It’s refreshing that there are contested races in the spring municipal and school board elections. Contested races are important, as they serve to bring about a more thorough vetting of candidates and elevate the dialogue.
In the May 10 election for Tyler mayor, candidate and former City Council member Martin Heines is the clear choice. Heines has a long and distinguished career of community and public service. His record on the City Council is one of stability, problem-solving and attention to detail. Tyler voters can be confident that Heines’ abilities and temperament will ensure he remains a good steward of all that is best in Tyler, a city we like to think of as the “last great place.”
Tyler City Council, District 4
City Council candidate Eleno Licea represents a new generation of leadership in Tyler, and he serves as an important role model for young Hispanic men to look to, in building a business, in being involved in the community, and being an advocate.
In fact, it’s somewhat unfortunate that the District 4 race pits two very qualified candidates against each other. Licea’s opponent is Don Warren, a man who brings to the table a career of service, a level of maturity and a cooperative tone that make him the better choice.
Both men have made great efforts to engage the voters — Licea has knocked on hundreds of doors, and Warren hand-wrote hundreds of personal letters to voters.
But our endorsement goes to Don Warren, as we believe he will make the more effective member of City Council in this race.
TISD Board of Trustees, District 2
School board candidate Cedrick Granberry — himself a product of Tyler schools — truly cares about the district, and in seeing that all voices are heard.
But in the District 2 race, incumbent Board President Rev. Orenthia Mason has earned the Tyler Paper’s endorsement. Her background as an educator and administrator — she was an elementary school principal — give her an unparalleled understanding of how school districts work.
This is a critical time for TISD, which must soon hire a new superintendent. Rev. Mason’s experience gives her the edge in this race.
TISD Board of Trustees, District 5
Tyler voters could feel confident with either of the District 5 candidates. They’re both highly qualified, highly engaged and both have very impressive resumes.
Barbara Smith is an educator whose children went from Tyler schools to the very best colleges and graduate schools in the country. That speaks to her commitment to academics and to demanding the very best.
But candidate Ross Strader, who was appointed to the District 5 seat and now seeks to fill the unexpired term, is similarly qualified. He has children in the district now, and should be commended for his involvement in Tyler Proud, a group that has served to create a new consensus in Tyler around the public schools — beyond bond issues.
Strader receives the Tyler Paper endorsement for his more recent involvement and engagement to the benefit of Tyler school children.
Early voting lasts from Monday, April 28 to Tuesday, May 6.