For Bell County Precinct 4 Commissioner John Driver, a Killeen resident, family was the heart of why he ran for his position in 2018 and is now the reason behind his departure.
Driver, 68, decided not to seek re-election this year for his position as commissioner. Instead, running to fill his seat will be Democrat Louie Minor and Republican Christopher Bray, both Killeen residents.
Driver said it was time he focused on his family after 30 years in the military, 14 years leading Fort Hood Family Housing and four years as a commissioner.
“It is time for me to really concentrate on my family,” Driver said. “I am 68, coming up on 69 here, and I got a whole lot of more years left. And I want to do that and enjoy the time working with my family, going family strong.”
In 2018, Driver made history as the first African-American to be elected to the Bell County Commissioners Court.
In that race, Driver defeated four-term Commissioner John Fisher, a Republican, with 61% of the vote compared to his opponent’s 39%. With his win, Driver also ended 20 years of one-party rule in the body that began in 1998.
While Driver admitted that there is still a lot to do on the county level, he pointed out that there was also a lot for him to do for his family.
“I ran on family strong, because everything I do is for family,” Driver said “There is still a lot that has to be done and there is a lot that my family needs me to do.”
County Judge David Blackburn said that while Driver’s decision was a personal one, he will be missed by the body once he leaves.
“I have working with John over the past three years and will wish him all the best in what will be his second or third retirement,” said Blackburn, who joined the court at the same time as Driver. “It’s always good to have a diversity of thoughts and ideas around the dais.”
Driver said he has known Minor, the Democrat running for his seat, for many years, even previously defeating him in the 2018 primary.
While Minor is a Democrat, Driver said it doesn’t matter too much what party the person who replaces him is from as long as they are in it for the right reasons.
“I don’t care if you are Republican, Independent, Libertarian or whatever, I look at the person,” Driver said. “If they are family oriented, not self oriented, the party doesn’t matter. It is the person.”