Precinct 2 Commissioner Lester Gibson will have to overcome two opponents to win the 2014 upcoming election, but said he’s not concerned.
Gibson said he has had an opponent in almost every election since he began his career on the commissioners court 23 years ago and thinks his record will take him through the final stretch. Gibson ran unopposed in the 2010 election.
Gibson said if he wins the upcoming election, he plans this to be his final term.
“After 28 years, I think it’s time to retire,” Gibson said.
Waco Independent School Board Trustee Norman Manning will challenge Gibson in the primary on March 4.
The winner of the primary will face Republican Tony Abad in the general election.
Manning filed minutes before the deadline Monday and decided to run for the seat because he wants to eliminate waste in Precinct 2.
Manning has been a heavy-truck driver for Precinct 2 for the past three years.
The knowledge he has gained from working in the precinct will enable him to make wise logistical decisions to make the county more efficient, Manning said.
Manning isn’t willing to share his ideas yet, but said he will be able to cut the precinct’s budget simply by making smarter management choices.
“I will be able to work within the budget constraints we’re presently in,” he said.
His experience on the school board also will help him because the commissioners court operates in a similar format, he said. Manning said he understands how to use information from department heads to be fiscally responsible.
Gibson also plans to use his experience as a major attribute for his campaign.
The commissioner said he’s proud of his accomplishments, such as establishing justice of peace and constable precincts 7 and 8, which he said offer opportunities to minority candidates in the county.
Gibson said he thinks his constituents will remain loyal because of his track record for being fair and objective while representing them.
Abad does not have a primary challenger, but said he will be watching the Democrats’ primary closely.
This is Abad’s first attempt at a commissioner’s seat. He ran unsuccessfully for the Waco Independent School Board two years ago.
Abad said he doesn’t plan to change his campaign strategy based on who wins the primary election.
He will continue to reach out to the Precinct 2 voters, while depending on his Hispanic roots and business savvy to help him win the election, regardless of whom he faces in the spring.
“It’ll be a race we’ll all be keeping a close eye on,” he said.