ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Colonel Brian Yates, retired Dyess Air Force Base (AFB) Group Commander and director over Abilene Aero, announced Wednesday that he will be running for Abilene City Council, Place Four, in the May 2023 election.

Col. Yates made the announcement at Everman Park Wednesday afternoon in Downtown Abilene. The intent to run for place four comes on the heels of current place 4 Councilmember Weldon Hurt’s announcement that he will not be seeking reelection in 2023 but will be running for mayor.

A native of Jacksonville, Texas, Col. Yates graduated from Texas A&M, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He also earned his Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University, Master of Military Art and Science from Air University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Col. Yates spent nearly 25 years in the United States Air Force, serving as a special operations navigator, C-130J pilot, Staff Officer, Squadron and Group Commander. He was stationed at Dyess AFB twice and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Col. Yates also led the 7th Mission Support Group, an organization responsible for base housing, infrastructure, security and more.

Leading the Mission Support Group was somewhat comparable to being the City Manager for a town of 5,000 people,” explained Col. Yates. “So, it offered me some good insights into the processes and systems it takes for it to run well.

Because Col. Yates and his wife, Stacey, plan to make Abilene their forever home, he said he’s served as Vice President for Military Affairs at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the Director for Abilene Aero. He has also served on the Frontier Texas Board of Directors, a 2015 graduate of the Abilene Citizens Police Academy and a 2017 graduate of Leadership Abilene.

When I retired from the Air Force, we had a choice to make about where we wanted to live, and we chose Abilene. Now I want to give something back to this great community by offering to serve the wonderful people who live here,” Col. Yates explained.

Col. Brian Yates is running for Place Four on Abilene City Council and will have between January 18 and February 17, 2023, to formally file. Place Three, currently held by Councilmember Donna Albus, is also open.