Several cities in Karnes County have races in the upcoming election day, to be held on Saturday, May 7. One of the more hotly contested races is that of the mayorship of Kenedy. Current mayor Joe Baker took his name out of the running to run as county judge, leaving the race wide open and three candidates are vying to take his place.  

In an effort to connect the community with the candidates on the ballot, each were asked the same set of questions. These are their responses.

Melissa Sullivan

What is your occupation? 

Owner/operator of The Horned Cafe and Horned Toad Coffee Shop in Kenedy, TX.

What is your educational background? 

Attended Southwest Texas State University Theater Arts. 

What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

A conviction and passion for a fresh perspective for the community of Kenedy.

What improvements do you plan to make if elected? 

Water, infrastructure, health care, mental health care and education, and the overall look and feel of the city. 

What are your goals if elected? 

Provide honest and transparent information to and from the citizens of Kenedy.  Ensure that voices are heard and acknowledged. Implementation of existing approved plans for improvements throughout the city and to be a strong and actively working member of the governing body.

REBECCA DIAZ LOPEZ (Alderperson, Place 3)

What is your occupation? 

I’m an employee at the GEO GROUP in Karnes City. I am a Residential Advisor for the Karnes County Staging Center where I have worked for the past 6 1/2 years. I am also employed at HEB where I have worked part time for 17 years. I work as a cashier and assist with bagging duties to help the customer and make sure they leave with a great shopping experience.

What is your educational background? 

I’m a graduate of Kenedy High School and attended Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. 

What sets you apart from your opponent(s)?

My time serving on the Kenedy City Council for the past ten years (2011-2021) has given me the experience needed to deal with situations that will occur in the capacity of Mayor. I feel I have the ability to listen and come up with solutions to help the community. I believe communication is the key to coming up with solutions to problems that I may be faced with. I am aware of departmental budget needs and providing necessary funds to operate efficiently. It is also important to be transparent which I believe I was when I served on the City Council. 

What improvements do you plan to make if elected? 

I would make communication a key role in making the working relationship with the City Council better to come up with ideas to make Kenedy a better and brighter place for the entire community, especially on improving our water, drainage, and streets. 

What are your goals if elected?

If elected, one of my goals would be to work as a team with the City Council and the City Manager to be able to discuss situations in a respectful manner. We have a Water transmission line that is in the works that was passed when I was on the Council that needs to be pushed forward to get better water for the citizens of Kenedy. Another goal would be getting street paving added to the budget for a permanent solution and not just patching up the potholes. Finally, I would like to see something done for the children. The Lions Den was purchased and will be renovated into the new Kenedy Convention Center. If elected I would like to see if we can take a small piece of that property and try to get joined into an umbrella of a YMCA that is established in the area. YMCA can be a great influence for the children in our community. 

Residents of Kenedy can vote at the Kenedy Municipal auditorium, located at 303 W. Main Street, from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

•jwillden@mysoutex.com•

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