Heavy hearts after county loss Commissioner loses battle with cancer

Stan Spivey (right), Garvin County District 1 commissioner since 2012, passed away late last week after a battle with cancer. He's shown here in March congratulating Laura Lee after she was selected as the next county court clerk. Kenneth Holden has agreed to be his replacement candidate in the general election against Jarod Work this fall. (PV Democrat photo)

There's likely a lot of heavy hearts out there after the Garvin County family lost one of their own with the passing of District 1 Commissioner Stan Spivey.

Spivey lost his battle with cancer passing away Friday, 31, 2018.

To honor Spivey and allow county employees and others the chance to attend his funeral service, the Garvin County Courthouse will close at noon Thursday, Sept. 6. Spivey's services are at 2 p.m. at Erin Springs Baptist Church with burial to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pauls Valley.

With the loss of Spivey his first deputy, Dwight Marcum, will now step in to serve in the commissioner's role.

Looking further down the road, Spivey's predecessor Kenneth Holden has agreed to be his alternate candidate on the general election ballot this fall against Jarod Work.

“Since I had some experience they asked me to serve,” Holden said Tuesday during the first commissioners' meeting after Spivey's passing.

“I did it for my county. I love these people.”

It was actually the Garvin County Democratic Party that officially named Holden as Spivey's replacement for the Nov. 6 election against Work, who is the Republican candidate for the office.

Holden served as the District 1 commissioner from 1990 to 2012 before stepping down for retirement. He was replaced by Spivey.

Attorney Carol Dillingham says state statues call for the nominee's political party in their county to select a replacement candidate in situations like this one. But there's a very tight window to get it done.

With Spivey passing away Friday, the naming of an alternate candidate had to be certified by the election board here and be in the hands of the state election board by 5 p.m. that same day.

“It was an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Dillingham said. “There were a lot of recommendations for Mr. Holden. A whole bunch of people spoke with him.

“Mr. Holden was kind enough to make that decision very quickly.”

Another part of the appointment is Marcum is registered as a Republican, while Spivey was on the Democratic side.


In recent weeks Spivey had been unable to attend weekly commissioners’ meetings in Pauls Valley because of medical treatments and hospital stays.

Spivey had been set for a reelection bid after serving as the District 1 commissioner since 2012.

He first took office after defeating three other candidates to serve out the remaining two years left on the last term of the retiring Holden.

Spivey had worked for Holden several years as his road foreman before taking the office.

Among that trio of challengers was Work, who Spivey also defeated in 2014 to earn a full four-year term.

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