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Boswell seeks fifth term

December 18, 2018

HARLINGEN — Running on what he called dreams he’s helped turn into reality, Mayor Chris Boswell announced his bid for a fifth term in office.

Under a blue banner calling for “momentum, momentum, momentum,” Boswell appeared upbeat amid supporters’ applause in a packed party room at Smoke: Texas BBQ and Watering Hole yesterday evening.

“People might ask why am I running for mayor. Some might say it’s stability and growth and continuity,” Boswell told the crowd. “I’ve been thinking about this in the last few months. The real reason is, I’m a dreamer. To be a good mayor, you’ve got to be a good dreamer. We’ve made some big dreams.”

Boswell cited some of those dreams to include the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley’s medical school, its upcoming neurosciences center, Bass Pro Shops, the $4.5 million project to renovate the nine-story Baxter Building and Frontier and American airlines’ entry into Valley International Airport.

“I love Harlingen,” Boswell said. “I want to stop dreaming old dreams and start dreaming new dreams and make them reality.”

Boswell called the city’s $15 million fund balance “one of the best bank balances in South Texas compared with our budget — without an increase in the tax rate.”

“We expect great things from our city,” Boswell said. “Everybody should have high expectations.”

He called on his supporters to back city commissioners.

“We’ve got the best city commission of any city in the Valley and in Texas,” Boswell said. “Let’s keep our city commission stable, forceful — a great city commission for the city of Harlingen.”

After 11 years on the job, Boswell, who first won the city’s highest elected office in 2007, has become Harlingen’s longest-serving mayor in at least 40 years.

“I love my city and I love serving the citizens of Harlingen,” Boswell stated before the rally. “I’m asking for their vote so that together, we can continue the progress.”

But one significant project Boswell has pushed for has not gone according to plan. The $16.7 million convention center, which is expected to be completed early in 2019, has been behind schedule for about a year and other problems have occurred with the private funding for the adjoining hotel. Also, questions remain about its financial viability and an ability to book it in a timely manner if the hotel is not built yet.

That hasn’t stopped Boswell from talking about what he sees as several accomplishments over the years.

In the May 2019 election, Boswell stated he will run on his record, which he says includes job creation, economic expansion and cuts in the crime rate.

In the last five years, nearly 3,500 new jobs have been created while the unemployment rate has dropped from 11 percent to 5.5 percent.

Across town, business growth has spurred $200 million in new capital investment, he stated last night.

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