Kenneth Wells

Kenneth Wells

As a lifelong resident of Victoria, Kenneth Wells said he has continuously looked for ways to make an impact and invest back into the community.

“It’s pretty straightforward and simple,” Wells said Wednesday. “My whole career has been based on service, and I want to lead that now into serving Precinct 1 of the county.”

Wells, 54, has filed to run as a Republican for Victoria County commissioner of Precinct 1 in the 2020 election. The deadline to file is Monday.

Wells said his 22-year career as a sheriff’s deputy with the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office has provided him the privilege to work directly with a wide-range of the county’s residents. Additionally, he is an instructor with the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. programs in local schools, and has worked in the courts unit and holds numerous peace officer certifications.

In Wells’ news release announcing his candidacy, he said the principles of transparency, efficiency and access will guide his administration. His outlook is simple, he said, “To be proactive in bringing transparency and access back to the people of Precinct 1.”

The people of Precinct 1 deserve a commissioner with an open-door policy and an efficient user-friendly website that serves as a “one stop, one phone number, one email address for you to find a solution to any need you might have for Victoria County,” he said.

“My constituents will never have to question how to reach me in order to share their ideas and suggestions,” Wells said.

The website would also offer updates on current and projected capital improvement projects such as road expansion plans, traffic signals and intersection improvements, Wells said, explaining that a cornerstone of his administration would be to “increase efficiency and eliminate needless spending to save taxpayers’ money.” With the website, residents would be continuously informed of progress in the precinct and easily keep up with where their tax dollars are being spent.

To help build trust with transparency, Wells said, the complete budget for Precinct 1 will be on the website, and will list line by line the amount of money allocated for each item.

“Victoria County isn’t a small area anymore, but it has a large population and is seeing growth,” he said. “I feel prepared to lead and will use the website to bring about clarity and transparency to the people in Precinct 1.”

Wells will face at least one opponent in the general election in November 2020, as incumbent Danny Garcia has filed as a Democrat to seek reelection to the position. Wells ran against Garcia in the 2016 election as well, but lost after earning about 40% of the vote. He also sought the Democratic nomination in 2012 in a six-person race, again losing to Garcia.

Wells said in his release that if elected in 2020, he plans to create a program for the senior residents of Precinct 1 to “enhance their well-being, good health and basic quality of life.” The program would be a place for senior residents to inquire about local community services as well as offer a wide variety of hobbies and games to give seniors the chance to keep busy.

He would also create a leadership academy that would place high school seniors and college students in internship positions that align with their chosen major, he said. The program would allow students the opportunity to get real hands-on experience in today’s working arena and gain knowledge while they still have the opportunity to decide on a career path.

Wells said he looks forward to hearing the viewpoints of the residents of Precinct 1 moving forward into the election process.

“It would be my honor to serve as your Victoria County Commissioner for Precinct 1,” he said.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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