A large crowd was on hand to witness the Rio Grande Valley League of Women Voters Mayoral Candidate Forum held on Thursday, March 28 at the SPI Convention Centre. All three candidates in the upcoming SPI election for Mayor, CLayton Brashear, Darla Jones, and Patrick McNulty participated in the evnt. Representatives of the League of Women Voters served as moderators, asking questions that were answered by each of the candidates. The questions included some that were generated by the moderators and others that were submitted by citizens.

Clayton Brashear began by chronicling his history on the Islan, beginning with his growing up in Brownsville, working as a busboy at Louie’s during high school, and later investing his earnings in real estate, building homes, culminating in his ownership of Clayton’s Beach Bar.

What I knew was how to put a tea together, so I put a team together to run that bar,” said Brashear of Clayton’s. “I am a visionary. I have vision, and that’s what I did. I built Clayton’s as the biggest beach bar in Texas.”

Darla Jones was next to introduce herself. She shared that she retired from after serving nine years serving as the SPI City Manager. Jones worked for four other city governments in the Valley prior to coming to the Island. “I’ve got a combined total experience in city management of 28 and a half years,” she said. “I will hit the ground running on day one. There is no learning curve. I know the staff. I know the budget.”

Patrick McNulty began by sharing that one of his platform items is to get the Island unified. “It seems like there’s been a lot of division over the last ten years as some people point out, and we need to get past that.

He went on share that he started visiting the area 42 years ago as a child. McNulty grew up in Dallas and moved to the Island in 2005. He started working in the area in 1997 as part of the development team for the Villas of south Padre and later formed his own company, Willis Development.

By Kevin Rich