A three-term Tyler city councilman has announced he is running for mayor, opening up a two-way race in May of 2020.
Don Warren, an oil and gas professional, has represented District 4 since 2014. He also served as mayor pro tem from 2016 to 2018.
He enters a race against former Councilman John Nix, a residential builder, who represented District 6 for six years, and resigned earlier this year to run for mayor.
“I think Tyler’s greatest asset are the people that live here, and I have served on City Council for five years and I’m not finished, and I want to continue to serve and serve the people,” Warren said in an interview. “Whether we deal with development or infrastructure or quality of life, there’s lots left to be done.”
Warren said he is excited about reaching all of Tyler and looking toward the future. He pointed to the diversity of his City Council district, which he said is 45 percent Anglo, 35 percent Hispanic, and 18 percent African-American.
Warren said in a news release his priorities are to maintain and improve quality of life for Tylerites, increase economic development, assist with rapid growth and changing infrastructure, and accommodate public safety needs.
He said infrastructure needs include water, wastewater, streets, drainage, and traffic technology. He also highlighted his work as a city councilman fundraising to make improvements to Hillside Park on East Erwin Street and Bergfeld Park on South Broadway.
In the news release, Warren endorsed the city’s longstanding program to use revenue from the city’s half-percent sales tax, also known as the half-cent sales tax, and his ability to leverage that income through public-private partnerships.
“This policy has been a great success for the city, and it is a program that I will maximize,” Warren said in the release. “Tyler deserves the benefits of our parks as examples of civic pride for our current citizens and as attractions for people seeking to move here. That message should be uniform in all of our endeavors.”
He said he has a steering committee of 90 people, and endorsements from David Dykes of the Green Acres Baptist Church, John Soules of John Soules Foods, Michael and Lisa Lujan of Mentoring Minds; and Nancy Rangel of the Hispanic Business Alliance.
Nix announced a 32-person steering committee earlier this year. The members include former mayors Kevin Eltife and Joey Seeber; former city councilmen Sam Mezayek and Jason Wright; and Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Jeb Jones.
Warren grew up in Tyler and attended Robert E. Lee High School. He has worked in the oil and gas industry for 36 years and is the owner of Lomoco Inc., a small asset management company started in 1994.
He and his wife, Chelli, run a spice company called David Wade Gourmet. They have two grown daughters and six grandchildren.
The election for mayor will be held the first Saturday of May in 2020.
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