Each Victoria City Council race has a challenger
BY MELISSA CROWE - MCROWE@VICAD.COM
March 2, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.
CITY COUNCIL FILINGS
• Will Armstrong
• Richard Andrew Deases
• Paul Polasek
• Henry Perez
• Omar Rachid
Council Member, Super District 5
• Gabriel Soliz
• Joe Truman
• Andrew J. Young
Council Member, Super District 6
• Tom Halepaska
• Russell Pruitt
*Council Member, District 3
• John T. Hyak
• Jeff Bauknight
Source: Victoria City Secretary
*Because this is a special election, filing for this office closes March 11.
Victoria voters can have their pick May 11.
Each of the four City Council positions are contested, making it a truly democratic process, some candidates say.
Russell Pruitt, 69, filed Friday for Super District 6 against incumbent Tom Halepaska.
"To me, this is almost the purest form of democracy," Pruitt said. "Let the people decide."
Pruitt ran for state representative on the Democratic ticket in 1978, but this is his first time to file for area office. He has lived in Victoria for 51 years.
He said he waited for the deadline to file "to see if anyone else would file who I could support."
Pruitt is a member of a grassroots organization, Concerned Citizens for Responsible Government, and was involved in a June charter election decision, which landed in the Texas Supreme Court to determine the legitimacy of levying taxes in Victoria.
"I know the time these councilmen put in," Pruitt said. "They are working - though not all the time in my best interest. They need to be challenged."
Andrew J. Young, 39, also filed Friday for Super District 5 against incumbent Joe Truman and former Councilman Gabriel Soliz.
While interested in all levels of politics, Young said the area level has the opportunity to make a big, positive impact.
"What I could do with what's at hand, I have more of an ability to influence and partake in our local government," Young said. "If I sit on the side and I don't do anything, shame on me."
Young is an owner of Podiatry Associates-Victoria.
Although he has not run for office or served on any boards or commissions, he said his experience comes from running a business.
"I have to make tough decisions on a daily basis, diagnose and lay out treatment plans, which is not unlike what we do at the city government," Young said.
Young has been a Victoria resident for 11 years.
"I looked at my two kids, and I want to ensure that Victoria is a place I'm proud they grow up in," Young said. "The future of Victoria is bright. I want to make sure it's maintained."