A familiar face has tossed his hat into the political arena, announcing his intent to run for county commissioner of precinct 3 in next years election.

He will run on the Republican ticket.

This is something Ive been thinking about for a long time, Joe Brown said, adding that it was his late father-in-law who encouraged him to run. About a week before he passed away, he said to me, You should still think about running for county commissioner.

And he has.

Brown, 49, has been an Erath County resident since 1969 and has lived in precinct 3 for the past 15 years. He said his business experience and love of the county makes him the perfect man for the job.

I want the best for Erath County and I have some ideas I think I could bring to the table that would help out the taxpayers, he said.

Precinct 3 encompasses most of the area east of U.S. Hwy. 281. The current commissioner, Doug Eberhart, said he will not seek re-election.

Brown said if he is elected, he will support the construction of a new jail facility and hold oil and gas and windmill companies responsible to any damage they cause to roads.

If they tear them up, they should have to pay to fix them, he said.

Brown is currently employed as the manager of Quicklane at TexStar Ford and is the assistant fire chief for Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue. He and his wife, Daina, have been married for 30 years and have two grown sons, Todd and Clint, and three grandsons.

Brown is also involved in 4-H and is a deacon at Rocky Point Baptist Church.

Im a good listener and a good people person, he said. If I am elected to this position, I know I wont make everyone happy, but Id like to shake hands with them and strike a happy medium.

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.