Candidate profile: Terry Nay

Photo by Dave A. Vance.
Terry Nay

ELLIS COUNTY — Learn more about Terry Nay in his own words as he runs for re-election as Ellis County Constable Precinct 2 in the 2016 Republican primary.

Election day voting will be held on March 1, 2016 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for a list of election day polling locations. Early voting will take place February 16, 2016 through February 26, 2016. Click here for a list of early voting locations and times.

Click here to view and compare all Constable Precinct 2 candidates' answers on one page.

Terry Nay questionnaire responses

1) What is your age?


2) What is your city of residence?


3) How many years have you lived in Ellis County?


4) Tell us a little about your family.

I am a 2nd Generation resident with three children, 15 year old twin boys, a girl who is 8 and a father who is 82.

5) Describe your education.

Graduate of Waxahachie High School - 1988;

Graduate of Sam Houston State University - Bachelors of Science in Law Enforcement and Police Sciences, -1993;

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement - Over 3,000 hours of Continued Education, A Master's Peace Officers Certification, Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, Certified Marine Enforcement Officer, Certified Field Training Officer.

6) What previous public office experience have you had?

Elected Constable, Ellis County Precinct 2, 1996-Current, (20 years).

7) What is your occupation?

Law Enforcement, (currently serving as the Elected Constable for Pct. 2), & 3rd Generation long term small business owner.

8) Describe your church and civic involvement.

Grew up in the First United Methodist Church of Waxahachie, 20 years, then attended College Street Church Of Christ for 16 years. Actively attending various area churches in search of a new church home to place membership. I have a Long History of involvement and am a supporter of many local charities and events throughout the years such as Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Ellis County Children's Advocacy Center, Ducks Unlimited & NRA.

9) Please provide a biographical narrative.

I was born in 1970 and grew up right here in Ellis County on a small farm/ranch just outside of Waxahachie. I was raised to be a believer in God, hard work, determination, to have respect for others, a dedication for community service and involvement. I worked for my father on the family farm as a child and later for his construction company in high school through a CO-OP vocational program my junior and senior years. I enjoyed that work though always wanted to be involved in law enforcement since I was a teenage boy. Upon graduation from Waxahachie High School, (1988), I chose to attend Sam Houston State University because it was the highest ranked Criminal Justice program in the English Speaking World at the time. While in college I worked two part-time jobs, one as a handyman/grounds maintenance for the apartments where I lived and the other as a pest control tech. I had a love for flying and while in college I also obtained my Private Pilot’s License. My Senior year I was selected to attend The Sixth Annual Academic Peace Officer Licensing Academy at Captain Clint Peoples Training Academy, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, in Conroe Texas. After graduation from the Police Academy, I applied for a paid internship with the Brazos County Attorney’s Office in Bryan Texas where I began my Professional Career as an Investigator during my last semester of College. I continued on there for a short time after graduation but wanted to be back in Ellis County, so I began searching and testing for jobs back near home. I was then hired by the late Sheriff John Gage to serve as a Patrol Deputy for Ellis County, (1994), serving 3 years under his administration. I then decided to make a run for the Office of Ellis County Constable Precinct 2 against the incumbent candidate. I won that election, and I was Sworn into my fist term as Constable Pct. 2, in January of 1996 by the Now retired District Judge Gene Knize. I was married that same year in May. In 2000 I started my first small business which eventually grew into four small businesses, two were sold over the years and two remain today. My twin boys were born the very day I opened that first small business. I Have served 5 conservative terms, (20 years), as your Constable for Pct. 2 and a total of 24 years as a Paid Texas Peace Officer.

10) What motivated your interest in running for Ellis County Constable?

I have always been "called" to serve my community. I am proud to have been raised in Ellis County and enjoy serving the citizens of Ellis County with my passion and education in law enforcement.

11) Briefly and succinctly define the job responsibilities of the office you are seeking.

There are both state constitutional and statutory duties for the Office of Texas Constables. Constitionally, we, (or our deputies), are responsible for serving all Civil and Criminal Process directed to our office from any court within the state. We, (or our deputies), are also constitutionally responsible to serve as bailiff of the Precinct Justice of the Peace Court. Statutorily, we are sworn to perform the same criminal duties and responsibilities of other Texas Peace Officers, by protecting the peace and enforcement of state laws to protect the public, their property, and preserve the peace.

