NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – The Nacogdoches County Commission could see some major changes following the fall election. At least one precinct will have a new commissioner as a longtime incumbent isn't running for re-election. Voters in another precinct could bring back an incumbent or choose new representation.
Reggie Cotton has six years experience as county commissioner for Precinct 2. The former firefighter represents west Nacogdoches County and city dwellers.
"I love the community I live in," Cotton said. "I love serving people."
Cotton is leading a collaboration effort to relocate a historic county bridge in his precinct to the city. The Democrat's experience places him in regional leadership roles.
"I try to have a good work ethic," he said. "Right now, I'm the president of the Northeast County Judges Commissioners Association."
In that capacity, Cotton helped secure a statewide county government convention for Nacogdoches.
"It's part of what my job requires me to do is to go out and seek visitors to our city," he said.
Cotton's opponent gets a bird's eye view of the areas he wants to represent. The electrical contractor, Charles "Kilowatt" Thomson, is wanting to power the county's future.
"And I would like to use my business expertise to help the county continue to grow and prosper," Thomson said.
He wants to be totally accessible to his constituents.
"When a constituent calls you need to be able to have the ability to phone back in a timely manner," Thomson said.
The Republican wants to bring a willingness of cooperation to the court.
"You might have disagreements, but ultimately you have to make a good decision for the taxpayers," Thomson said.
Now head south to the region of Lake Sam Rayburn where Precinct Four constituents live.
They'll be electing a new commissioner no matter what. Could it be Republican Elton Milstead?
"I think the whole issue of the race comes down to which candidate will best represent our precinct out there," Milstead said. "The ones that will stand up to the values."
Lane Bradshaw speaks of values too.
"Whoever serves on the commissioners court serves with honesty, humility and integrity," he said.
The Democrat owns a cemetery service company. He'll prepare your last resting spot, but he also wants to serve the living.
"And I think it takes a team effort with other members of the court," Bradshaw said. "You need to have a good working relationship."
"I'm a fiscal conservative, so I believe in cutting expenses where you can and I will speak my mind," Milstead said.
Specifically over road issues.
"We're not doing something right," he said.
Milstead says what is right is to be willing to make political promises.
"That I would not vote for a property tax increase my first term and would not accept a raise during my first term," he said.
Early voting turnout in Nacogdoches County is very high. Obviously, some voters already have their minds made up.
Also on the ballot is a proposed emergency service district for the Melrose and Woden volunteer fire departments. If passed, it would give them the ability to collect tax money to support the service.
Nacogdoches city has two candidates seeking the open post for southwest ward.