Current Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal announced his retirement earlier this year. His successor will be elected next week.
So who will it be? Democratic candidate Barbara Canales or Republican candidate Mike Pusley?
KRIS6 News anchor Priscilla Torres sat down with both, asking them the same questions dealing with Nueces County. Here’s some of what Canales and Pusley had to say:
Canales and Pusley are both born and raised in Corpus Christi. Canales graduated from Ray High School, Pusley graduated from Miller. Both went on to college, landing in the oil and gas business.
As for why they want to be your next Nueces County Judge? There’s many key issues they mention, but both are focused on the county’s budget as their top priority.
“As you know the County Judge’s primary responsibility is presenting the budget to Commissioners Court and developing that and bringing it to them so they can discuss that in the budget hearings and adopt the budget at the end of the year. So I’ll be highly involved in that, that’s going to be my number one priority.”
“Money. The biggest issue is our fiscal nature of the county. In other words, our house is not in the best shape and that is something that has caused some serious consequences and ramifications.”
Both say that more business needs to be attracted to Nueces County.
“We need to make sure our vision is about bringing more businesses, which will bring higher paying jobs and a prosperous economy.”
“So I’m going to work very hard to make sure we keep our tax rates low so we can encourage these industries to come here and show them that they’re going to be fairly treated once they get here.”
A key issue on which both agree is better drainage for the county, focusing on the Colonias. This comes after flooding in rural areas has become a major issue for the County.
Pusley has served on the County Commissioner’s board for the last nine years, recently resigning to run for County Judge. Meanwhile, Canales is the current Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner and has been for the last five years.
Pusley says he knows what’s best for the county because he’s served on the board for many years, Canales says it’s time for change.
“I’m excited because I bring a new perspective, a new vision, new ideas, new strategies and here’s something, new goals.”
“With my election to the Commissioner’s Court we brought forward a very conservative philosophy with respect to how we budget and how we spend the tax payers money and I’m going to continue to do that as County Judge.”
Early voting ends on Friday. Election Day is Tuesday.
Whoever wins the County Judge race will take office at the beginning of the new year.