12) What qualifications and professional experiences do you possess that are applicable to law enforcement and to the civil law responsibilities the position you are seeking requires? Be specific.

I hold a Bachelor's of Science in Law Enforcement and Police Sciences;

Have over 300 hours of Civil Process Training & over 3,000 hours of continuing education;

Hold a Masters Peace Officer's License;

Certified Police Instructor & Certified Field Traing Officer,

But most importantly, have over 24 years of full time Law Enforcement experience with 20 years serving as an Elected Constable and I am a Small Business Owner who knows understands hard work and fiscal responsibility.

13) What qualifications do you possess that will enable you to manage a budget of over $160,000 for the constable’s office you are seeking? Be specific.

I have prepared, presented and operated within 20 consecutive Ellis County Budget Years. Never exceeding my alloted budget the entire 20 years in office. I am also a successful local small business owner, which gives me a totally different yet useful customer service perspective, fiscal responsibility and community connection.

14) How has your education prepared you for this office?

I am a firm believer in education and the continuance of education throughout one's career. My college education provided a strong foundation when I began this career in Law Enforcement and my dedication to teaching and learning through specialized continued Law Enforcement Education has built a firm and solid knowledge base for this position. However, nothing replaces the education obtained from actually doing the job for the past 20 years.

15) Have you declared bankruptcy or have had any liens placed upon you in the past 10 years? If so, please explain.

Never Filed any Bankruptcy, Never had ANY Judgments against me, nor Liens filed.

16) What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?

• My 20 years of Experience serving as an Elected Constable;
• A University Degree in Law Enforcement and Police Sciences;
• My Local Business Ownership/Management Experience;
• Texas Master’s Peace Officer License;
• TCOLE Certified Police Instructor;
• TCOLE Certified Field Training Officer;
• 3000+ Hours of Continuing Education, TCOLE;

These qualifications along with the established long-term relationships and working knowledge of Ellis County Government and a great knowledge of Ellis County's History are all things that distinguishes from my opponent.

17) Is there any additional training that you plan to seek to assist you in the duties of Constable?

Yes, I will continue both teaching and learning through required Continued Education and would like to pursue a Graduate Degree in Law Enforcement Administration in the near future.

18) What is the appropriate budget size for the constable's office and why should the current budget be cut, remain the same or increased?

There are many factors effecting the budget of this office. The main factor we are dealing with now, as well as the foreseeable future, is the tremendous growth of our county. As the county grows, the people we provide services to grows accordingly. We are currently operating on the same level of staff we had 14 years ago. Technology and hard work has allowed us to accomplish this amazing feat, though there is a limit to the automation in this field of work. No other County Office is still working at the same staff level from 14 years ago! Our office will have to grow to meet the rapid expansion of population and demands and expectations of our citizens. The "appropriate budget size" is one which enables us to provide safe, effective and efficient services to the citizens and courts we are sworn to serve and protect. We have squeezed every ounce of efficiency and effectiveness out of our current antiquated operating budget. We have maximized our efficiency by extensive use of automation and technology, but there is a limit to what we can accomplish without proper staffing. This office needs an additional deputy and clerical assistance, which has been requested for many years now. We actually have a very small operating budget. When the Constable and his one deputy’s salary and benefits are removed from our total budget, what’s left is a minute operating budget to perform an awful lot of work and services. Unfortunately, and increase in our budget is needed to provide the level of services the citizens deserve due to the growth we have experienced. Fortunately, our office charges fees for most of the duties we perform, which significantly offsets the cost of a Constables Office to the taxpayers.

19) What are the three greatest challenges facing Ellis County related to the position you are seeking? If elected, what measures would you propose to resolve them?

The three greatest challenges are the rapid growth rate, citizens expectations for services, and limited appropriated resources to provide the expected level of services to our growing population. Simply put, the office needs are limited by a lack of appropriated finances.

20) If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you work with other elected officials and county staff to achieve them? Be specific.

To provide the very best service possible to the citizens of Ellis County;

Continue to work cooperatively with all other local law enforcement;

To be a viable and valued Office to the citizens of this county.

It’s a must to be able to communicate clearly and effectively when working with County Officials and Staff. They deserve an Official who is not only educated, experienced and knowledgeable, but who also possesses the interpersonal skills required to get the job done. I possess that skill set as well as the required knowledge, desire and ability.

21) In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a Constable needs to have?

