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San Antonio

Bexar County Judge touts economic recovery from pandemic as he bows out of another run for office

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Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio
County Judge Nelson Wolff delivering his State of the County Address

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says the county is on the road to recovery from the pandemic.

Wolff delivered his State of the County Address to 500 business and community leaders during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Grand Hyatt on Wednesday.

He touted a low unemployment rate and several new projects as signs the county is on the economic mend.

The projects include the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a manufacturing training academy, and the first quarter start-up of truck maker Navistar and 600 jobs.

County Judge Nelson Wolff
Bexar County

He also said there are plans for a link between the River Walk and San Pedro Creek that would be lined with five new skyscrapers and a hotel.

But he worries the county's economic recovery could be harmed by a winter COVID-19 surge.

"We will not have that winter surge if people would just simply get vaccinated," said Wolff, generating applause. "If you know a friend, if you know a friend or someone you are close to that you can convince them to get vaccinated, we will not have any winter surge."

Wolff opened his speech remembering the more than 4,500 local residents who have died from the virus, and he thanked medical workers and the heads of local hospital systems for their hard work during the pandemic.

Wolff also used his address to announce he will not seek another term after 50 years of public service, including terms in the Texas Legislature and as San Antonio mayor.

The 81-year-old said over the summer, he saw a Wall Street Journal picture about an aging senior executive being wheeled out on a dolly with a potted plant in his lap. He says the picture prompted a retirement discussion with his wife.

"And I showed that picture to Tracy and I said I don't want to go that way. I want to walk out with my head held high and go when I think I am at the top of my game, so I am going to serve out my term," he said.

Wolff has a year and three months left in office. He said the future holds more family time, including with eight grandchildren, community service and book writing.

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