Brenda Gunter Formally Announces Bid for 2017 Mayor Election
SAN ANGELO, TX - A local business woman, Brenda Gunter, announced her bid for mayor of San Angelo today during a press conference outside of Legend Jewelers, located at 18 E. Concho Ave.
Her campaign slogan: “Let’s put San Angelo back in business.” These are the words she echoed throughout the press conference, and she emphasized that if small business is doing well, then so is City Hall.
“I will be a great voice for all of you,” Gunter said. “Whether you’re an individual tax payer, or a small business operator; I want to be your voice.”
Gunter spoke of some key issues facing the community like property tax and water rate increases, as well as the escalating discussion on the trash collection contract being discussed by City Council. She said this is just a small list of problems her campaign will address.
“No one can beat us as a town or city,” Gunter said. “We are ‘surprising San Angelo’.”
One member of the crowd pointed out Gunter's success as a business owner in downtown San Angelo. Gunter owns Miss Hattie’s restaurant and is a real estate investor. However, the person asked how will she remain unbiased and support all businesses throughout San Angelo.
Gunter’s response: “I would only be running if I could help all the businesses.”
People have challenged Gunter in the past over her efforts to revitalize downtown San Angelo, and have suggested she never thought about working on other parts of the city.
Gunter, however, said she has put all her time and effort into her business, which happens to be part of the revitalizing effort. She said she does believe though that other parts of San Angelo hold significant importance to making the city stand out.
Growth for San Angelo
Gunter said she believes real growth for the city starts by working with economic development to ensure opportunities for future businesses that want to open in San Angelo and remain open.
By allowing for a smooth transition into the community, small business will begin to thrive, Gunter added.
“The success of San Angelo’s economic development and growth is based on small businesses,” Gunter said. “We are the San Angelo economy.”
She said by not helping small businesses be successful in San Angelo, the city cannot reach its full potential.
“Let’s makes this the best city of San Angelo that we could ever have,” Gunter stated.
She talked about the oil boom and how it helped San Angelo economically, but wasn’t always the means to success here.
“San Angelo survived before the oil boom, and we are going to survive again,” Gunter said. She added that the future of economic development needs to be supported by City Hall, from permits to planning.
Talking to Voters
Harry Thomas, City Council Member for SMD 3, spoke about running a campaign. He said Gunter's words today are promising for her mayor bid.
“Being able to relate to the voters is the biggest part of a campaign,” Thomas said.
Reaching out to all parts of the community is the key to success and Gunter is making strides to do so.
She encouraged anyone to speak up on the issues they care about, so she can be their representation on the City Council. She will make a citizen coalition to better understand the concerns of individual citizens. This will be a place where business owners and citizens can address what they think is important for San Angelo’s future.
Gunter emphasized that every dollar taken away by taxes or fees makes a challenging environment for businesses to succeed. She said there is no way for business to expand or hire new staff with these increases being a constant burden.
“Your dollars count, and they ought to be going towards your growth and development,” Gunter said. “This growth will help City Hall more than anything will.”
Jane Jacks, who attended the press conference, said she believes in Gunter’s message and thinks she will be a wonderful candidate for mayor. Of the issues Gunter plans to tackle, Jacks thinks the property tax rates being too high is a great reason to support Gunter, because she will fight for what she believes in: helping small business.
Drafting a Strong Team
Gunter also announced her treasurer for the campaign, Charles E. Powell, who was unable to attend the press conference.
Powell is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and was also granted one of the highest honors by Goodfellow Air Force Base’s top enlisted leadership last April. He received an induction to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.
Gunter explained that Powell's relationship with Goodfellow Air Force Base, and being a representative for the retirement community, will help her campaign stand out during the election.
Gunter closed the press conference by asking for the support of voters. As she mentioned with her experience in sales, “never leave a meeting without asking for the order.”
The election will take place on May 6, 2017. Click here to find out more details on the race and how to register for voting.