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Jerry Morales Swears In as New Midland Mayor

The city of Midland held a swearing-in ceremony for newly elected Council Members and Mayor Jerry Morales.
Monday marked a new chapter for the City of Midland and for Jerry Morales, who was sworn in as the city’s first Latino mayor.

Morales, a Mexican-American, won the November election by a notable margin.

“Being able to be the first minority is exciting,” Morales said. “But I don’t want anybody to lose fact that I represent this entire community.”

The new mayor said he will mirror his campaign strategy by knocking on doors and visiting local schools, churches, nonprofits and businesses.

“What I will bring to the table is that small business perspective, that attitude of how we can continue to bring this community closer together,” said Morales, who owns two Midland restaurants.

Morales said he was excited and anxious Monday, knowing that it was the beginning of his term in office.

“We definitely have to address road issues, housing issues and water issues,” Morales said. “Those are in our agenda already.”

Newly elected council member Sharla Hotchkiss agreed with Morales and said the city has various long-term issues that need work.

“You have to have patience. It's a big city and we've got some major problems. But they are good problems, they are because we are growing,” Hotchkiss said.

Council member J. Ross Lacy, who was also sworn-in Monday, said he plans to focus on the Midland International Airport, building a substation for fire and police and representing the young professionals in
Midland.

“This is a dream come true,” Ross Lacy said. “I've always wanted to be a public servant and to be able to do so at the age of 31 is a humbling experience.”

Outgoing mayor Wes Perry said Monday was a bitter sweet day but was proud of his work as mayor.

“What I was hoping for was to get the baton firmly in the next leader’s hand and move us down the road as fast as we can,” said Perry, who served since 2008.

Perry said he leaves Morales with an “all-American and world-class” city.

The new mayor and council members will meet for their first council meeting Tuesday. A special election is also expected to fill Morales’ vacant council member seat.

“It’s business as usual,” Morales said.

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