In our initial interviews with Will Jones back in 2012, he left us apprehensive about his abilities as the Precinct 3 McLennan County commissioner, but he’s proved us wrong. Jones promptly rolled up his sleeves, volunteered to lead in different county tasks and worked hard with colleagues to come up with alternative solutions for both cutting expenses and trimming taxes. We believe he deserves a second term based on the considerable work he has done during the past three years.

Jones, 44, has been a strong voice for not only low taxes but, more importantly, responsible fiscal budgeting, including aggressive payment of county debt. He has pushed for greater transparency and accountability by county officials. He has supported intelligent efforts to keep individuals with mental health-related illnesses out of county lockup. And though he originally championed vaguely couched tea-party principles, he has demonstrated common sense in matters such as the recent courthouse gun ban. And that required courage.

Jones has taken some deserved lumps for offering to pay his opponent’s $1,250 filing fee if the latter would withdraw his primary election challenge. It was a bone-headed move, but even his opponent, Benny Ray Matus, 63, declined to press the issue other than posting it on his website. Given that Matus’ platform seems to be that a resident from West should hold this seat, we say just as simply: Jones rates your vote in the Republican primary election.