Editor, the Advocate:
I thank Mr. Emett Alvarez and others for showing confidence in me by asking me to seriously consider finishing Mayor Rawley McCoy’s term by running for mayor of Victoria, Texas. Respectfully, my answer is: Thank you, but no thank you; Victoria can do better.
Does that shock you? Don’t get me wrong. I love Victoria and I am a capable leader. I sometimes use ‘Victoria’ in place of ‘America’ in the song ‘God Bless America,’ written by Irving Berlin and recorded by Kate Smith. Try it sometime. Sing “God Bless ‘Victoria,’ land that I love!”
Victoria deserves a ‘politically neutral’ mayor that is the ultimate local government diplomat who does not ‘see’ things from a liberal or a conservative perspective per say. Mayor McCoy did that very well. I cannot do that. I unapologetically see things from a Christian, conservative, constitutional, common-sense, fiscally responsible perspective. In other words, for me, beautification projects-bottom of the list; city employee-pay, waste and utility management, school viability, quality law enforcement and policing, and business and job recruitment initiatives-top of the list.
Additionally, I don’t go along to get along with the status quo; my life is a testament to that. As an American Black woman, I fought to become one of the first black Victoriadores at Victoria High School, joined the Army, became a sergeant, and later an Army officer with 26 years of service and world travel — complete with two combat tours, ran for office and, I married a white man who is also a fellow Texan and Army veteran. I don’t just go along to get along with the status quo.
I would have pushed for limits on the government’s intrusive response to the pandemic based on the U.S. and Texas constitutions, which do not give elected leaders unlimited powers to shut down businesses and push mask mandates.
As mayor, I would have been a problem for state and local leaders who, in my opinion, did not fight to fully protect our liberties ultimately resulting in lost tax revenue and the loss of several businesses in Victoria that will never return. Mandates should have been focused and put in place to protect vulnerable populations in our community and those more susceptible to the pandemic.
So, I pray Victoria ends up with a great mayor who is diplomatic, neutral, competent, loves Victoria, and who will carry on the great legacy of Rawley McCoy.
Vanessa Hicks-Callaway, Victoria