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Victoria County leadership to see changes in 2015

By Melissa Crowe
March 5, 2014 at 7:03 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.


THE CANDIDATES

Ron Reyna

• Democrat

• Stroman High School graduate

• Lifelong Victoria resident

• Owner of R&R Electric Service for 32 years

Ben Zeller

• Republican

• Bachelor's degree in business administration from University of Houston-Victoria, master's degree in business administration from Texas A&M-San Antonio

• Lifelong resident of this area

• Loan officer at Texas Dow Employees Credit Union, adjunct professor at Victoria College

With three-term incumbent Don Pozzi out of the running for Victoria County judge, the county's governing body will see new leadership in 2015.

Republican candidate Ben Zeller, a 29-year-old loan officer, and Democratic candidate Ron Reyna, a 53-year-old electrical contractor, are set on the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.

In complete but unofficial results, Zeller beat Pozzi in the Republican primary by 884 votes.

Reyna, a Victoria native and business owner, said at this point, he is evaluating the approach to his campaign.

"We always hit our campaign hard," he said. "I was expecting to see Don Pozzi (in November), but obviously, we're not, so we're in our planning stages."

Reyna plans to be involved with community events, forums and debates leading up to the November election.

Pozzi said he would not support or give money to either candidate in the November election.

"As a county judge, I follow the Campaign Fairness Act; I do not and cannot give money to or support any candidate," Pozzi said. "I am prohibited from publicly supporting any candidate, and I have taken that position since I have been in office."

He said he wants the county to continue to progress and prosper.

"I'm fine; I feel fine; I'm going to be OK," Pozzi said. "You don't just say, 'I'm through.' I've got a job to finish, and I'm going to finish it, finish it well, and leave Victoria County in the best financial shape it's ever been in history when I leave office."

Zeller said his next step is to focus his campaign. He has several events in the works, but none have yet been announced.

Since Tuesday's election, Zeller said he has received calls from many supporters.

"There are new people coming on board, and it's real encouraging to see the additional support," Zeller said. "We don't take anything for granted. We're going to work hard, and we're very optimistic about delivering a strong win in November."

Zeller's campaign treasurer, Daniel Goyen, said their next step is to retrieve their signs and to get ready for the fall.

"With respect to Mr. Pozzi in this race, we haven't flipped the switch to start the transition to November yet," Goyen said.

He said Zeller is organized and deliberate with his goals and efforts in this race for county judge.

"We don't want to think this election was won last night," Goyen said Wednesday. "We still have a formidable challenger in November, so we still have to do some work."

Zeller's campaign has focused on the tax rate, which has remained the same amount under Pozzi's leadership despite increases in property valuations.

Reyna said he agreed with Zeller's points on the tax rate, which reminded him of his own platform for county judge four years ago.

"The judge has always talked about maintaining the same tax rate," but the county's problems can't all be solved by cutting taxes, Reyna said.

"We still have to grow and maintain our infrastructure, and we can't do it with no money," Reyna said. "We've got to be real conservative in the things we do and make sure they're the right thing for all concerned and trim the fat wherever we can."

He said county judge "is not a one-man job."

He said his goal is to do the will of the people, maintain the level of representation they expect and give them undivided attention.

"It's a complete commissioners court, and contrary to what people think, the county judge doesn't have his way or say in everything," Reyna said. "I don't think my opponent is addressing that."

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