VOTER GUIDE: County Commissioner Precinct 2

Published 3:01 pm Monday, May 23, 2022

Voters on Tuesday will decide on the Republican candidate for Jefferson County Commissioner Precinct 2 in a runoff election following the March primaries.

Carey Erickson and Alex Rupp are seeking the position currently held by Darrell Bush, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Brent Weaver and did not seek election.

In March, Erickson won 35 percent of the vote, and Rupp took 34 percent.

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The winner faces Democratic candidate Julia Rodriguez in November.

On Monday, Port Arthur Newsmedia spoke with both runoff candidates in an effort to help voters at the polls.

To ensure impartiality, candidates are displayed by alphabetical order of last name, and some answers have been shortened for space.

Carey Erickson

Age: 60

Occupation: Director of human resources and risk management for Jefferson County

Q: What is your reason for running?

A: I have 35 years of public service, the last 29 of which have been with Jefferson County. I want to continue my public service. I just want to do it in a little bit different fashion by actually getting out and serving the citizens of Precinct 2 more directly.

Q: What is your most important issue?

A: Drainage issues within Jefferson County have been significant, and I want to work with the local drainage districts, as well as trying to leverage federal dollars on that. I also believe that we need to do whatever we can to live within our budget, keep taxes low and to promote economic development, especially small business.

Q: Why should people vote for you? 

A: I am by far the most-experienced candidate in management, in budgetary issues, in working with the commissioners court. I’ve worked for five county judges, 11 different commissioners and an untold number of elected officials. I have great relationships, I can hit the ground running and use the experience that I have working with Jefferson County to great advantage for the citizens of Precinct 2.

Alex Rupp

Age: 42

Occupation: Airport director

Q: What is your reason for running?

A: I know I’m qualified to do it. I cannot think of any other job in the county that prepares you to be a county commissioner more than an airport director. The airport is a complex beast. We have one of the largest budgets in the county, so I’m intimately familiar with the budgetary process. The departments themselves are similar in size as far as the number of people. I have a tremendous amount of experience with construction projects both large and small.

Q: What is your most important issue?

A: Hydrology is something I’ve studied significantly over the past couple of years. Drainage is a key issue for everyone living along the Gulf Coast that went through Harvey and Imelda. I have some cost-effective solutions to address drainage, not saying that anything we do is going to solve it overnight, but it will be a step in the right direction. Right now currently we’re doing a process of about a $5 million drainage project…at the airport. Whatever improvements we make there will definitely help the surrounding and adjacent communities.

Q: Why should people vote for you? 

A: I believe my heart is in the right place. I’m doing this because I feel I am definitely qualified to do it. I definitely think I can make positive impacts and positive changes in this area. And, honestly, I have kids and I know when they grow up and they want to go out into the world and have a career, I would like for them to have plenty of opportunities.