REFUGIO – Emerging victorious from a sometimes contentious sheriff’s race, Pinky Gonzales said he is relieved the race is over and he can focus on the job at hand.
Taking on criminals and even wrestling alligators (like he did in his previous job as a game warden) can sometimes seem easier than politics, he said.
“There was a lot more tension and stress in this election and I had two opponents,” he said. “I would say there was misinformation put out there but you try not to let it get to you. It bothered my family and friends more than it bothered me.”
While it’s impossible to know what the future holds – and Gonzales never imagined he would deal with anything like Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath just a few months after taking office in 2017 – he said he is looking forward to continuing to do his best for the residents of Refugio County.
“I appreciate the opportunity I have to continue serving the people of my county, first and foremost,” he said. “I believe the people in the sheriff’s department and I have done a good job and we look forward to continue doing our best for them.”
At a time when law enforcement resources are often stretched to the limit, Gonzales said getting the most out of a limited budget – and helping others – is important to him.
“It’s important to be resourceful,” he said. “We’ve joined with other elected officials in the county and outside the county. That’s what is needed to do the job right.”
He said he collaborates with 17 other sheriffs throughout the region.
“We help each other out and back each other up, and that’s good for the people in the county and elsewhere,” he said.
Gonzales said he appreciates the support the voters gave him in re-electing him.
“I’d like to thank everybody who supported and believed in me,” he said. “My close friends, my wife and most of all the good Lord who has been guiding and directing me the whole way.”
Gonzales said he will continue to work with others to do the best thing for the county.
“The last four years we have been able to save the county a lot of money by purchasing vehicles through asset forfeitures (seizing items from criminal operations after due process) and we were able to help out others in the county and the ag extension office. We have been able to save the taxpayers money and help out other departments in that way, and we’re glad to do that.”