Logan Hudson throws name in the ring for County Commissioner Pct. 1

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The seat for County Commissioner Precinct 1 will have a new commissioner sitting in it come 2021 as Joe Wheeley has made it known he will be retiring and not seeking re-election.

That being said, two Gray County residents, Logan Hudson and Archie Summers, have thrown their names in the ring for the position.

The Pampa News will be sitting down with each of the candidates and getting their thoughts on what they would like to see from the County should they be elected.

Hudson has been involved in public service for more than 20 years, most recently as the area game warden until 2016. After leaving the position, he felt something missing in his life.

“When I left Parks and Wildlife in 2016, over the last four years I’ve kind of missed being involved and seeking the highest possible good for the community and the public,” Hudson said.

Hudson’s career in public service started as a deputy sheriff in Ochiltree County in 1996. In 1999 he went to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife before being stationed in Pampa in 2002. He was the game warden in Pampa until 2016. Hudson has also served as the board president of the Miami Independent School District board of trustees where he has dealt with budgets and issues for the school district.

Since then he has taken on the role of consultant.

“I’ve done some business consulting, governmental consulting and have been to the Dallas-area and Washington, D.C. on some part-time stuff,” Hudson said. “We started our motorcycle business, Steelhorse Outfitters, in February 2016. I want to take what I’ve learned in the public service area and as a small-business owner so far and bring that knowledge and experience to the commissioners court.”

Hudson has spent some time in the county clerk’s office researching what he would like to see change in the county, including a hard look at budgets.

“I’ve been looking at budgets since 2006 and our property evaluations are dropping down from a high in, I believe 2014,” Hudson said. 

“We’re down about a half a billion dollars and we’re down to about 2007 levels. I would like to help create an environment that’s friendly to business so people will want to move here. But I would also like to create an environment that’s friendly to the taxpayer.”

Hudson added this would include taking a hard look at the budgets of various departments, including the sheriff’s department, and bringing fresh ideas to these budgets.

As a game warden for 14 years, Hudson has worked with residents out in the county and handled concerns they have had in the past.

“I’m very familiar with the residents in my precinct, especially the rural precinct,” Hudson said. “I’ve been getting out and meeting more and more that live in town. Fourteen years of experience in Gray County and getting to know all of the different realms, what I’ve tried to do is not just go and enforce the law. My experience with those people was I didn’t want to leave with them just feeling punished. What can we do to make this right or return it to a good status quo?”

Hudson said his conversations with Wheeley have been very beneficial.

“He’s been around for almost 30 years and is a wealth of information and has seen Gray County come through a lot of ups and downs,” Hudson said. “He’s been very encouraging to talk to. He’s not leaving because Gray County is a lost cause, he’s leaving because of his reasons. Whoever is the next commissioner is going to step into a precinct that’s well-managed and we’re just excited to keep that going and heading in the right direction.”

Whoever is the next commission will also be joining a commissioners court where commissioner for Precinct 4, Jeff Haley, will now be the eldest member of the court.

“My conversations with them have been pretty positive,” Hudson said. “I’ve known all of them a while and they’ve known me a while. They know I don’t like to make rash decisions and I don’t like to stir the pot unless there is a problem we can solve. If there is a problem to solve, that’s what we need to do, not just kick it down the road.”

The Gray County Jail is always a hot topic, not just with the commissioners court but with the public, as it is one of the larger items on the county budget. Hudson said he doesn’t have a plan at the moment to address it, but would like to sit down with the sheriff and learn about its situation.

“The interesting thing about jails is they cost money and they don’t make money,” Hudson said. “Even when you keep an inmate from some other county overnight, that’s not going to pay your bills. You’re caught in this balancing act of we need to enforce the law, have law and order in our community but we also can’t overcrowd the jail. The State has certain standards that have to be met and a lot of unfunded mandates.”

Hudson closed with applauding all of the candidates for both the commissioner seats and the sheriff.

“I think anybody who is willing to stand up and run for public office deserves a pat on the back,” Hudson said. “These people want to help their community. I hope that’s what everybody’s motivation is. I know my opponent, Archie Summers, is a great guy. Either one of us would be a great addition to the court.”

The last day to register to vote is Feb. 3, 2020 and early voting will be at Gray County Courthouse Feb. 18-28 in room 200. Election Day is March 3.

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