Harrell announces candidacy for County Judge
Special to Leader-Press
On Tuesday morning, Bob Harrell, the Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC), announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the office of County Judge of Coryell County in the March 6, 2018 Republican Primary.
As the County EMC, Harrell said he has brought more than $200,000 in federal grant money into the county, money which not only pays for two years of the EMC’s salary but also pays for emergency operations equipment at no cost to county taxpayers.
“Identifying and applying for federal and state grants is an important part of saving money for our local property-tax payers,” Harrell said.
Harrell said he is running for county judge to share that same kind of smart, creative fiscal leadership with all county departments.
“I’ve watched the county struggle to balance the budget, pay its bills, and meet the increasing demand for services to our residents while trying to pay a fair wage to our hard-working employees. But I don’t know anyone who wants to pay for it with higher property taxes. We need a better approach, a bigger vision for our county,” Harrell continued. “I will work with our local cities, local employers, our partners at Fort Hood, and the state and federal government to recruit industry to create more jobs: not just retail and fast food, but skilled well-paying jobs.”
Harrell added that his vision for the county’s growth includes “making sure we have a secure water source and water supply, increased broadband access, better roads, and a high level of support for the needs of law enforcement.”
Harrell believes his work with a variety of stakeholders makes him well prepared to serve as county judge.
“I’ve already been working with local, state and federal officials and the leadership at Fort Hood to bring programs and services to our county that benefit our residents.” Harrell currently serves as Vice-chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council for the Central Texas Council of Governments, is a voting member of the Regional Healthcare Coalition, and is a voting member of the Central Texas Air Quality Program.
Harrell has served as the county’s EMC for two years and came to the job after retiring from the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he had worked for seven-and-a-half years as a watch supervisor at the state’s Emergency Operations Center. As a watch supervisor, he monitored incidents statewide to ensure timely response in times of disaster and coordinated with the Governor’s Office and state and federal agencies.
Harrell is also a 23-year Army veteran, having served as a telecommunications and information-systems officer. He retired as a CW3 out of Fort Hood. Harrell holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. He is also a licensed peace officer and holds a Master Peace Officer certificate from the State of Texas. He currently volunteers as a Coryell County reserve deputy constable. He has volunteered for the county as a reserve deputy sheriff and as an investigator for the district attorney’s office and with the Copperas Cove Fire Department as a paramedic.
About his leadership style, Harrell said, “My experience in the Army and at DPS taught me that everything is a team effort. I like to work together as a team. It’s the only way we’ll get to where we need to be. Whether working with the commissioners, the county department heads or the citizens, that’s the approach I’ll take.”
Harrell and his wife, Mary Beth, live in Gatesville on Cowhouse Creek. They have three married children and nine grandchildren. Both sons retired from the military after serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their daughter is a public high school teacher.