Meeting the two new contenders for Abilene City Council Place 2

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - Although it's going to be another month before candidates can file for City Council, we've already seen some activity in Place Two. A pair of possible candidates have emerged in recent days, and they're both eager to start the campaign. As it turns out, they both know each other well, and they're looking forward to a bit of friendly competition.

The battle for Place Two is shaping up to be an interesting one, with candidates Alex Russell and Jack Rentz representing two different viewpoints. The first announcement came from Russell at the end of November.

The campaign manager for Anthony Williams' mayoral bid, Russell says she enjoyed working in the background, but she feels she can make an impact in city government. "There's ideas or solutions that have not been brought forth, or not been properly brought forth from the current incumbent. So I wanted to really change that."

Following Russell's announcement, Rentech Boiler Systems founder Jack Rentz announced that he would also run for the spot. Rentz is in the process of stepping away from day-to-day operations at Rentech, which he says gives him time to dedicate to city business.

Rentz says, "I just want to be a part of the whole big picture, making it a better town." He cites his business experience, saying, "I've ridden through every high and low in the past forty four years and I've survived them all."

Both candidates say that their goal is to make Abilene the best it can be, but they've both got different ways of going about it.

Rentz, looking at his business experience, thinks of local government as being much the same. He says that the city is "a big business with 115,000 customers. You can't make them all happy all the time. They don't have much control of revenue. Forty four years of business experience will lend me some knowledge that maybe they can put to some use down there."

Russell looks to lift up all aspects of Abilene, particularly people. She asks, "What are we doing to thrive?" She elaborates, posing more questions. "What are we doing for entrepreneurs and our business professionals? What are we doing for our cultures that feel under represented and underserved in Abilene?"

Filing will begin in mid-January, and that will make the election bids of both Russell and Rentz official.

The position is currently held by Bruce Kreitler, who said he had no updates on whether or not he intends to run for reelection at this time.

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