NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - When Precinct 3, Nacogdoches County Commissioner Jim Elder decided not to run for re-election it opened the door for a large field of contenders.
There are four candidates vying for the spot in the March Primary.
We asked each one why they want the job of representing Nacogdoches County.
"I think we just need to tighten down a little bit," said Craig Poche, one of the candidates for Pct. 3 Commissioner. "I'm a real conservative Republican, and I want to tighten down where we can save money. Let's try to save money on our budgets and I want to take and get us a better tax rate so we can bring more businesses to Nacogdoches and help the ones that are here now."
"I want it because I'm well qualified for it. I live here," said R. Max Walton, a Pct. 3 Commissioner candidate. "I'm fully retired, and I can make a real difference on the commissioners court. I've attended 15 meetings in the last year and seen how it runs. There are some things I think they should do differently and I would try to introduce some changes."
"I was born and raised in Nacogdoches. I have a home in Pct. 3," said Damon Ruckel, a Pct. 3 Commissioner candidate. "A business in Pct. 3. My son was also born here and I'm raising him here and I want to work with the other commissioners to navigate the challenges that we face as a county and also embrace the opportunity we have as a county."
"Well, actually I've got over 36 years invested in this community, and I believe that I've got the qualifications, and I've been in several leadership positions and I think I will make the best qualified candidate," said Robin Dawley, a Pct. 3 Commissioner candidate.
Later, each of the four candidates discussed his qualifications to hold the office.
"I have a lot of experience in the budgets and real estate areas that handle budgets and deficits and taxes that I can bring to the table that would help the community more," Poche said.
"One thing that really separates me from the rest of them is I am fully retired, and I don't have another job," Walton said. "I'm not going to try to do this as a sideline. Anybody that tells you that he can do a job full-time and be a commissioner full-time - we're talking about two jobs that take at least 45 hours a week. That doesn't leave much time."
"We have a strong court, but I think we need some diversity on it," Ruckel said. "I think the experience and wisdom that we have there is very valuable right now, but also we need younger guys like myself that have skin in the game."
"I think I've got a passion to serve, and I believe that's what it takes," Dawley said. You're a public servant. That would be my full time job. I have no other, I would leave a position that I really enjoy with the appraisal district and this would be my full time commitment to the community."
The primary is March 1. You can check out all the candidates in your area at www.ktre.com.