Making the Trip From the Bench to the Grass Roots

ROBERT LEE — This was the setup: Travel to this small West Texas town with the state’s agriculture commissioner and top Republican Party officials to watch them celebrate seven local Democratic officeholders switching to the Republican Party.

The unexpected part was that there were nearly as many judges as people at the Coke County Park recreation hall. The only things missing were robes and gavels. The switchers — including the county judge, two commissioners, the sheriff, treasurer, a constable and the tax assessor — were all there. So were some of the candidates running for office in the Republican primary ...

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