GOP's Perry wins Pct. 4 commissioner's race

Republican Ben Perry (left) beat Democrat Will Stevens (center) and Libertarian David Meine for the Precinct 4 commissioner's seat.

Bruce Kabat

Republican Ben Perry sailed to victory with 76 percent of the vote Tuesday in the race to replace McLennan County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Meadows.

Perry, an insurance agent from Woodway, pulled in 18,038 votes. Democrat Will Stevens won 5,199 votes, or 22 percent, while Libertarian David Meine received 465 votes, or 2 percent.

Perry said he was “humbled but very surprised” by his margin of victory.

Perry beat the 24-year veteran commissioner Meadows by a 2-to-1 margin in the April GOP primary runoffs.

Perry said the nationwide Republican resurgence helped him in the general election, but he said his campaign issues also resonated with voters.

Those include working to do more business with local contractors and creating a master plan for infrastructure improvements around the county.

“We’ve run a positive campaign,” he said. “I think people want solutions, not controversy. People want someone who will roll their sleeves up and get to work.”

Precinct 4 includes West Waco, Woodway, Hewitt, China Spring, Speegleville, McGregor and Crawford.

Perry raised more than $55,000 during his campaign, dwarfing the spending of his general election rivals.

Stevens, a McLennan County DARE officer, campaigned door-to-door in the precinct.

Meine, a retired Texas State Technical College instructor, hardly campaigned because of family health issues.

In his campaign, Perry said he would help rein in the county budget and work to lower the property tax rate.

He supports creating a civil service system to standardize pay and hiring of law enforcement officers, a move Meadows opposed.

A former lawman, Perry won the endorsement of the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association of McLennan County, a group of sheriff’s deputies.

Perry has lived in the Waco area since 1981, when he came to Baylor University to play football for former head coach Grant Teaff.

From 1987 to 2000, he worked as a police officer for the Waco and Woodway police departments. Since then, he has worked at Sunbelt-Higginbotham Insurance agency.

He and his wife, Kariann, have two daughters, Kaydi and Jill.

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