James A. (Jim) Smith, a former school superintendent who campaigned on making economic development a countywide priority, defeated Chrissy Brault with a commanding lead Tuesday in the Republican primary for Precinct 1 county commissioner.
Smith will face Alice Flores in the Nov. 3 general election to succeed Kelly Snell, who is not seeking re-election to the McLennan County Commissioners Court.
“I’m certainly thankful for all the support I had, all the people in the precinct who worked for us and spoke highly of us,” Smith said Tuesday night. “And I want to congratulate Chrissy, absolutely a quality person, very professional.”
Smith received 813 votes to Brault’s 600 in Precinct 1, which includes much of South Waco and the Robinson area of McLennan County. He won 56.8% of the vote while Brault won 43.2%.
Brault, who serves as Snell’s administrative assistant, said she obviously was disappointed in the results, but believes Smith will well serve the residents of Precinct 1, if he wins the November general election.
Smith said he is following to some degree the budget hearings being conducted by McLennan County commissioners. If he wins in November, he will take office after a new county budget has been adopted.
He won’t be doing any second-guessing, he said in an interview.
“I have a lot of respect for the court and the job they do,” he said. “They work hard and are facing a very tough time. There are no crystal balls for the future, so they are being very careful, which I appreciate as a taxpayer.”
The biggest challenge facing the county is ensuring infrastructure is in place to accommodate growth now and hopefully in the future.
“One thing I campaigned on was economic development,” said Smith, a 34-year educator in the Robinson Independent School District, serving as teacher, coach, principal and superintendent.
“I have a lot of interest in bedroom communities and how to support them, spreading out the tax burden by attracting business and providing relief to taxpayers.”
Smith also was employed 16 years at Educators Credit Union, and once served as president of the Central Texas Chapter of Credit Unions.
He also served as chairman of the Robinson Economic Development Committee, and was 38 years a reserve deputy sheriff in McLennan County.
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