Your Constable should always be Trustworthy, Honest, & Have Integrity. He must be Accountable, Personable and Articulate, with a true desire to represent the people he serves.

22) Where do you believe a citizen's rights come from?

The U.S. Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Thomas Jefferson understood this question well enough to write in the Declaration of Independence that our rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are "endowed by our Creator." He added in the next sentence that the purpose of government is to "secure these rights." I must agree with Jefferson when answering this one. I believe the later U.S. Constitution alludes to some of the these "rights" and even later, of course the U.S. Bill of Rights specifies how the Government is NOT to violate or infringe upon these personal rights, but ultimately a citizens "rights" comes from our creator.

23) What is your opinion on the right to carry firearms, as defined in the Constitution of the United States of America?

It is my opinion that our forefathers, having just recently fought and won a revolution, fully and completely intended that every U.S. citizen had the right to bear arms for the protection of themselves and their families for anyone who intended them harm, including an oppressive government.

24) What is your opinion on asset forfeiture for individuals who have not been found guilty in a court of law?

Asset Forfeiture is a useful tool in the fight against crime, when it is used and applied properly and reasonably. It is a tool that enables law enforcement to "take away" the "tools" and "proceeds" of certain felony offenders if used in the commission of certain offenses. It is a civil proceeding separate from the original criminal offense. Seizure is what occurs first, then the forfeiture process takes place in a civil court proceeding, often times BEFORE the criminal trial for the offenders. In that civil court hearing, the State is required to prove, by "Preponderance of the Evidence", (this means more than likely), that the assets seized should be forfeited to the state/agency because the assets were used in the commission of a crime or are the proceeds of a crime. These are completely separate cases related to certain felony crimes. However, I feel that the process of handling a civil forfeiture case prior to the conviction of a criminal offense does create some questions. Understand that in a criminal case the State has the burden to prove "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" which is much more difficult, meaning a guilty party may not get convicted of a Criminal Offense they indeed committed, yet still be found liable by a civil action including Forfeiture. It has a valid purpose and use in the fight against crime if applied properly and ruled upon in a civil court.

25) Federal state and local laws sometimes conflict with the original intent of the Constitution of the United States of America. If elected, how do you plan to enforce laws which may conflict with the Constitution?

We are sworn to uphold the laws of the State of Texas and the United States. We are however State Officers with State Law Enforcement authority and NO FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY whatsoever. Our Oath does state that we are to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Fact is, we are State Officers serving as State Peace Officers in the Position of an Elected Constable, NOT Federal Officers. This said, we ALWAYS have Officer Discretion when it comes to enforcement of offenses. It would be my decision to exercise my Officer Discretion if State Law were to conflict with the US Constitution.

26) How can the office of Constable best serve the citizens of the county?

By performing the duties required by State Constitution and State Statutes, while providing any additional services desired by the citizens to assist in their exercise of their freedoms, rights, liberties, safety, and security.

27) What is your opinion on local law enforcement agencies employing military style training, equipment and tactics?

Unfortunately in this day and age, this style of training is required to keep up with the advanced criminal element who consistently have more advanced weaponry, intelligence and organization. We must always prepare and train for the worst and always pray for the best in every situation. From increased drug/cartel violence, terrorist activities, violence and even civil distress have law enforcement constantly seeking more advanced and technical training. We want to go home to our loved ones at the end of each day just like everyone else. I know some civilian individuals feel like this may be "Unnecessary", but for those involved in Law Enforcement we see the necessity to be prepared for the worst to be able to provide citizens the best protection possible.

28) If elected, how would you reach out and form relationships with residents of Ellis County and how would you reach out to those residents in the outlying areas of the county?

The same way I always have. We extensively use Social Media, both County and Department web sites, email, phones, and good old fashioned face to face contact.

29) If elected, what are the factors on which you will base your decisions as Constable?

Primarily the Law, applied with good common reasonable sense and discretion.

30) Why should voters choose you?

I have the education, training, and most of all the required EXPERIENCE as the most qualified candidate for this Office. I have worked hard over the past 20 years to make the Office Of Ellis County Constable Pct. 2 what it is today and an office the citizens can be proud of. I have fought many long and hard hours to better the service to the citizens and modernize the office with current technology, along with much better training and education, to operate at the lowest possible overhead to the tax payers. I am proud to have served as your Constable for Pct. 2. I want and ask for your support to continue to serve you all as YOUR Constable.