With companies in construction, bail bonds, a rental company and mini storage, James Rosales already had plenty to keep him busy, but it was the job he wasn’t doing that he missed most of all.
For five terms, Rosales served as the Karnes County commissioner for Precinct 3 before resigning so that he could run for county judge against Wade Hedtke in 2018. Hedtke won the post, and Rosales was out of county government for two years. Then Sean O’Brien, who served in the commissioner spot that Rosales previously occupied, contacted him and told Rosales that he wasn’t planning to seek re-election.
“Being out of county government, I felt like something was missing from my life,” Rosales said. “I always enjoyed helping people and I missed being a commissioner. When Sean O’Brien called me, I decided I would run for the job I had before.”
Rosales said in hindsight, he is glad that Hedtke won the county judge post.
“He’s a good man, and I never would have started the bail bond business if I had been elected county judge,” Rosales said. “It’s been very successful and we’re expanding across South Texas. I actually thanked Wade for winning that race, which surprised him. But it all worked out for the best.”
Now in his sixth term, Rosales said he has no plans to quit, and will serve as long as the voters keep electing him.
“It’s really something I enjoy doing,” he said. “When I returned to my old commissioner role, it felt a lot like coming home. I love this county and it’s been a blessing to be able to serve the people here.
“I work eight days a week. I don’t have any problem staying busy. I love my job as county commissioner — all of it. When I do the job, I do it from the heart. I know there are times we make decisions that everyone might not agree with, but I just always try to do the right thing and I always do my best.
Rosales and his wife Lupe have four children and their example of hard work and public service has made a strong impact on them.
Aaron James Rosales has already followed in his father’s footsteps as a community leader, serving as a Karnes City city councilman.
Jamie Lea Rosales Chavez, Skilyn Amber Rosales and Steel Ruger Rosales are each successful in their own right. Skilyn has told her dad she also plans to seek public office. Steel works for his father and has also started his own company, Steel’s welding.
“I’m really proud of my kids the same way I hope my parents, Domingo Rosales Senior and Minnie Rosales, are proud of me. I want them to feel like they raised a good son.”
Rosales said he has seen times of plenty as well as tough financial times for the county, and that his goal is to always do the best he can for the county no matter its financial condition.
“We always want to make sure we do a good job with people’s money,” he said. “They trust us to take care of things the right way, and it’s so important that we do that. I feel fortunate to work with Judge Hedtke and the other commissioners, because I know we have the people’s best interests at heart.”
Rosales said anyone who has a concern about the county or has a need is welcome to call him.
“My number is 830-623-4669, and people are welcome to call me because I am doing this job for them,” he said.