After winning the seat for Lubbock County Commissioner of Precinct 3 on Nov. 6, Lorenzo Sedeño received a phone call from a secretary in the Lubbock County Clerk’s Office.
When he answered the phone, the secretary called him ‘commissioner,’ and before the secretary could say anything else, the newly elected commissioner said, “Please, call me ‘Bubba.’”
Sedeño said when he begins his role as County Commissioner of Precinct 3 on Jan. 1, his major goal is to represent the people of Lubbock.
“I’ve always been a people person,” Sedeño said. “You’ve got to have a great personality and a good ‘can do’ attitude. If somebody has a problem, we’re going to answer those phone calls and we’re going to be at the office to follow it up.”
According to the Lubbock County website, Democrat Lorenzo ‘Bubba’ Sedeño beat Republican Ysidro Gutierrez in November by receiving 56.37 percent of the votes. This came shortly after Sedeño beat incumbent Gilbert Flores by 16 total votes in the Democratic primary, the website said.
Sedeño said his past experience in government is going to be beneficial throughout his term as county commissioner. He said he worked as a district manager and legislative assistant to Texas State Senator John T. Montford for 13 years.
As part of the legislative staff, he said he answered phone calls from constituents in 29 counties who had problems with different agencies, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation. After receiving those phone calls, Sedeño said he and the other members of staff would then respond accordingly and make sure the demands were met.
He also served as vice chairman of the Lubbock Democratic Party in 1984 and spent time working as the vice president of the Texas HUB Discussion Workgroup Committee.
“That is why I ran for Lubbock county commissioner,” he said. “My 13 years of working with the Texas Senate made me the most qualified and experienced candidate.”
Along with experience, Sedeño said he ran for office because the previous commissioner of 16 years, Gilbert Flores was not executing his job to the fullest. Sedeño said the constituents were not getting their phone calls answered while Flores was commissioner. The county roads were unorganized, he said, and nobody was fixing them.
When he takes his place in office, Sedeño said he is going to find ways to get his precinct its fair share of road maintenance.
“All people pay taxes here,” he said, “we ought to get our fair share of road maintenance and anything else that is needed.”
Kenny Ketner, the chairman for the Lubbock Democratic Party, said he has a great deal of respect for Sedeño.
“It was neat to get to work with him,” Ketner said. “He’s a hoot. He’s got a lot of energy. He decided on a good strategy and stuck to it, which is something I really admire in a candidate.”
A lot of what Sedeño will do, Ketner said, is to fight for equitable distribution of funds. Commissioners’ Court is the governing body of Lubbock County, Ketner said, similar to the way the city council is the governing body of the city of Lubbock. A lot of what they do, he said, is prioritizing money.
Ketner said it was beneficial to the Lubbock Democratic Party to regain their seat in the election.
“If we had lost Mr. Sedeño’s race,” he said, “we would have been left with one elected democrat in Lubbock County, Judge Hernandez, the Justice of Peace in Precinct 3. But, this was kind of our last stand. Precinct 3 has always been our stronghold in the county, more or less.”
Despite the difference in Sedeño’s party affiliation, Bill McCay, the Lubbock County Commissioner for Precinct 1, said it will not make a difference when it comes to working with him.
“We really try to keep politics outside the court house,” McCay said. “We’re here, although we’re elected by voters in our particular precincts, we’re here to serve the entire citizens throughout the Lubbock County. Those that live in town or out in the rural areas. We’re here to serve and to manage towards the entire county, not just precinct issues.”
McCay said he has not gotten to know ‘Bubba’ Sedeño very much, but he said Sedeño seems interested in working hard and being a contributing member to the commissioners’ court.
Sedeño said one of the exciting things about being a Lubbock County Commissioner is his ability to make the home he has lived in since he was a child into a better place.
“It’s home,” Sedeño said. “I’ve raised my kids here. I’ve got three kids, all grown. I’ve got nine grandkids and my mom is still living here. We’ve just been here in Lubbock. It’s home.”