Ector County Commissioner Race Heats Up

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Election day is just seven days off but already the candidates in Precinct 3 are battling it out not just in the polls, but in the press.
A press conference at the Republican headquarters in Odessa gave party leaders a chance to rebuff charges incumbent Barbara Graff hurled at their candidate Dale Childers, at another press conference on Monday.

Graff said Childers lied and tried to cover up an air quality report showing high levels of acetone at Barbara Jordan Elementary four years ago. A lawsuit was filed against the city and E.C.I.S.D. after several children developed unexplained rashes.

In 2004, Childers was the Assistant Fire Chief he says a state health official told him the initial report that crossed his desk was flawed and that's why he disregarded it. Childers says the lawsuit was settled last week.

"I think my integrity over the last 25 years stands for it self. Everybody who knows me knows it's not true. She is basically accusing all of us, the city, E.C.I.S.D. of covering something up, it just didn't happen," Childers said.

The Republican party is slinging it's own accusations. Leaders say Graff tried to unlawfully force Childers to drop out of the race by official oppression.

Leaders also suggested Graff acted unethically when she solicited campaign contributions from Ector County vendors.

Chairman Shane Marler says they've filed a freedom of information request for documents they say will prove Graff used her role as Commissioner for political and personal gain.
Graff Sent NewsWest 9 this statement: "Yesterday, I made statement that was true, a statement that the media and the public needs to research for themselves and make their own assessment. This is not an issue I am willing to discuss any further until after the election November 4th. Whether I win or lose the election, I will stand by my discovery and my statement."