SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the county must continue to “build for the future” in one of his final State of the County addresses on Wednesday.
The outgoing county judge is not seeking another term after more than five decades in the political arena. He focused on opportunities for the county’s growth in the annual event hosted by the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
“Bexar County is committed to fostering growth by supporting our business community and continuing to invest in capital projects that will enhance economic development and job growth,” Wolff said.
Part of the event included a discussion with Wolff and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg that was moderated by Chris Corso of Joeris General Contractors.
During the discussion, Wolff and Nirenberg reflected on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything was new and our hospitals were not prepared for it,” Wolff said.
“The entire country was not prepared for what we experienced,” Nirenberg added. “In the early days, you saw an absence of leadership, particularly at the state and federal level, and so we filled it in and we had to act.”
The two leaders also mentioned the difficulty of responding to the pandemic with state officials, like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“The governor was, I don’t know, tremendous with us at the first,” Wolff said. “And then somewhere along the line, politics got to him and that’s the one thing you’ve got to avoid.”
Last October, Wolff announced he would not seek reelection for the post he’s held since 2001.
During the 2021 State of the County address, Wolff cited a Wall Street Journal article with a picture that showed an aging senior executive being wheeled out of an office.
“I showed that picture to Tracy (his wife), and 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’m at the top of my game,’” Nelson told the attendees.
Wolff, who will give one last State of the County address later this fall, said he wants to teach and lecture after his retirement. He offered some advice for whoever becomes his successor.
“I hope they keep county government relevant ... we got a good operation, I believe, and I just hope they will continue that,” Wolff said. “I’m confident that whoever wins this will do a good job.”
On the Democratic ticket, former state representative Ina Minjarez and former district court judge Peter Sakai are in a runoff to settle who wins the nomination. They will face former county commissioner Trish DeBerry, who secured the Republican nomination in March.
Watch the full address below: