Shane Williams isn’t leaving his county constable seat just yet, but his appointment to the position through 2022 has left some residents scratching their heads.
After the man who won the Constable Precinct 1 seat in November, Mike “Mookie” Vance, died, the Collin County Commissioners Court appointed Williams, the incumbent who had lost his bid for the seat months prior. Williams ran in 2020 to maintain his role but lost in the March Republican Primary with just 38% of the votes to Vance’s 62%.
Commissioner Susan Fletcher, who made the motion to appoint Williams during a recent Commissioners Court meeting, said she was “absolutely not” concerned about appointing him in the wake of his election loss. She cited the roughly 2,000-vote difference that had put Vance ahead of Williams in the primary.
“When you talk about 2,000 votes difference in the primary and then you look at how many people voted in the general election, those people that voted would have voted for either one of them on the ballot,” she said. “And I think very highly of Constable-elect Mike Vance, it's incredibly sad that we lost him.”
Fletcher said she had vetted Williams’ background from multiple angles and said he had “done nothing but provide good service” to Precinct 1 residents.
“I would much rather, for the continuity of service, for our citizens, there be no disruption of services or interruption of those services, for him to just stay in that role for the next two years,” she said, “and it's up to him to justify whether or not he should stay there longer, but the citizens will weigh in on that in 2022 in that primary.”
Williams’ appointment came on Dec. 21 after the Commissioners Court met earlier in the day to discuss the vacancy during an executive session. Fletcher said each of the four candidates for the position had been interviewed during the session.
During the Commissioners Court’s regular meeting later that day, Fletcher's initial motion to appoint Williams did not garner a required “second” from a fellow Court member. The motion failed as a result, and Collin County Judge Chris Hill asked for any other motions.
Hill then asked Fletcher to repeat her motion to appoint Williams, which he seconded. The court then approved the appointment with a unanimous vote. Hill declined to comment on the proceedings.
Fletcher said she had been surprised by the initial failure of her motion but that she believed Hill could have been giving other members an opportunity to propose a different move.
“I think everyone was just wondering if there was going to be any other motions made,” Commissioner Darrell Hale said.
Hale said Williams was the best choice for the job but declined to expand on why.
“I don't think that the Commissioners Court wants anyone to view it as a particular endorsement of him whenever it comes to election time frame, because commissioners tend to not want to put their fingers on the scale unless there's something really egregious one way or another,” Hale said. “He's done a good job in his role, and I think he'll continue to. If the voters want to keep him in for another two years, they will.”