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Longtime county judge delivers final State of the County Address

County Judge Nelson Wolff appears on jumbo screen during his final State of the County Address on Oct. 12, 2022.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio
County Judge Nelson Wolff appears on jumbo screen during his final State of the County Address on Oct. 12, 2022

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Wednesday delivered his final State of the County Address after a remarkable 21 years in office as judge.

His last term officially ends at midnight on Dec. 31.

A who's who of business and industry listened to his address during a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Grand Hyatt downtown.

Wolff called for county leaders to continue to fund or support higher education, new public health initiatives, and diversified tech and advanced manufacturing. He also called for a blending of nature and urban lifestyle downtown and more sports and recreation opportunities.

Then he said this about the future for his wife and himself:

"So, as I leave this stage, I will not say farewell, but ask you to join Tracy and I in seeking to protect nature and taking our humanity to a higher level."

Wolff told Texas Public Radio before his speech that he felt some of his biggest accomplishments included the restoration of the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek, reforming criminal justice to save lives, rather than ruin them and the creation of the BiblioTech, or all-digital libraries, for which his wife Tracy has been a driving force.

His address also touched on troubling trends in society and politics and even the meaning of life.

"As insignificant as we are and blur of the moment we are here, there is meaning to life if we play a part in preserving nature and at the same time working to take our species to a higher level of humanity where civility is cherished, where bipartisanship is respected, where truth is rescued from the abyss of social media, where compromise is not considered weakness, and where rational decisions prevail over outrageous conspiratorial theories," he said.

Wolff, who turns 82 on Oct. 27, is only the second man to ever serve as both San Antonio Mayor and Bexar County Judge. The first was Bryan Callaghan, Jr., who served as mayor and county judge in the 1880s.

Judge Wolff has endorsed former State District Court Judge Peter Sakai as his replacement. The Democrat faces Republican Trish DeBerry on Nov. 8th at the polls.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian