NEW FOR 2019: Crane takes reins as new County Judge

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A legendary law enforcement figure in Hempstead County for years is now back on the public stage as Jerry Crane takes the oath of office today as the new Hempstead County Judge, the chief administrative officer of Hempstead County government.
Already well-known and widely regarded as a former Hempstead County Sheriff who served with honor for 18 years, Crane emerged in May’s GOP primary for Hempstead County Judge ousting incumbent Haskell Morse and a second challenger Greg Jackson. Crane finished with 1,261 while Morse had 645 and Jackson come in with 292.
Then, on November 6, Crane running as a Republican, defeated local Democratic standard bearer Allen Flowers by a definitive 3,582 to 1,375 count to claim the right to be the next County Judge for the next four years.
Up until the beginning of 2018, Crane had been retired, running a church in Perrytown and performing ministry. Crane had also previously served in law enforcement for 28 years, having worked for the Hope Police Dept. and the Highway Patrol division.
Then, one year ago, Crane announced he was running for Hempstead County Judge, challenging an almost equally well-known incumbent who had already won two-terms and was looking for a third.
At the time, Crane said “I am running because it is time to bring unity to that courthouse, and unity to our county. I’ve served the residents of Hempstead County before, and I am ready to answer the call again. I think that through unity and humility that we can achieve new and long desired improvements in this community.”
During the campaign, Crane said he had visited the roads throughout the county, saying “I am concerned about the condition of these roads and public safety. Road improvement will be a top priority of mine.”
Crane had touted his experience, previously serving as Hempstead County Sheriff.
“I’ve worked with Quorum Courts before; I’ve done budgets, and operated a major county department. I’ve worked with the other county officials and feel very well qualified to serve in this new capacity,” he said.
Since winning the office in November, Crane has been a visible presence at the Hempstead County Courthouse and Quorum Court meetings, and he also sat in on two Finance Committee sessions as the 2019 budget was being formed.
It is now the very budget that he will work under and try to maintain over the next 12 months.

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