By Mitch Borden
In Midland, a changing of the guard: Three new city leaders assumed their new roles Monday during a swearing-in ceremony.
Marfa Public Radio Mitch Borden reports, Midland now has a new Mayor and two new city councilmembers.
After being sworn in, Patrick Payton Midland’s new mayor told a gathered crowd that Midland and the Permian Basin’s oil industry is driving the world’s economy.
He also said Midlanders need to work together to build a better community.
“It’s time to move forward and bury the hatchet. We no longer live in the middle of nowhere we stand as the center of everywhere.”
Payton, a former pastor of a local megachurch, defeated Midland’s longtime Mayor Jerry Morales who served Midland for about six years as mayor and another six years on city council.
Alongside Payton, two new Midland city councilmembers were also sworn in — Jack Ladd will represent the city’s district 3 Jack Ladd and Lori Blong will represent district 4.
The city council will have a new member joining its ranks later this year because former council member John Love III made a two-month bid for the U.S. Senate, which forced him to give up his seat.
A special election is being held at the end of January to fill that position.