Battle for SMD 5 San Angelo City Council Seat Heats Up in Spirited Forum


SAN ANGELO, TX – The battle for Single Member District 5's seat on the San Angelo City Council is heating up following Monday night's candidate forum.

All four of the candidates participated in the forum. Two of them, Karen Hesse-Smith and Dr. Bryan Angle, attended the event in person while the other two, Lynette Lucas and John Austin Stokes, met via zoom.

The group was asked very common questions of potential council members. Questions like "who are you?" "why are you running?" and "what problems does the district have and are there solutions?" was asked by moderator and head of the local NAACP chapter, Shirley Spears.

For Karen Hesse-Smith, she informed the audience that she was a 5th generation San Angeloan. Both of Hesse-Smith parents were impactful people in San Angelo's history. Her mother, Barbara Hesse has spent years transforming Ft. Concho. Hesse-Smith is running on three main points: stopping petty crime, lowering property taxes, and cleaning up San Angelo's Water.

Dr. Bryan Angle was not born in San Angelo but made it his home after his father was stationed at Goodfellow AFB. He then went onto follow in his father's footsteps and joined the Air Force. During his time in the military, Angle became the Chief Medical Officer at Offutt AFB in Omaha, NE. Angle returned to San Angelo, following his service, and opened up an ophthalmology clinic. He is married to a woman who graduated from ASU and has children who graduated from Central High. Angle is running because he feels that he can help manage the city in emergency crises. He also spoke on rebuilding roads, fixing underground infrastructure, and updating technology across the district.

The candidate with the most bureaucratic experience is John Austin Stokes. Stokes is the executive director for the Concho Valley of Governments. He feels that this alone will be the number one reason he would make a good councilman. During the event he explained that as the executive director, he is already dealing with the majority rural governments across the Concho Valley assisting them in funding from the state of Texas. Stokes is a San Angelo native who graduated from Texas Tech University.

Lynette Lucas is no stranger to the local political scene. A long-time resident of San Angelo, Lucas has run for a number of offices including most recently state representative in 2020. Now Lucas is attempting to become a city councilwoman. Her platform involves fixing infrastructure like roads and drainage problems.

Early voting for the race begins on Jan. 12 and ends on Jan. 27. Election day is Jan. 29.

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