Bill Stoudt

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt on Tuesday attends a Rotary Club of Longview meeting at Pinecrest Country Club in Longview. (Michael Cavazos/ News-Journal Photo)

Bill Stoudt loves Gregg County, and he wants another four years to help continue its bright future. With that in mind, he’s seeking another term as county judge.

Stoudt was honored Tuesday as one of five Citizen of the Year recipients by the Rotary Club of Longview, He made his announcement at the club’s meeting where he was honored for his role in helping bring the COVID-19 vaccine hub to Longview.

Club President Griff Hubbard said many people in the club have been asking if Stoudt would run again. Stoudt then confirmed that he will.

Stoudt was first elected in 2003. If elected again, it would be his sixth four-year term. The Republican primary for the race is set for March 2022.

“I had a lot of folks that were asking me if I was going to run, and they encouraged me to run again for another term,” Stoudt said. “After a lot of prayer, a lot of thought, talking to my wife and a lot of supporters, I made a choice to run again.”

He said the county has accomplished a lot and that there still is more to be done.

“We’ve got some projects already in the process that I want to see through,” he said. “This term ends in two years, and these projects probably won’t get done until the next term — and those projects are some of the driving reasons of wanting to continue to run one more time.”

Some of the projects include water issues in smaller communities in the county and road projects.

Stoudt said the initiatives were made possible by the county’s strong finances, of which he is proud and wants to continue.

Projects such as widening Texas 42 and Harrison Road, expanding George Richey Road and redoing the Interstate 20 and Texas 31 intersection were made possible because of strong finances, he said.

“Those things would not have happened had we not been able to participate financially in these projects; they would have gone somewhere else,” Stoudt said. “From that standpoint, that’s why we need to maintain the strength that we have today, and I think we can do it through our growth. People are discovering Longview is a pretty good place to work and hang out and live and go to church and raise kids and live happily ever after, and I think people are starting to see that around the country and around the state.”

Stoudt said he counts keeping Gregg County’s tax rate as one of the lowest in the state as a point of pride, and he hopes to continue the designation with another term. He said in 18 years the county has dropped the tax rate three times.

“I love this county, he said. “And I think we have a tremendously bright future in Gregg County. Everything we’ve got going on and what we plan going forward, I think it’s an incredibly bright future for Gregg County and I’m just really humbled to be a part of it. And I hope to be a part of it another four years after this term.”

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Kristen is the News-Journal's education reporter. A Longview native, she got a journalism degree and a graduate certificate at Texas Tech University. She covers a variety of issues, including school finance, board meetings and happenings at local schools.