With hands raised to God and “I, state your name, do solemnly swear...” repeated often, Rusk County officials spent Monday morning swearing-in its new and returning officials. 

Judge Clay Gossett, the first ceremony of the morning, took his repeated oath of office, standing proudly before his own bench with County Judge Joel Hale officiating. 

With his oath taken and his signature scrawled across his own certificate, Judge Gossett was free to begin the remainder of the morning’s ceremonies. 

The day’s schedule of ceremonies was quickly thrown to the wind as many of the officials whose ceremonies were expected much later in the morning made their way to the court to complete their oaths and return to work. 

Rusk County’s new official Tax Assessor-Collector, Nesha Partin was first in line. 

New Rusk County Sheriff, John Wayne Valdez, took a brief moment after his ceremony to address those city and county officials in attendance. 

“I appreciate those that turned out to help me celebrate this moment. To those I will be working with in the near future know that I am always available to you,” said Valdez, assuring everyone of his eagerness to serve the county and its residents. “I’m ready to make a difference in Rusk County and to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone out there.” 

Other officials sworn in were Precinct 1 Commissioner Randy Gaut, returning Precinct 3 Commissioner Greg Gibson, and long-standing Rusk County District Attorney Michael Jimmerson. 

Along with Sheriff Valdez and Tax Assessor-Collector Nesha Partin, ceremonies were performed for Precinct 1 Constable Richard Stanley, Precinct 2 Constable Matt Allison, Precinct 3 returning Constable Kenneth Miley, Precinct 4 Constable Bobby Armstrong, Precinct 5 Constable Trey Hacker. 

District Attorney Jimerson issued the oath of office to new members of his staff. 

New County Auditor, Rebekah Acres was sworn into office and turned around and immediately issued the oath to her own staff members. 

Eager to get on with his regular day’s work Judge Gossett wrapped up the morning’s event and dashed away in a swirl of black robes. 

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