ABILENE, Texas (BigCountryHomepage.com) – Voting hasn’t yet begun for the upcoming May 6 election, but you’ll have a better idea of who you’d like to represent the City of Abilene through our candidate forum and debate Tuesday evening.

Place 3 on Abilene City Council is currently held by Councilmember Donna Albus. Let’s meet the candidates who may replace her for the next term.

James Sargent

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released March 5, James Sargent told KTAB/KRBC he served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and wants his experience serving and protecting the country to transfer into serving and protecting Abilene.

More recently, Sargent has been running his local business, Auto Aide Repair.

Sargent ran for Abilene City Council Place 5 last year, but councilmember Kyle McAlister was re-elected by a vote of 61% to 39%.

Running for Place 3 this year, Sargent said it’s just because he wants to serve the community.

If elected, Sargent said he’d like to focus on the following issues as a councilmember: Taxes, road conditions, and public safety. He said it can only start with a level of transparency.

“I believe it all boils down to, and starts with, improving communication with our citizens in a transparent manner,” Sargent explained. “Now, when there’s more transparency with how our tax dollars are spent, we can then earn more of the trust of our citizens and collectively and openly work together to improve our city.”

Shawnte Fleming

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released January 29, Shawnte Fleming told KTAB/KRBC that, as a native of Abilene, she hopes to use her experience being on the city’s Planning & Zoning Committee to best serve her community.

Working with residents about things pertaining to properties and building placement, she said people get excited when they want something and just as excited when they don’t.

If elected, Fleming would be the first woman of color to serve the City of Abilene. In doing so, she said she’d like to secure funds to help members of the community in the following areas: mental health care, childcare, small businesses, and educational institutions.

“Abilene is for all of us. We don’t want it to just be a male-dominate, we don’t want it to be targeting certain groups or certain people. We want Abilene for everybody,” insisted Fleming. “For me to just pave the way to see other women step up and want to run is something that I would want to be that pathfinder.”

Blaise Regan

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released March 26, Blaise Regan told KTAB/KRBC that it’s through his work as an attorney that he’s been serving the community.

Regan practices law at his own firm; Regan Law Firm and was a co-founder of Six Brothers Brewery.

If elected, Regan said he wants his efforts focused on road conditions, water, police, and fire. He called those four points the core from which to build upon.

Running against three other candidates, Regan said he understands it’s going to be a tough call. However, he said he stands out among his opponents because of his steady involvement within the community.

“We’re all running for, I think, the right reasons… But what I bring to the table is the insight and experience that I have across all the spectrum. So, I don’t just run my business. I’m involved with hundreds of businesses, and so I get to see the insides of how they’re running, what they’re struggling with,” Regan shared. “I believe I am the best candidate to represent all these different segments and really make Abilene better.”

Cynthia Alvidrez

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released March 12, Cynthia Alvidrez told KTAB/KRBC she wants to use her history as an advocate for the city to continue her work on a grander scale within city council.

Another Abilene native, Alvidrez said she served in the military for 4-and-a-half years before she became known about town as an influencer on Facebook.

Like her Place 3 opponent, James Sargent, Alvidrez is no stranger to the campaign trail of Abilene. In 2020, she ran in the mayoral race. Current mayor, Mayor Anthony Williams was re-elected by a vote of 81% to 19%.

This go around, Alvidrez hopes for a different outcome. She said her focus, if elected into city council, is going to be infrastructure.

“Anyone who has driven around Abilene, at least a mile or two, knows that our infrastructure is failing,” advocated Alvidrez. “We have a street maintenance tax that can’t keep our streets together, we have bond elections, we have tax hikes, and none of that is able to provide with streets that allow them to go to and from work, to and from childcare, school, things like that.”

Place 4 on Abilene City Council is currently held by Councilmember Weldon Hurt, who is running for mayor this election season. Let’s meet the candidates who may replace him for the next term.

Brian Yates

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released February 5, Brian Yates told KTAB/KRBC his experience with the city and Air Force background will allow him to serve Abilene best.

Although Yates recently retired, he held some coveted positions within the city including Vice President for Military Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce and Director of Operations at Abilene Aero. He also served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years and was twice stationed in Abilene.

It’s those experiences that helped Yates meet and work with the community and city leaders, all the while maintaining a relationship with Dyess AFB.

If elected into Place 4 for Abilene City Council, Yates said he wants to focus on infrastructure because it’s the foundation for activity in the city and wants to make sure it grows with the city. Beyond infrastructure, he also hopes to ensure that our first responders have adequate equipment, training, and funding.

Yates said he’s running because he has the interest, and time since retiring.

“Overall, without sounding too corny about it, this is a service thing. I’ve got the integrity, the leadership and the skills from my life experiences that have prepared me to be able to offer that to the city of Abilene,” Yates expanded. “My whole life has been a career of service, and this is just how I’m wired.”

Scott Beard

In an exclusive interview with Big Country Politics released February 12, Scott Beard told KTAB/KRBC he has a calling from God to be a city councilmember.

Throughout Abilene, Beard is best known for leading the campaign to make Abilene a Sanctuary City for the Unborn – which passed last November by a close margin of votes: 53% to 47%.

Beard said he’s been a pastor for 40 years and made his way to Abilene 33 years ago. You can find him working as Senior Pastor at Fountaingate Fellowship Church.

“There’s a desire in my heart to be a father; to care for people, to make sure the citizens of Abilene are being taken care of, and that we’re doing our best as leaders to ensure that they are being represented,” said Beard.

Beyond the church, Beard said he hopes his business degree will help him focus on the city if elected. He said he wants to create an incentive program for existing local businesses, and, like his Place 4 opponent, he is also concerned with city infrastructure. He said he’d like to work on roads, bridges, and the neglected parts of Abilene.

On Tuesday, April 18, BCH will broadcast our Abilene City Council candidate forum beginning at 6:00 p.m. online and on KTAB News. We will be live tweeting this debate on our Twitter page. Click here to follow and be sure to submit your comments and questions so we can answer.