After serving as Precinct 2 Commissioner Lester Gibson’s administrative assistant for more than two decades, Patricia Chisolm-Miller has decided to make a run for the Precinct 2 seat.

Miller, a Democrat, announced Monday her intentions to vie for the seat currently held by Gibson, the sole Democrat on the court.

Gibson plans to vacate the seat he has held for 28 years at the end of his current term.

Miller, who has lived in Waco since she was 10, becomes the fifth person — and third Democrat — to announce a bid for the March 6 primary election. The first day to officially file is Nov. 11 and the deadline is Dec. 11.

In 1865, two African-Americans were appointed to the commissioners court and it wasn’t until 126 years later that one was elected to the court, she said. Miller said she’s had the privilege and honor of working for that man, Gibson. She said she wants to encourage economic growth and tourism in Precinct 2, and higher hourly wages throughout the county.

Miller said she’d also like to encourage activity like the often-overlooked, multimillion-dollar U.S. Department of Agriculture grant project in Mart that will repair and replace water distribution lines and streets.

Having served as Gibson’s administrative assistant, Miller said, she has worked with the precinct’s $2.8 million operating budget, purchasing, personnel and has become invested in projects throughout the area that she’d like to see come to fruition.

Miller, 58, has also served currently and in the past as the county representative to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, Community Race Relations Coalition board of directors vice chair, Compassion Ministries board of directors, and Live Oak Classical School Community Outreach and Engagement Committee member, among other functions.

The other four potential candidates who have submitted documents to name their campaign treasurer, allowing them to start raising and spending money on the campaign, are:

  • Norman Manning
  • , 67, of Waco, a Democrat and a truck driver. Manning ran against Gibson in 2014.Gina Ford, 44, of Axtell, is a Republican and project manager for the Animal Birth Control Clinic.Travis Gibson, 46, of Bellmead, is a Democrat and special education inclusion teacher at University High School and one of the school’s football and powerlifting coaches. Travis Gibson is the son of Lester Gibson and a Bellmead City Council member.D.L. Wilson, of Mart, is a Texas Department of Public Safety sergeant.

Precinct 2 residents will have a new representative for the first time in almost three decades with Lester Gibson’s decision to not pursue re-election. Gibson was first elected to the Precinct 2 seat in 1990 and was most recently re-elected in 2014. A 1974 Baylor University graduate, Gibson also served as a Waco City Council member from 1988 to 1990.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Recommended for you