Denton County Courthouse on the Square

A view from the eighth floor of the Wells Fargo Building looking at the Denton County Courthouse on the Square.

A Lewisville attorney is hoping to unseat incumbent Bobbie Mitchell in Precinct 3 of the Denton County Commissioners Court — a seat Mitchell has held for 20 years.

The Commissioners Court is made up of four commissioners and the county judge, and their duties include adopting the county’s budget and tax rate as well as maintaining county roads, buildings and bridges. Precinct 3 encompasses most of Lewisville as well as Highland Village, Flower Mound, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek.

Mitchell, the Republican candidate, was the mayor of Lewisville from 1993 to 2000 and has participated in local government for years. Her opponent, Delia Parker-Mims, is a self-employed attorney with Parker Legal in Lewisville, Highland Village and Flower Mound running on the Democratic ticket.

The Denton Record-Chronicle reviewed several types of public records in building candidate profiles for Denton County candidates, including campaign finance reports, voter history and employment history.

The most recent campaign finance reports show Mitchell reported $2,050 in political contributions with $16,631 maintained. Parker-Mims’ latest report shows $14,981 in political contributions with $19,877 maintained.

Parker-Mims’ report shows contributors donating between about $10 and $25 on a monthly basis between Jan. 1 and June 30.

Candidates took the time to answer the same three questions about the Commissioners Court and Denton County ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Here are their responses in alphabetical order. Their responses have been edited for brevity.

Bobbie Mitchell

Bobbie Mitchell

Bobbie Mitchell

Age: 72

Born in: Waxahachie

Experience: Denton County commissioner, 2000-present; mayor of Lewisville, 1993-2000; Lewisville City Council member, 1990-1993.

Education: Tarrant County Junior College and Cooke County Junior College

Precinct 3 covers a lot of areas, from a city like Lewisville to smaller towns like Flower Mound and Highland Village. How do you bridge the gap in the differences of the people living in each?

There’s not really a difference in people. Everybody needs the same thing. Some people might like more business, some might like more roads. Everybody wants good government, health care, a justice system. We have 38 elected officials [in Denton County], so each provides different services. The most everyone wants is lower taxes and good roads. We know good roads is a family value. It also provides the opportunity for economic development because when you’ve got good infrastructure, you have lower taxes and a good school district, and businesses want to come and be a part of your community. That lowers the taxes on our residential citizens. We want to make sure we have good infrastructure.

The Commissioners Court and Denton County Public Health have seen a lot of attention this year due to COVID-19. What do you think of the county’s response? Do you think it’s been sufficient or do you think the county should be doing more?

I think it’s sufficient. We are governed by the state, and our health director has jumped right in and provided testing for individuals in each city. I think we’ve done a good job in taking care of our citizens during this time. Have we been perfect? No, and I don’t think we’re going to be perfect. Can more be done? Absolutely, there’s more to be done, but I think the county has stepped up to the plate. We’ve issued masks, and we’ve issued hand sanitizer and all the [personal protective equipment] to nursing homes and individuals. I really do think we’ve done a good job at stepping up to the plate, and our health department is open for people to go get help. We work with them on a daily basis to make sure they have what they need.

The Confederate monument on the Courthouse on the Square lawn has been a hot topic for years. What are your thoughts on the monument being removed?

It’s gone. That’s what my thoughts is. We appointed a team of 15 people to go and look at the federal monument; they came back, and [we] told them to come with a decision. They made a decision to keep it with minority contextual information about it. It was a unanimous decision. It’s a decision the commissioners accepted. That’s where we were, we were going around before COVID hit trying to find out information from citizens from all four precincts to see what they would like [the contextualization] to look like. Unfortunately, one [committee member] came back because he said he didn’t like the decision the committee had made. During the time of protests, the decision was made to go ahead and move the monument and put it in the museum [inside the Courthouse on the Square].

Delia Parker-Mims

Delia Parker-Mims

Delia Parker-Mims

Age: 52

Born in: El Paso

Experience: Parker Legal PLLC, 2013-present; Texas administrative law judge, 2016-2018; Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, 2006-2013

Education: Doctor of Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University

Precinct 3 covers a lot of areas, from a city like Lewisville to smaller towns like Flower Mound and Highland Village. How do you bridge the gap in the differences of the people living in each?

I think I’ve gotten to understand the entire area because I’ve been working in the area for 20 years, from businesswomen doing different types of promotion to disenfranchised groups — and you find a lot of that working with seniors with housing insecurity — juveniles with mental health problems. Each area has their own flavor. Lewisville is definitely more economically disenfranchised, but that doesn’t mean there’s a difference in what people need. We all just want our families to be safe, we want to work, we want our children to be safe. I’m close to those populations because I’m a mother, I own a business, I’m a homeowner. I think it’s just a matter of layers, like having different types of clients and learning to understand that our basic needs are the same.

The Commissioners Court and Denton County Public Health have seen a lot of attention this year due to COVID-19. What do you think of the county’s response? Do you think it’s been sufficient or do you think the county should be doing more?

I absolutely think the county dropped the ball when it came to COVID. In the beginning with stay-at-home orders, that was going down the right path. It became apparent the Republican elite didn’t want to acknowledge COVID, and it became a game of hot potato. So when our county health official asked the Commissioners Court for a mask order, they refused. They did so behind their safe work environment that the citizens pay for. They did not make the tough decision to make the environment safe for everybody else. I do not believe they did what they needed to do in order for us to bring the curve down, go to school, send our kids to school and to feel safe to do that. That’s with leadership does. You make decisions and deal with ramifications, but you do it because it’s for the best of the community.

The Confederate monument on the Courthouse on the Square lawn has been a hot topic for years. What are your thoughts on the monument being removed?

I was always against the Confederate monument, and I’ve always been making statements about it from day one. As a lawyer, I traveled to different counties, and I see different statues. When I travel to a government institution and I see a Confederate [monument], as a Black person, three things happen. I feel scared, I feel like my client won’t get justice, and I feel like I need to get out of there as soon as possible. We shouldn’t have seditious monuments in our government halls. If it is necessary, it needs to be in a museum, not donning our courthouse lawn. So finally after the unfortunate incident of George Floyd, they saw an opportunity to remove it, but instead of just removing it, they said they’d remove it because it was in danger of protesters. They saved their own political faces by saying they’d be protecting it, which is in and of itself racist and insulting.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @zairalperez.

Recommended for you

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!