Lester Gibson

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Lester Gibson discusses his last run for office in 2014.

A Waco Independent School District trustee is the fourth person to submit initial paperwork to run for the Precinct 2 county commission seat held by Lester Gibson. Gibson does not plan to seek re-election.

Norman Manning, 67, of Waco, submitted documents to name Kathryn A. Thompson as his campaign treasurer, allowing him to start raising and spending money on the campaign.

The first day to file for the March 6 primary election is Nov. 11. The deadline is Dec. 11.

Gibson, the sole Democrat on the court, plans to vacate the seat he has held for 28 years.

This will be Manning’s second bid to win the Precinct 2 seat. He ran against Gibson in 2014 and said he learned a lot in the process.

“I’m one of these people when you whoop my butt I learn my lesson,” Manning said. “I don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Manning, a Democrat, said his experience working as a Precinct 2 truck driver allowed him to learn the precinct, the area’s needs, and what goes into maintaining county roads.

“There is a learning curve in any elected job you’ve got because there is no school you can go to,” he said. “You have to go learn some of the stuff firsthand, but because of my actual experience in working out in the precinct, I know some of the trials and tribulations of the residents out there.”

Manning said he would also bring his eight years of experience serving as a Waco ISD trustee, from handling the budget to working with personnel.

Baylor University graduate Gina Ford, of Axtell, was the first to file to establish a campaign finance manager for the Precinct 2 county commissioner seat. Ford, 44, a Republican, is a project manager for the Animal Birth Control Clinic.

Bellmead City Council member Travis Gibson also submitted the documents in hopes of continuing his father’s legacy on the commissioners court. Travis Gibson, 46, a Democrat, is a special education inclusion teacher at University High School and one of the school’s football and powerlifting coaches.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. D.L. Wilson, of Mart, has also submitted the initial paperwork to start his run for the seat on the commissioners court.

Lester Gibson’s decision to not pursue re-election means Precinct 2 residents will have a new representative for the first time in almost three decades. 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.

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