where I can relate to and find common ground with people from any background. Three key personal characteristics that would qualify me for this position are my positiveness, passion and principled life. We have seen the impact that godly leadership has brought to this office through Michael Roach. I want to continue that and build on it. I am running to make a difference in our community. I will bring a heart of compassion and a common sense approach to every situation. I believe this is a position that not only provides an opportunity to make a great affect in our community, but it is a job that should be done great!

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?
Three of the key issues that I will work on if elected are:

  • Mentoring – The greatest resource Stephens County has to offer isn’t gas or oil, but it is great people.  I will start a mentoring program for youth and young adults that connects them with role model volunteers throughout our community.   Our young people have been raised in a largely fatherless generation.  By linking young people to concerned adults, I believe we can change destinies and radically reshape futures.
  • Teen Court – One of the best kept secrets in Stephens County is the work being done through Teen Court.  This program needs to not only continue, but should receive even greater exposure to the public.  My plan is for Teen Court to expand its presence and showcase its potential to surrounding counties.
  • Customer Service – Michael Roach has made customer service a priority during his term by running an office that is welcoming and professional in all of its duties.  I pledge to run an office from the same heart.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?
While living in South Africa, I started a mentoring program with one local school. I actually went to the principal and asked to teach leadership to their 20 worst kids. After two weeks, the school decided we should also teach their leader core. We did this once a week for the school year. The next year, the school asked us to teach the same lessons to every sixth grade class, which was over 200 students. We continued the program for the second year. After the second year, three more schools in our city requested the mentoring program for their schools. Within three years we had a presence in each primary school and made plans to take the program into the high schools. When I say I want to start a mentoring program for our youth and young people, it isn’t some whim. I’ve done this before and seen the great results it can bring.


Phil Devenport and James Wrenn are also running for the position of Justice of the Peace.


Editor’s Note:

Each candidate in a contested Stephens County race in the 2018 Primary Election was contacted by phone and was presented with a list of questions via email or U.S. Postal Service or in person, depending on the candidate’s ability to receive the questions.

All of the questionnaires were exactly the same. We asked the following questions:

  • Name:
  • What office are you seeking?
  • What is your current occupation?
  • Tell us a little bit about your family.
  • What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
  • What is your education/military service?
  • What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
  • What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?
  • Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?

The candidates also were asked to provide the Breckenridge Texan with a photograph.

Any of the candidates who do not have profiles listed here did not return the questionnaire to us. If there is no photo, we did not receive a photo.

If a candidate’s profile does not include a specific question, it is because they didn’t answer that question.

The only editing we did was to run a basic spell-check on the files and to put the questionnaires in a standard format.

If you have any questions about the profiles or our procedure, please send an email to:

For the County Commissioner, Precinct 2, profiles, click here.
For the County Commissioner, Precinct 4 profiles, click here.
For the County Treasurer profiles, click here.
For more information about the general election, click here.
To return to the 2018 Primary Election page, click here.
To see Sample Ballots for each precinct, click here.

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