SAN ANGELO, TX — Gary Jenkins who embarked on an independent run for Tom Green County Judge said Saturday that he has exceeded the 500 petition signatures needed to be placed on the November 8 ballot.
Jenkins, who is a pastor and San Angelo Police Department chaplain and runs the international Gospel America streaming network, announced his intentions to run for county judge as an independent in November 2021. To qualify to be on the ballot, Jenkins needs 500 signatures of residents in the county who did not vote in any of the Republican primary elections. The general primary election was March 1 and the runoff was May 24. Jenkins has between May 25, the day after the Republican nominee was elected, and June 23 to collect the 500 signatures. He was able to collect signatures of Democrats who voted since there were no county judge candidates in the Democratic Party’s primary election.
With a broad smile ear to ear on Saturday at MLK Park during the annual Juneteenth Celebration, Jenkins worked the crowd, collecting about one signature every 2 minutes during lunchtime.
“I’m going to win this thing because I’ll be a judge for all of the people,” Jenkins said. He believes he has tapped into a large segment of county residents who do not regularly vote. Nearby, Democrat Mike Lepak and his voter registration crew sponsored by Conexcion San Angelo were busy registering new voters.
Jenkins, who is a born again Christian, said he could not subscribe to the Democratic Party platform or run as a Democrat. That is why he chose the path as an independent “conservative” candidate.
Jenkins said he will likely present 700 to 800 signatures to Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd next week just in case some of the signatures are disqualified.
If Jenkin’s petition for a place on the ballot is verified and accepted, he will face Republican county judge nominee Lane Carter in the general election on November 8. Jenkins promised a lively campaign against the establishment candidate.
“If Carter thinks he has this, he doesn’t know what’s coming,” Jenkins forewarned.
Note: In previous reports on Jenkins, we reported that he had until June 13 to collect the 500 signatures. According to election code, independent candidates have 30 days from the conclusion of the primary runoff to collect the signatures, or 10 days more than earlier reported, on June 23.