Midland mayoral debate at Basin PBS

Lori Blong, Jerry Morales, and Robert Allen Dickson are all running for Mayor of Midland
Midland Mayor Debates
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The race for Midland Mayor is underway, and Thursday night was the mayoral debate at Basin PBS.

After one term, Mayor Patrick Payton announced that he would not be seeking re-election which opened the door for newcomers and familiar faces to toss their names in the ring.

City Councilwoman Lori Blong was the first to make the announcement that she would be running.

Blong describes herself as a wife, mother, and small business owner who is ready to move Midland forward. Among the issues, the Councilwoman wants to focus on are long-term water planning and oil and gas advocacy.

Former Mayor Jerry Morales is seeking local office once again.

The Midland business owner was Mayor from 2014-2020. Morales says he wants to continue his work to make Midland a better place to live.

The third candidate for mayor is Robert Allen Dickson. Dickson and his team have remained pretty quiet online throughout the election so far. But we heard more from him throughout the debate.

During the debate, all three candidates were able to make their pitch on why they would be the best Mayor for the City of Midland.

The debate questions ranged from city code enforcement, police and firefighter shortages, a mental health epidemic, adequate housing, and more.

Of the questions asked one, in particular, addressed the philosophy behind heavily investing in Downtown Midland, as opposed to other areas of the city. Here is how each of them answered:

Morales: “Downtown is the jewel in our community, it should be beaming with pride. And when we make investments downtown it only brings our citizens- to be able to go to work, to play, to eat, to create a 15-hour day instead of just an 8-5. these investments are wise investments. these are stakeholders, their property owners that have bought into what we have created, and it’s great to see that they’re getting a return on their investment.”

Blong: “When we look at this from a broader perspective, we can see that investment into downtown as a business district increases our economy and benefits business’s here I do think we can sometimes become hyper-focused on downtown to the detriment of other areas. And so It is necessary that the Mayor and city council keep a balanced perspective to say we will invest in these downtown business district areas, we will take care of buildings that are a hazard we will take care of these sorts of investments but we also want to make sure we have a balanced perspective to take care of other areas of town that are neglected.”

Dickson: “Drawing more people into the downtown area and I think you know, I think its good to kind of make it more of an Austin atmosphere, you know, bringing restaurants and the apartments down there are nice they bring more people to that park down there where people can walk and enjoy downtown areas.”

You can watch the upcoming debates on KWWT MY30.

The MISD School Board debate will be on October 24th, from 6:30-8 PM.

The Midland Mayoral debate will be on October 25th, from 7-8 PM.

And the Midland City Council debate will be on October 26th from 7-8 PM.