HARLINGEN — Mayor Chris Boswell faces three challengers in the May 7 election in which early voting begins tomorrow.
Early voting runs through May 3 in the election in which Boswell faces former City Commissioner Jerry Prepejchal, retired police Lt. Joe Rubio and businessman Kenneth Benton.
Boswell, an attorney, is running for his fourth term as mayor.
First elected to the City Commission in 1998, Boswell served as a city commissioner until 2007, when he won the mayor’s seat.
“I love serving the community and helping to lead the progress and I want to do that for a little while longer,” Boswell said.
Boswell, 58, said he is running on his record of economic development and job creation.
Prepejchal, retired single copy sales manager for The Brownsville Herald, served as District 4’s city commissioner from 2009 to 2012 before losing his re-election bid to Basilio “Chino” Sanchez.
Prepejchal points to his record as a city commis-sioner.
“If you take a look at my record, I was a leader,” Prepejchal said. “I did a lot for my district and the city. You have to be account-able to the public. You have to listen to the public. You have to do what the public wants. I would help everyone. My house was my office, and so was my carport.”
Prepejchal said he pushed for federal funds to improve drainage in the Fair Park area and the west side areas along Buchanan and Lincoln Avenues.
Rubio, 55, a private in-vestigator who retired as a police lieutenant in 2001, lost to Boswell in 2010.
Rubio said his work on city boards that include the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Har-lingen Community Devel-opment Board has given him insight into city poli-tics.
“The main goal is to fix Harlingen. We have to change the entrenched leadership, the overall philosophy,” Rubio said. “I’ve always been outspo-ken. I always look at issues. I’ve been reading the budget since 1994.”
If elected, Rubio said he would evaluate funding and staffing, call for an audit to prevent theft and seek more public input into decision-making.
Benton, 63, owner of NorCAM Community Development, lost to Bos-well in 2007.
“I think I have the most skills and knowledge of economic development to take Harlingen in the direction it needs to go,” Benton said.
“Our community needs new direction, new leadership,” he said. “We’re headed in the wrong direction. Our economic development policy is all wrong.”
Benton said he opposed the use of taxpayer money to lure big retail companies to town.
“You don’t incent low-wage retail jobs such as Bass Pro,” Benton said. “We spend money rather than invest it.”
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