Three seek Precinct 1 post


The Precinct 1 commissioner’s position is a three-man race. One incumbent, one former commissioner and a political newcomer to Wood County are each seeking the seat.

Incumbent Virgil (Junior) Holland faces former Precinct 1 Commissioner Keith Gilbreath and Land’s End resident JR Douglas.

Holland is in his second term as a Wood County commissioner. He was first elected in 2012 and has been in the commissioner’s chair going on eight years. He has been married to his wife, Debbie, a Quitman junior high educator, for 47 years. Holland went to school in Yantis and graduated from Lincoln Academy. The Hollands owned and operated a dairy farm in Wood County for 17 years. Holland later was employed by Lawrence Propane for 18 years before becoming a commissioner. He has also attended workshops and continuing education classes concerning county business since being elected. The Hollands have three children and nine grandchildren and they are Baptists.

Keith Gilbreath previously served as Precinct 1 Commissioner beginning in 2008 and serving in the position until 2012. He is a 1963 graduate of Yantis High School and is a United States Army Vietnam veteran. Gilbreath also served on the Yantis ISD School board for 18 years and is on the board of directors for the Yantis Federal Credit Union. He serves the Yantis Volunteer Fire Department on the advisory board and is a member of the Lake Fork Water Supply Association board of directors. Gilbreath works in construction and was with AMOCO in Edgewood and Longview for 30 years. Gilbreath and his wife, Sharon, have been married 51 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren. The Gilbreaths are members of Yantis Baptist Church.

Douglas graduated from Ringgold (Louisiana) High School and attended Bienville Parish Trade School taking courses in business and welding. He also attended Arlington State College and has completed many executive management training programs. Douglas, whose career primarily focused on business expansion in the Middle and Far East, concluded his career in Saudi Arabia where he began a two week assignment alone and left after 14 years with over 40 employees and increased sales with the largest oil company in the world. He spent decades managing major projects for some of the world’s largest oilfield engineering companies delivering the highest quality results with efficiency and within budget. He and his wife, Caroline, have resided in Wood County since 2015 at Land’s End and he has two daughters and six grandchildren. He serves on the board of the home owner’s association. Douglas served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.