Businesswoman Flor de Maria Nichols announced her candidacy for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 as a Republican.
Mrs. Nichols, 42, has lived in JP Precinct 1 for 18 years and said she wants to participate in a new way within her community. She said 60 percent of JP Precinct 1 constituents are Hispanic and that 30 percent are foreign born. She said eliminating the language barrier would improve basic services provided by the judge’s office, such as marriages and handling deaths.
“For the majority of people in the precinct, the justice of the peace will be the court they deal with,” she said. “They need someone they can talk to.”
Democrat Quincy Beavers has been Justice of the Peace since 1994. He has faced only one challenger during his tenure and has never faced a Republican in the general election. JP Precinct 1 lies mainly within Tyler city limits but juts northwest along U.S. Highway 69 and southwest between Texas Highways 31 and 155.
Mrs. Nichols said she had been preparing and educating herself about the justice of the peace position for a year and feels confident her background in business has equipped her to handle the office.
Truancy will be a major focus for Mrs. Nichols, she said. Ensuring children understand the importance of education and attending school is critical to the well-being of the community at large, she said.
Mrs. Nichols is a founding member of the Hispanic Business Alliance and has volunteered for several non-profit groups, including PATH, the East Texas Food Bank, Bethesda Health Clinic and CASA during the past 14 years. She said it is her civic duty to take the next step to represent and serve her community.
She said she is passionate about her conservative values and she wants to serve as an example to other Latinos.
Mrs. Nichols owns Nichols and Nava LLC, a real estate and property management company. She was born in Guatemala and has five children with her husband James.
She said her multicultural background and experience promoting innovative programs will translate well within the office for the benefit of the community.
“Times are changing, community is changing and it is important to share with the citizens of Tyler that our Hispanic community has strong conservative social values, strong work ethics and devotion to family,” she said.