A call to public service that was instilled in him by his parents has led George West resident Clay Jostes to announce his candidacy for the Live Oak County judge post, which is becoming vacant upon the retirement of longtime County Judge Jim Huff.
Jostes has worked as a consultant in the oil field business for almost 20 years, and recently earned his commercial helicopter pilot’s license.
“I have always been active in politics and was president of the Live Oak County Tea Party, and served as a delegate to the Republican state convention,” he said. “However, I never really considered running for office until recently.
“When Judge Huff announced he was retiring, I had quite a few people come up to me and ask me to consider running. I really appreciate their confidence in me and support.
“I am running for Live Oak County judge because I am uniquely qualified to provide authentic, dedicated and proven leadership that folks deserve in their county government.”
Jostes said his goals include working with federal, state and local law enforcement to implement smart border patrol tactics and increasing economic activity, with “a pledge to develop and implement property tax reforms that are fiscally transparent and responsible.”
Jostes community leadership includes serving as a board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Bee, Live Oak and McMullen Counties, a group which works to represent children who have been abused or neglected.
“It’s an awesome organization with a mission that’s a godsend,” he said. “THese kids need to be lifted up and protected.”
Earlier this year, Jostes organized a community meeting to focus on border crisis concerns, working with elected officials and law enforcement to address local concerns.
“I wanted to make sure people had access to accurate information. One of my focal points as county judge would be to work in partnership with others to stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming through the county.”
Jostes has also served as a George West Independent School District Advisory Board member and coached shooting sports and baseball.
Jostes said his parents’ work ethic has inspired him, and their dedication to serving the community also made an impact on his outlook.
“They worked really hard for their family, and although we didn’t have much, we had enough and made the best of what we had when I was growing up,” he said. “They were always committed to giving back to the community however they could.”
Jostes is a 1997 graduate of George West High School and 2002 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in mechanical engineering. He met his wife, Erin Jo Jostes, while the two were attending GWHS. She is a third grade teacher at George West Primary School. They have two children, John Lee, 11, and Sam, 9.
“I can’t reiterate enough how important it is for Live Oak County to have authentic, dedicated and proven leadership,” Jostes said. “What I bring to the table will be the style that best fits Live Oak County. I am very excited about the future of our county.”