Navarro County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Connie Hickman has announced she will not seek another term in office in the 2022 elections, and will retire at the end of her current term.
Hickman is currently serving her eighth term in office, and with her retirement at the end of 2022 will have completed 40 years of service to the citizens of Navarro County. Hickman`s tenure with the county began in 1983 as a clerk to former Justice of the Peace Badie Stewart for eight years, before taking office as the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace in 1991.
“It is with mixed emotions I am moving on to the next chapter in my life,” Hickman said. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, but I am not done being a servant.”
Several advances in the local JP court system took place under Hickman`s leadership during her eight terms in office, including the computerization of the court`s record system, and the establishment of a truancy court to work with the youth of the county, and their families, in an effort to help educational success for the young people facing challenges.
“The success stories I saw from (Truancy Court) makes me very, very proud,” Hickman said, hearing from people whose lives changed for the better, to being able to help a struggling student by purchasing some much-needed eyeglasses their family couldn`t afford to buy.
Hickman is the longest-tenured elected official in Navarro County, and is also the highest decorated Justice of the Peace in the state of Texas. Among her achievements while serving the people of Navarro County:
Served as president of the Texas Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas (JPCA) from 2006 to 2007.
Recipient of the Judge of the Year award from the JPCA.
Recipient of the T.A. Vines Award in 2007, the highest honor given to former JPCA leaders.
Past President and Board Member of the Texas Association of Counties.
Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the JPCA in 2016.
Hickman, who is being treated for breast cancer, said her health was not a factor in her retirement decision, but that it “gave me peace with my decision.”
Hickman decided to make her retirement announcement well ahead of this fall`s filing period for the 2022 March Primary elections that will determine the makeup of the 2022 General Election that will choose her successor, to give individuals who may be interested in seeking the office time to consider doing so, and to give the voters of Navarro County ample time to research the candidates.
“It`s time for younger people to have these opportunities,” Hickman said, adding that those who may seek the office need to be fully committed to the job, and work hard to earn the trust of everyone they deal with.
“You need to have a heart for public service and for helping people,” Hickman said. “When I was elected, I decided to make this a career … I was invested in everything I did.”
Hickman`s term will end on December 31, 2022.