Gen. Tommy Franks, a former Midlander, weighed in on the county judge’s race in Midland County, endorsing Jonna Smoot, who is running for the Republican nomination to become the county’s chief executive.

“Jonna not only understands servant leadership; she lives it,” Franks stated in a press release. “I am pleased to be counted as one of the many supporters for her candidacy. Midland County deserves a leader with integrity like Jonna who acts daily to better our nation and Midland County. I encourage the residents of Midland County to join me in supporting Jonna Smoot for Midland County Judge.”

Franks grew up in Midland, where he graduated from Lee High School. In June 2000, he was promoted to four-star general and assigned as commander-in-chief, United States Central Command. It’s in this position that he led American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. General Franks retired on July 7, 2003.

Franks threw out the first pitch when the baseball park was opened at the Scharbauer Sports Complex. Midland ISD also named an elementary school in east Midland after Franks in 2017.

Smoot and Terry Johnson have both announced their intention to run for the Republican nomination.

“Having grown up being taught that service to country and community are the hallmarks of a true leader, I am humbled and honored to receive this endorsement from one of our nation’s truly great leaders, Gen. Tommy Franks,” Smoot wrote. “Gen. Franks is a man of honor who has dedicated himself to a lifetime of service, including serving our nation during some of its darkest days after the Sept. 11 attacks.”

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