I have completed my term as Galveston Mayor. Lewis Rosen won a hard fought runoff election on June 23, and my supporters and I wish Mayor Rosen the best.
In the weeks leading up to June 23, I was totally, physically engaged in seeking re-election, fighting for every vote; and in the months before that I worked and campaigned nonstop. As an incumbent, campaigning in a hostile environment for incumbents, I gained experience, maturity, purpose and wisdom. I learned to hold fast to my values, even at the risk of losing office. Such was the lesson I learned as your Mayor fulfilling Galveston’s promise to rebuild affordable housing lost in Ike. I have returned to private life, but I stay engaged in promoting what’s best for all of Galveston.
I am proud of the work I did - with many others’ help - to serve all of Galveston. Running for re-election while championing the right thing – and in many quarters the unpopular thing - was a remarkable, memorable experience.
Even though we didn’t win re-election, my supporters and I have finished this election cycle with the glow of a winner. As your Mayor, I held steady to my values, specifically championing the rebuilding of greatly-needed affordable housing for Galveston. It was important to me that the world sees Galveston’s Mayor as working to keep Galveston’s housing promises to the State of Texas and the United States Government. When I became Galveston’s Mayor on May 13, 2010, I took an oath of office to “defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas and the Charter, laws and Ordinances of the City of Galveston.” Did I mean the pledge I took? You bet I did. Did holding firm to my values cost me re-election. It probably did. Do I regret it? No.
Sam Houston once said now-famous words that describe how I feel about this experience: “Do right and risk the consequences.”
My plans for the immediate future include loving my family, building my law practice, and leading in my community. Perhaps my term as Mayor was experience for something larger one day in public service; it definitely was an experience that matured me as a father, spouse and person. Despite the bruising experience that it has become, public service is worth it. It’s truly an American way to contribute to the community.
I’m told it is routine – after serving - to retain the appellation “Mayor.” Well, you can call me Mayor or Joe or “Hey Bro!” It all works. Just know that you are my friend, and I will always be there for you as you have been there for me.
I’m as accessible as always. Call on me anytime if you need me. My cell is still 409 771 7139.