Two Candidates Named Roy Brooks Battle For County Commissioner

PHOTO: Roy LaVerne Brooks, left, and Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks are running against each other for Tarrant County Commissioner.
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It's impossible to fumble the call on one heated race in Texas: Roy Brooks will be elected commissioner of Tarrant County's Precinct 1.

But which Roy Brooks remains the question.

Will it be Roy Charles Brooks, the incumbent with 20 years of experience working in county government? Or will it be Roy LaVerne Brooks, a grandmother and longtime community activist?

"People may have momentary confusion about [our names] but people know me and know my record of service to this community," Roy Charles Brooks told ABCNews.com.

Both candidates are Democrats.

Tarrant County, touted as "the perfect mix of cowboys and culture" on its website, is an urban county in north central Texas; it includes the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington, and is home to 1.8 million residents. The county is divided into four precincts; Fort Worth is in the Brooks' precinct.

Both candidates' middle names will be printed on the ballot to distinguish between them. Under Texas law, they were allowed a short slogan to be printed under their name on the ballot, said Steve Raborn, Tarrant county elections administrator.

Roy Charles Brooks chose, "Twenty years precinct one."

Roy LaVerne Brooks decided to let her name stand on its own after she said her slogans, including "Your girl downtown" and "Advocate for the people," were rejected.

"Since I could not put what I wanted to down there, I said, 'Hell, well, my people know me. I'm not having a problem with this issue either way,'" she told ABCNews.com.

The two opponents are taking steps to make sure their campaign materials stand apart, especially in the run-up to the May 29 election.

The incumbent's black and yellow signs carry his slogan "experience counts" while Roy LaVerne Brooks has red and white signs, which she describes as "more of the Democratic style."

Both Roys have known each each other "for a long time" through their community work.

"I remember when he had a ponytail!" Roy LaVerne Brooks said of her opponent, who firmly denied he ever sported one.

They said they always had a hunch they'd go head-to-head one day.

"He possibly felt within his spirit it would come to this and now it has," Roy Laverne Brooks said. Her opponent agreed.

Both candidates, who have participated in several debates, said the mood was cordial; however Roy LaVerne Brooks admitted she wasn't afraid to call her opponent out on issues that mattered to the community, which she said is 60 percent female and has seen education budgets slashed.

"We have got riled up a couple times," Brooks said. "He's not a dreamer. He's not a thinker. In the 21st century, you have to be a dreamer, a thinker, creative. You have to be able to get dirty down here with the people you are going to serve."

Brooks said if elected she would focus on fighting crime and supporting funding for education.

No matter the outcome, Roy Charles Brooks said he and his opponent would both continue their work after the election.

"We have been friends in the struggle to provide services to this community before the election [and] we will be after it," he said.

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