Summers, age 69, launched his campaign in late November and had traveled to many corners of the state. According to police, Summers rear-ended a semi-truck that was slowed and turning right.
A veteran, Summers served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1992 and had worked in business since leaving the military. In 2019, he founded Oilfield Connections International — an organization dedicated to fostering connections and philanthropy throughout the oil and gas industry.
Some of Summers’ primary opponents reacted to the news on social media. Incumbent Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “I didn’t know Sarge well, but I respected him tremendously.”
“I met Sarge last month at a campaign debate in Denton. In what can often be a hostile environment, Sarge and I had the most cordial, refreshing discussion about the issues and even complimented one another along the way.”
“A good West Texas man was taken from the earth today and brought home to his maker in heaven,” said Tom Slocum, another GOP candidate.
Sarah Stogner added, “He was always a gentleman to me, and I know he was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather.”
In January 2021, Summers’ wife of 50 years, Sandy, died from COVID-19 complications. During her 40-day ICU stay, Summers stood outside the hospital each day to pray for her recovery, organizing several vigils along the way.
The primary election is less than a month away, set for March 1.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Summers’ name will remain on the ballot for the primary as the filing deadline has passed.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original version.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.