A former member of the Corpus Christi City Council is looking to take over the reins from outgoing Precinct 2 Nueces County Commissioner Betty Jean Longoria.
Forty-seven-year-old Jesse Noyola, who served City Councilman for District 3 from 2001-07, said he is looking to re-enter public service as a county commissioner in order to serve the residents of Nueces County.
"I'd like to continue to be a public servant," he said. "I enjoy helping people. I have no special interests, but just to help the people."
Noyola, who is married and has five children with his wife, is a lifelong resident of Corpus Christi. He has worked for Southwest Airline for the past 25 years.
Noyola will be facing newcomer Gloria Caceres and former Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Place 1 Joe A. Gonzalez in the March 2 Primary Election for the Democratic nomination. The winner will face Republican Gil Hernandez in November.
Noyola acknowledged that he did not deal directly with any of the rural areas that comprise Precinct 2, such as Agua Dulce, Banquete and Driscoll, but added he has ideas on how to better the quality of life for those residents.
"We didn't work directly with them, but we tried to work with economic development as part of the region," Noyola said.
Noyola said he would like to see more cooperation among county commissioners on helping to improve the fairgrounds, adding that future projects, like a proposed outlet mall, will only serve to enhance the entire county, not just Robstown.
"That land we have there on (U.S. Highway) 77, right there by the fairgrounds, with those outlet malls, could really be a mecca for…Nueces County," he said.
When asked what the most pressing issue in Precinct 2 is, Noyola said the lack of jobs was concerning to him.
"My main issue is jobs. Right now, our economy is really bad," Noyola said. "We need to work directly with economic development, whether it's the Robstown economic development or the ones from San Patricio or Kleberg (counties), even Corpus Christi, we need to work together as a region to bring in jobs for everybody in the Coastal Bend.
"Everybody is hurting - jobs are really hard to come by."
His experience with the city council, Noyola said, puts him above his opponents in terms of ability to get the job done for the citizens.
"To fill (Longoria's) shoes, you have to be available to the people," he said. "It's all about the people, not about politics. I'm going to be working for them. They are my bosses."