GUEST VIEW: Working to clean up Ector County politics

By Ronnie Lewis

Our campaign kickoff was a huge success! Everyone that attended was blown away. The energy was electrifying. All candidates were overwhelmed by the positive vibe and enthusiasm that completely filled Jimbo’s Garage. We aren’t sure the total number that attended, but at one time a head count revealed over 150 voters in attendance. Great pictures and videos posted on Ector County Politics. Get on Facebook and check ‘em out!

Special thanks to Karla Milson, Herb Graham and Larry Burdette for opening their establishment on a night normally closed. We appreciate your support! Also, a special thanks to Johnny’s BBQ for catering a delicious spread.

The theme repeated throughout the night was “get out and vote”. Encouraging voter turnout is the number one duty of a Precinct Chair. Precinct Chair 110 candidate Dallas Kennedy recently posted that in the 2022 primary, there were 3818 registered voters in his precinct 110 (Lawndale) but only 166 voted! More proof that the current Precinct Chairs were not actively engaging with their neighbors and fulfilling their duties. Dallas Kennedy is challenging current Precinct Chair Tim Harry. Dallas Kennedy is a veteran and a specials needs teacher at ECISD. Lawndale get out and vote for Dallas!

Which leads to another hot topic of the night. No one had ever heard from their Precinct Chair…ever! Until they embarrassingly sent out letters to introduce themselves after they found out they had opponents. Remember the current precinct chairs all fought tooth and nail to deny you your right to vote for County Chair. The three exceptions were Judy Barker, Judy Williams and Richard Pierce who all believe in your right to vote. Oddly enough, Mayor Joven will be challenging Richard Pierce for Precinct Chair 204 (Permian High area). Richard Pierce deserves your vote!

That brings us to another top topic of the night. Why does Mayor Joven, Denise Swanner and Mark Matta feel a need to be on the City Council and a Precinct Chair? I get asked this question all the time. Isn’t the duty of Mayor Joven, Swanner and Matta to represent all Odessans? There are over 82,000 registered voters in Ector County. I see absolutely no reason why Swanner and Joven need to be running for Precinct Chair while they are currently on the City Council. Real estate guru, Brenda Worthen is running against Denise Swanner in 208. Ponderosa vote for Brenda!

But probably the loudest topic of the night was the mudslinging coming out of the current Ector County Republican Party. Several of the candidates are running because of these tactics. Everyone remembers the vicious campaign against Brooks Landgraf in 2022. Thankfully, the voters were disgusted by the ECRP attacks and voted 80% in favor of Landgraf. But now the attacks are directed at County Chair candidate Donna Kelm and the precinct chair candidates. Mainly me, because, well I’m the most outspoken. We are being called RINO’s, Democratic operatives and liars. Current Precinct 111 Chair Freda Daniels who seems to be the most vocal on social media with the name calling recently commented that the campaign kickoff invitation had blue on the elephant, and insinuated that we were all RINO’s. Just ridiculous. Has Freda looked at our American flag lately? Jason Pond is challenging Freda Daniels in precinct 111. (Far north Ector County) Jason Pond is a remarkable man. A great family man, with a strong faith and believes in giving back and volunteering in our community. Jason walks the walk.

As a group, we decided we would leave the name calling and trash talking to the current County Chair Tisha Crow, her executive board and their fake Facebook profiles. In fact, we decided they can continue talking trash, while we will get out and actually pick up trash. Details coming soon. We are in the early planning stages of organizing a Saturday “clean up our own backyard” road project. It will be a family event for all voters wanting to bring civility back to our local elections. If you have not helped with a road clean up, you’re missing out. It’s extremely rewarding. Plan on joining in. Follow Ector County Politics on Facebook for updates as we get this event organized. We want to give back to our community, we don’t want to control our community.

And a reminder, you can help be a part of this historic, positive, and energized campaign. Never in the history of Ector County has there been 16 precinct chair candidates. Talk to your neighbors, your hairdresser, your waitress, your employees etc. Every vote counts! Your voice matters! We can come to you, to register you, your friends, coworkers and neighbors to vote, you name it. You have until the first of February to get registered. Together we can make this historic election a historic voter turnout!

Let’s do this. Let’s clean up our own backyard! We can’t fix Washington DC, until we fix Ector County! It all starts at the local level.

Early voting begins February 20th. Election Day March 5th. Vote Donna Kelm for Republican County Chair.

Ronnie Lewis is a longtime Odessa businessman and founder of Dos Amigos.