Kemp is first woman to seek commissioner post

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, December 14, 2013
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Kristina Kemp of Paradise announced Wednesday that she will run for Precinct 4 county commissioner in the March primary.

Kristina Kemp

She’s unopposed and will face the winner of the Republican primary Nov. 5.

Kemp, 35, is the first woman ever to run for commissioner in Wise County.

“Improving the infrastructure will be the top priority for me as commissioner, along with restoring the taxpayers’ trust and integrity of this office and its employees,” she said in a press release from the Wise County Democratic Party. “I am a service-driven person and along with being a devoted mother and wife, it’s what suits me best.

“I hope to bring a little change to Wise County by being the first woman ever elected to the county commissioner court position.”

Kemp is a fifth-generation Wise County resident, and gained extensive construction experience while working for a steel fabrication and erection business in Denton County. She was hired as office manager but transitioned into an accounting position and handled contracts.

One of the company’s biggest projects was the lower steel work at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

“I handled that contract and would go over everything on an accounting level,” she said. “I went over what type of equipment would be needed, restrictions we faced, special clearances that were required, insurance and taxes.”

Kemp said the Cowboys stadium project was a $24 million job.

She worked for the company for six years and left to go back to school. She plans to complete her associate’s degree in May at Weatherford College Wise County and will work toward a bachelor’s degree at Texas Woman’s University or UNT. If she enrolls at TWU, she’ll pursue a political science degree, but if goes to UNT, she’ll seek a degree in disaster relief management.

Kemp also worked five years as the manager of an all-terrain vehicle dealership in Wise County.

“Everyone always seemed to be happy with me and surprised that a woman could operate in that capacity,” she said.

She has attended commissioners court meetings and said she feels the time is right for a woman to run.

“I’ve talked to all the commissioners, and everyone is open-minded to a female being a commissioner, so I’m going to see what people think,” she said. “I think with my background they’ll see that the job is right for me or I’m right for the job.”

Kemp is an advocate for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Wise County Animal Shelter and founded the first student organization at WCWC. The service organization is called [WC]2, and the group has already collected canned food and coats for Wise Area Relief Mission, assisted CASA at the Wise County Toy Run and worked to organize a senior citizen day at the college’s cosmetology school.

Kemp said she’s trying to create a calendar of service projects that the group can do year after year.

She and her husband, Randy, have one grown daughter.

The Democratic Party said in a press release that Kemp “has a lot to offer Wise County voters, and (voters) will be as impressed with her as we Democrats are.”

“With the way the position came open, I felt like we needed someone who is honest and has integrity and someone who would be there for the people,” Kemp said.

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