Q&A with Brandon Huckabee, candidate for Erath County Judge.
Updated: Feb 28, 2022
(Publishing note: The following responses to questions from Beneath the Surface News appear exactly as they were submitted from the candidate. The answers have not been edited in any way.)
Q. What do you believe is the most important role of the county judge?
A. Most important, the government exists solely to serve the people. The hard-working people of Erath County deserve a county judge who will lead by example and bring accountability, integrity, transparency and representation to every function of county government.
As chief administrator, the county judge should be working on strategic plans with all departments to increase efficiency while supporting the offices to provide the best services to all citizens of Erath County. As your next Erath County Judge, I am ready to take on the role of presiding officer of Commissioners’ Court and also manage a broad range of statutory duties in a timely and organized manner. As a fiscal conservative, budget preparation is extremely important for increased budget efficiency and protection of taxpayers’ funds.
Q. What educational and career experiences in your background make you the most qualified candidate for this position?
A. First and foremost, I am guided by conservative Christian principles. Erath County born and raised, my early years were spent in Stephenville and I attended Tarleton State University for my formal education.
My career working for corporate America for twelve years in executive management as a store director with a focus on Human Resources and Operations, prepared me well to facilitate employees to work both efficiently and effectively.
The teams ranging from 40-200 employees under my leadership, delivered world class customer service and maximized multi-million dollar budgets to deliver profits for my employer. This experience was invaluable in learning the importance of strategic planning and how building and facilitating highly functioning teams result in measurable success of a business or organization.
After missing Erath County for twelve years, my wife, Alyssa and I chose to move home to raise our daughters in the greatest place in the world. We built our business, Huckabee Inspection Group (HIG), from the ground up. HIG has grown into a regional leader in our industry with the help of a great group of inspectors on our team and the warm welcome of our community. With growth and continued success, we added to our business venture with a lighting company, now called Pro Lighting Solutions.
With the success of both businesses, I gained invaluable experience in successfully running and developing an organization. This experience has served our city well during my time on the Stephenville City Council, serving for two terms.
As Planning and Development Chair and as a member of the Finance Committee, we implemented a “business first” approach to develop policies that foster carefully planned economic growth. Through collaborative efforts, we provided innovative solutions to infrastructure and services that were long overdue; yet, we lowered the tax rate every year I have served on the council. This was a promise I made to the citizens during my campaign when first elected.
Q. Healthy relationships are an important part of any well-functioning organization. Employees and elected officials working for Erath County experienced turmoil and division in 2021 and lots of healing still needs to take place. If elected, what specific measures will you take to begin mending those relationships?
A. There has been a culture of conflict within our county offices over the last few years. I will work every day to end the conflict and make every effort to work together for the people of Erath County. That means being engaged and respectful with all departments on a consistent basis to support them and ensure they have the resources available and backing to be successful.
As I have stated before, I believe strategic planning is vital to any organization’s success. That cannot be done if we are not talking, meeting and working together to identify the issues and find solutions to the problems. Unfortunately, this lack of working collectively for the good of the county has cultivated a contentious environment as evidenced during meetings I have held all over the county with stakeholders and those who hold office.
If elected, to ensure success, I would establish quarterly meetings with stakeholders and elected officials that are strategic planning work sessions. This would allow us to be more effective, efficient, and representative of our citizens and their needs. We need collaboration between the county, municipalities, and communities throughout Erath County so that services for all are improved. The meetings would allow for open and transparent dialogue with officials, employees and stakeholders to communicate the issues they experience and collectively find workable solutions.
Q. If elected, what would you like to accomplish during your first couple of years in office?
A. If given the great honor and responsibility to serve as your next Erath County Judge, I want to work as a team with the other elected officials to deliver a more efficient and effective government to our citizens. We can accomplish this by visiting with each elected official and see how we could help them streamline services and save money that could be used to meet other demands inside their office. I plan to examine our budget and ensure that we are maximizing the return on every taxpayer’s dollar with purchases and investments in the different offices of the county. I want to ensure a transparent government that live streams its’ meetings not only for those that cannot attend, but for a record so the citizens of this county will be able to look back and watch their government at work. I plan to provide agenda packets that have information in them and not one-line or two-line sentences so the public can best be informed.
Government should be representative and always be engaged with its’ citizens. You should be able to trust your public servants, your elected officials and you should look at the records and actions during their terms and hold them accountable. I would be honored by your support to earn your trust and your vote as we work TOGETHER to make Erath County better today, tomorrow and well into the future for all its citizens.