Weatherford Democrat

April 28, 2013

Q&A: Three candidates vie for two Millsap ISD seats


Weatherford Democrat

— Two seats are up for election this May on the Millsap ISD school board. Seeking re-election are incumbents Tommy Lucia and Jerry Walker, with Timothy Kukuk hoping to win one of the seats. The two candidates with the most votes win. A candidates’ forum is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Millsap ISD Elementary School cafeteria. Here is a look at the candidates:

Name: Tommy Joe Lucia

Age: 44

Occupation: CEO of three entertainment companies including Transit Image LLC (a mobile LED video screen company), Piranha Productions Inc. (a full-service event management and production company); and World Toughest Rodeo (the largest indoor rodeo series in the nation).

Family: married for 20 years to Donna Kruger Lucia, a MISD graduate. Eldest son is Chase Lucia, also a MISD graduate who currently attends Texas A&M pursuing the ocean engineering field. Youngest son is Nick Lucia, currently a freshman, honors student and athlete at MISD.

Why are you running for school board?

I wanted to educate myself and assist in the fiduciary and policy decisions for a district that my entire family has or will graduate from. I am a Bulldog through and through. I am proud of the work our board has done since I was elected, and would like to continue to grow the opportunities for the youth of our community.

Any prior experience running for office?

I am currently serving on the MISD school board.

Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented if you serve?

I will continue to monitor the serious issues associated with the misappropriation of state funding as it relates to the Texas school districts and push for amendments that will allow MISD to have the same funding per student as those other schools in our area. I will diligently work with the current board to continue the fantastic momentum that Dr. Belding, the MISD administration and teaching staff have accomplished.

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Name: Tim Kukuk

Age: 47

Occupation: Businessman, farmer and rancher.

Family: wife, Lia Harrison-Kukuk and son, Tygen.

Why are you running for school board?

I am very interested in the education and success of the students at Millsap ISD, whether they are planning to attend a university or needing the skills for a technical trade.

I believe preparing students for life beyond school is vital. The past few years have been very challenging as decreased state funding has led to difficult planning and decisions. Not only as a school district but as community we have felt the hardships and increased costs of living. Millsap is a small community and yet we have the highest tax rate in the county. If elected, I want to reassure our community that decisions being made not only are benefiting the students but also minimizing the strain of our taxpayers.

Any prior experience running for office?

Vice president of the American Chianina Association Southwest Region.

Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented if you serve?

I believe we can give the students of Millsap ISD a very good education as well as be financially sound without putting a huge burden on the taxpayer. If elected, I want help find other means in raising funds rather than raising taxes.

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Name: Jerry Walker

Age: 43

Occupation: I am a self-employed certified public accountant. I have been operating my accounting firm in Weatherford for 17 years.

Family: I have three daughters – Molly is a freshman at Abilene Christian University, Jessica is a junior at Millsap High School and Anna is a freshman at Millsap High School.

Why are you running for school board?

I believe our American public education system plays an important role in the development and

continued success of our country. Although I recognize that public education has faced and continues to face a number of challenges, I believe I can be a part of the solution to overcome those challenges.  I believe that public schools should be a safe and orderly place where values and character are emphasized in conjunction with rigorous and practical academic instruction.

Any prior experience running for office?

I have been serving on the board of trustees for three terms and I would appreciate the opportunity to serve another three-year term.

Are there any changes you hope to implement if elected?

I will continue to work with the other board members and the superintendent to search for ways to continue improving the district so that it may more effectively serve the students and the community.