Calhoun Republican judge candidates bring old, new perspectives
Feb. 3, 2018 at 9:30 p.m.
Updated Feb. 4, 2018 at 6 a.m.
One Republican candidate for Calhoun County judge thinks the community could do well with a fresh perspective, while the other wants to maintain the status quo.
March 6, voters will choose between Wesley McKelvy, a 28-year-old Calhoun County Sheriff's deputy, and Richard Meyer, a 67-year-old farmer and rancher.
This comes after Michael J. Pfeifer, a Democrat who was elected to be judge in 2002, chose not to seek re-election.
Both candidates want to bring more business to Port Lavaca, but neither was specific on how they'd attract business differently than Pfeifer.
For example, Meyer said he did not want to divulge what he would do if elected but did say he approved of Novus getting a 10-year, 100-percent tax abatement from the county to build a plant near Green Lake, which some residents say may contaminate a previously planned park.
He declined to say whether he would be in favor of going through with that county's plan to put a park there if elected.
"Calhoun County attracts business on its own with our deep water ports and our abundance of natural resources," Meyer said. "Tax abatements play a big part in industry coming. We're in direct competition with Louisiana."
McKelvy, meanwhile, was less focused on how and more on what. He'd like to see Calhoun County attract retailers that offer sporting goods and entertainment.
McKelvy said as judge, he'd increase the number of patrol deputies and update the equipment they and the firefighters and other first responders use.
He also had an idea to host an end-of-summer bash and Thanksgiving meal for families or those less fortunate, which he said he'd pay for himself or with donations.
"I'm here for the long haul. Having fresh blood in there that has a different way of thinking is always good," McKelvy said.
Meyer said after Hurricane Harvey, it's more important than ever that Calhoun County maintain its emergency plan so it's ready to deploy 24/7 in the next disaster. He had the idea that the county should partner with his Texas A&M colleague who started an animal rescue.
"They did a tremendous amount of work in the Rockport and Ingleside area after Harvey, and then they moved their whole operation to Houston because of the dramatic flooding," Meyer said. "They saved, rescued and doctored thousands of animals that would have been destroyed, and I think this is very worthwhile."
Of his opponent, Meyer said, "He's a very nice person. I've known him and his family, but when it comes to making a decision, a split-second decision, when it comes to disaster, whether it be hurricanes, floods or a chemical plant explosion that could be life-threatening, that's where I think experience and leadership comes into place."
Whoever wins will face Democrat Wayne Allen Tippit Jr., 64, who works for Mid-Coast Family Services, in the general election.