Gaylord Kennedy announced Wednesday that he would run for Precinct 4 county commissioner in the March Republican primary.
The Bridgeport native works in Precinct 4 and believes his current work experience in addition to his years serving on the Bridgeport school board and working in the trucking industry, has prepared him for the job.
“With my past experience on the school board, the way it runs is almost parallel to how the county runs with budgets, audits, tax rates, land purchases and building projects,” he said. “I also have experience with the construction end of it. I grew up with that kind of stuff, and with the combination of both I think I can help the county.”
According to a press release from the Wise County Republican Party, Kennedy served 12 years on the Bridgeport school board, starting in 1996, and he owned and operated a personal trucking business for 34 years in addition to handling operations in his family’s trucking business.
He’s worked for Precinct 4 for five years and is a lead man, a supervisor position.
“I’ve done everything from laying pavement to driving a truck,” he said of his time in Precinct 4. “I’ve run every piece of equipment there.”
Kennedy said he’s worked regularly with the commissioners and men in Precincts 1 and 2, and from his perspective, things are now running smoothly in Precinct 4 under the leadership of interim commissioner Glenn Hughes. Hughes, who does not plan to run for the post, was appointed to the position in August 2012 when indicted Commissioner Terry Ross was temporarily suspended.
Kennedy said the weeks following Ross’ arrest and indictments on theft charges were tense, but he doesn’t think it will affect the office in the new term.
“There are only five of us guys that are left since he was there,” Kennedy said. “Some have retired, and some have quit. Through all that, we were still working and going on … We had work to do.”
Kennedy said in recent months they have been able to address several road safety issues in Precinct 4, including the installation of guard rails and some new signs.
If elected, he hopes to continue to focus on safety issues and road maintenance in addition to making careful administrative decisions in commissioners court.
“I want to keep our tax rate as low as possible, but I don’t want to take away from any of our services,” he said. “I also want to have controlled growth in the county and make sure we have laws in place, as much as we can, to keep growth orderly.”
He also hopes to play a role in drawing industrial companies to Wise County.
“Anything we can do to help get jobs here, and it will help taxpayers by lowering those taxes,” he said.
Kennedy and his wife, Brenda, have been married for 40 years. They have two grown sons and three grandsons.
The Kennedys are longtime members of the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport, and Gaylord has served on numerous church committees through the years. They have helped with the church’s annual community Thanksgiving dinner and have also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Bridgeport Gives Back.
Gaylord also farms and ranches and said he looks forward to the opportunity to serve people as a county official, if elected.
“I think I can be an asset to the county,” he said. “I know the county and know most all the roads. I know that if elected, I can step in and go. There’s not much of a learning curve there.”