The race is on for an Ector County hospital board seat, as a three-decade incumbent draws a challenger.

Odessa resident Wallace Dunn declared his intent to run for the Place 6 Board of Trustees position at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, as the end of the filing period for local offices comes to a close.

Filing for the position requires each candidate to submit a petition with 50 signatures by a Thursday deadline, which Dunn says he plans to meet.

Dunn’s candidacy will challenge 29-year incumbent Mary Thompson for the seat. Thompson, a registered nurse, has already filed seeking another four-year term.

The Medical Center Hospital board drew scrutiny in recent years when members of the board, including Thompson, voted to deny hospital retirees their health insurance benefits. In addition, the board was making questionable real estate purchases and attempting to raise taxes.

These actions resulted in every challenged incumbent on the board being unseated in the last election cycle.

In a statement to Texas Scorecard about his intent to run, Dunn said:

“I am running to bring a much-needed fresh vision for success to Medical Center Hospital. If elected, I will serve with integrity, honesty, and full transparency. I will work to ensure our community receives the highest quality health care possible. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the people of my district, and my community.”

Dunn grew up in the West Texas town of El Paso. He joined the United States Army in 1975, serving as a criminal intelligence analyst. Retiring from the Army in 1997 after having attained the rank of Captain, Dunn worked on various task forces, combating organized crime and narcotics at the state and federal level.

Dunn is a life member to the NRA, a patron member of the Ector County Republican Women’s club, and volunteers with numerous local charities.

Early voting in the May 4 election begins April 22.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.

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