Jason Wright, 37, said he is looking forward to his new job, where he will be working with constituents, making sure that “East Texans will always know they have a direct channel to the senator.”
The new position was not something that Wright, a business owner and real estate broker, had looked for. Cruz staff members approached Wright about a month ago, he said, asking him if he knew someone who would be a good fit for the position. He said he suggested a few names, but in the end, staffers asked him to take the job.
There will be five regional representatives from all parts of the state, and the others already have been appointed, Wright said. He will be based in Tyler but does not yet know if there will be a “brick and mortar” office yet, saying the senator wants to be conservative with his funds. A lot of the new position with Cruz’ office will involve on-the-job training, he said. “I look at my role as listening,” Wright said, adding that he has done much of this already as a city councilman.
He will attend his last city council meeting on Wednesday but said the city is in good shape.
“Tyler is under such good order — we have the greatest city manager in the country, and Tyler is in such good shape, especially compared to many national communities of the same size,” Wright said.
He added that the city didn’t spend money it didn’t have, that Tyler has one of the lowest tax rates in the state and that the city’s economy, which has continued to thrive, has kept Tyler moving in the right direction.
Ralph Caraway, who represents District 3, will not be running again because of term limits, so someone else will have to run for that seat, Ms. Guthrie said.
The city may not appoint anyone to serve out Wright’s council term until then, she said, because of the way in which the city’s charter is written. “The charter does not allow the city to appoint anyone to fill the vacancy,” Ms. Guthrie said. Also, the city charter explicitly states that an election will be called to fill vacancies during the next regularly scheduled election date, which is May.
“If this (resignation) had happened in June, there would have been an election called in November,” Ms. Guthrie said. With Wright’s resignation, there will be four contested city council election races. If one of Wright’s constituents has a concern, he or she may contact the city, or the mayor, who is a council member at large for the entire city, Ms. Guthrie said. “We are very happy for Jason and wish him the best of luck with his new opportunity to represent our region as the East Texas Regional Director for Senator Ted Cruz,” Mayor Barbara Bass said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure working with him on Council and we sincerely appreciate his service to our community.”
The Sulphur Springs native has been married for 15 years to Carrie, and has two daughters, Rylan and Abby, ages 11 and 12.