Newly-elected Brown County Judge plans to release top 5 priorities

In a defeat that stunned even the winner, Brown County voters elected a new county judge for the first time in 26 years.

Incumbent Brown County Judge Ray West lost in Tuesday night’s GOP primary to Paul Lilly by nearly 400 votes.

Although he was optimistic of his chances, Lilly told KTXS News he was shocked by the win, but will get right to work.

"We're coming up on 40,000 people and that's going to continue to grow," Lilly, the newly-elected judge, said. "The county has to be willing to change and the way we govern has to be willing to change."

Lilly said two of his top priorities once he’s in office are establishing a veteran's treatment court and giving the Brown County Sheriff's Department more money to battle Brown County's meth problem.

On another note, Lilly campaigned on bringing change to the Brown County Courthouse considering that there have been several corruption investigations that have hung over its day-to-day operations.

Judge West was investigated by the Brown County Sheriff's Office for corruption in 2013, but the Texas Attorney General's Office decided not to prosecute him.

Brown County Attorney Shane Britton, on the other hand, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office based in Lubbock for corruption and bribery.

"That's in our past," Lilly said. "If there's still any investigations pending in the federal level, they're going to work their way through. As far as locally here, we're going to hit the ground running."

Judge West's secretary told KTXS News Wednesday that he wasn't available for comment.

Still, Lilly hopes to move Brown County past the corruption allegations that have haunted the county over the past few years.

"Like I said the other day, our future is in front of us, not behind us," Lilly said.

Lilly won't be sworn in to office for another nine months and he will not face a Democratic challenger in the November general election.

Lilly also said he hopes to continue teaching at Howard Payne University, where he's currently an associate professor, once he officially becomes county judge.

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