A two-way race has opened for a Tyler City Council seat after a lawyer announced Thursday he plans to run in 2020.

Nick Pesina announced Thursday he would run for the District 4 Tyler City Council seat that Don Warren plans to vacate in 2020 to run for mayor.

Pesina, 37, is the second candidate to announce, after James Wynne, 53, the owner of TDI Air Conditioning, announced his campaign Wednesday.

“I think this campaign, this election is really going to have a major impact on the future of Tyler,” Pesina said. “I think Tyler is growing, and I think that this campaign’s really going to determine where we go the next decade.

“You see the growth, you see it happening downtown and in other parts of the city,” he said. “That growth is really going to be guided by our next council.”

District 4 includes neighborhoods in the eastern part of downtown, the Azalea District, the Brick Street District, the hospital district and Tyler Junior College, among others.

Pesina lives on Second Street, in the eastern part of the Azalea District. Wynne lives on Sixth Street, in the western part of the Azalea District.

Pesina is a trial lawyer for the law firm Roberts & Roberts and was appointed by Warren to sit on Tyler’s Half-Cent Sales Tax Board, which makes infrastructure spending recommendations to the City Council.

He also sits on the board of directors for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and previously served on the boards of the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance, PATH, Niños de Promesa Pre-K School and CASA of East Texas.

Wynne said in his announcement he would like to continue the city government’s pay-as-you-go plan started under former Mayor Kevin Eltife, in which the city uses revenue from the half-cent sales tax to pay for infrastructure instead of issuing bonds.

Pesina said: "I think it’s a wonderful program. I think it has done what it set out to do. As a member of the Half-Cent Sales Tax Board, I think that our business approach has been tremendous but we also need to figure out ways to continue to innovate, continue to build on that.”

Pesina said in a news release that he wants the city to find private investment to build a convention center, a longtime idea that has been discussed in different forms since the 1970s.

He said building a convention center would “exponentially improve our quality of life and spur growth in our local economy while making Tyler an even more desirable tourist destination.”

Pesina was born in Dallas, grew up in Royse City, and attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches and law school at the University of Texas at Austin.

His treasurer is Trent Brookshire. Wynne’s is Kay Latta.

The election will be the first Saturday of next May.

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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