Jesse Brown wins uncontested bid for city council

Michelle Dickey

Jessie Brown, graduate student, talks to head football coach Bill Maskill at the Homecoming bonfire Oct. 27. Photo by Izziel Latour
Jessie Brown, graduate student, talks to head football coach Bill Maskill at the Homecoming bonfire Oct. 27. Photo by Izziel Latour

election-2016It can seem like Wichita Falls City Council position is just being handed to unopposed candidate Jesse Brown, but this isn’t something he is taking lightly.

Brown graduated in 2016 with a degree in criminal justice, is working on his master’s degree and works on campus as coordinator of student organizations and leadership programming. He began his campaign after graduation and has been working hard on it since.

Last summer, Brown interned in Washington D.C. for the Republican National Committee, something he said was a major motivator in his journey for City Council.

“In Washington, especially in leadership roles, most of them were so far out of touch with average American views that it was sort of unreal; it made me sick and I knew then that I didn’t want to be governed by people I didn’t trust and I wanted to have an active say,” Brown said.

He said his interest in politics and policies grew because he knew he wanted to help the direction of our country and city.

Brown, a former Student Government Association president and student representative to the MSU Board of Regents, said his biggest goal is being active and doing more than just achieving the title.

“I want to truly serve each other, serve the city and the citizens,” Brown said.

While running for City Council was something Brown said he has wanted for a while, it wasn’t his original plan. He was going to join the military after graduating and he spent months getting physically prepared.

In October 2015, Brown tore his pectoral muscle, which turned his life in a different direction.

“God kind of gives you signs and He just did not want me doing military and I tore my peck because of that. It opened my eyes up to this and I feel happy and confident in my abilities to serve,” said Brown. Even though rehab didn’t get him back to where he needed to be physically, Brown’s view on it is positive.

“Everything just kind of lined up. It could not have lined up any more perfect,” said Brown.

Elections for city council are traditionally held in May but this year, for the first time, they were pushed back to November, giving Brown just enough time to graduate and start campaigning.

“Then the position that I’m open for, the guy in the position is term limiting out so there will be an open seat,” said Brown. 

Brown explained a city councilor can serve three two-year terms in one position on the council and 10 years total on council.

Tim Ingle, the city councilor for district 4 is on his third term and term limiting out. Ingle is running for mayor.

So a seat opens up, elections are moved back and Brown had time to develop a campaign.

Tyler Garcia, political science senior and intern for Brown’s campaign said, “Jesse was born a leader and not only is he prepared to help lead the city and his district to bigger and better things, he is also prepared to make the hard decisions and stand up for what is right for the city and fellow Wichitans.”

Garcia and Brown have known each other for four years now and have lead together in Kappa Alpha Order.

“I’m not attracted to the politics, I’m attracted to the service,” said Brown. His intentions aren’t to make a career out being a politician.

“I hate the term ‘politician,’ I prefer the term ‘statesman.’ That’s what it’s supposed to be. A politician, that’s not supposed to be a career. You’re supposed to have your private career and if the people need your help, you put your personal career on hold to go serve the people. Then when you’re done serving, you come home and you continue where you left off. That’s the essence of how our political system was built. George Washington was the perfect example of that, he wanted to be left alone, just at his house but they asked him to serve. He came and served, and when he was done he went right back and I like that,” said Brown.

Stewart Harvey, a Kappa Alpha Order fraternity member and mentor of Brown says that since day one of knowing Brown, “He was deliberate, thoughtful, weighing in his commitment and possessing an unusual amount of quiet self confidence which I came to know stemmed from his faith and values system.”

Brown also said a primary need for Wichita Falls is to be updated in order to boost economic growth.

“There’s issues with infrastructure decay but if we don’t have any growth and sales dollars in property tax and money coming in, we can’t really fix it, so it really boils down to economic growth,” said Brown. “We have to have some kind of economic growth in the city with bringing in new businesses or growing the population and that boils down to downtown.”

Downtown Wichita Falls has the potential to thrive, but it needs a little help getting there.

“It can’t just be centered around one thing. That one thing goes down, the whole city goes down and that’s why we have to try to diversify but not lose quality in our diversification,” said Brown.

Brown distinguished other areas that could use improvement and could lead to the largest output for economic growth: Lake Wichita, Sheppard Air Force Base, MSU, United Regional Hospital, and Vernon College.

“Jesse is the most approachable person I have met. I personally feel he will use that to help the community with issues it faces and will face in the future to make Wichita Falls a destination city in North Texas,” said Garcia.

Harvey said he is confident Brown will initiate change and will work hard his whole term.

“Jesse knows that change for the sake of change is not necessarily wise nor is it warranted. He will look at each issue or task in proper context and challenge the status quo to explore the opportunity cost of change or shift and if it meets or will meet the needs of the constituency he serves,” said Harvey.

“I will never be the smartest person in any room, (but) I take pride in being the hardest-working. That’s something I can control. I can’t control how God has gifted me with intelligence or wisdom, but I can control how hard I work and leaving everything on the table,” Brown said.

Jesse Brown’s Achievements and Awards

  • 340 volunteer hours in and around the Wichita Falls community
  • 2016 Midwestern State University Valedictorian
  • Student Body President at Midwestern State University in 2015
  • Board of Regents
  • Experience in the National Republican Congressional Committee where he attended Supreme Court Meetings and researched for the Political Action Committee
  • Honors include “Outstanding Criminal Justice Major” and “MSU Man of the Year”
  • National Award of Distinction in 2015