MARSHALL – When Stan Spence, 63, walks into a room, there is an aura of familiarity and of security that seems to follow him.
It could because the married father of two and grandfather of four served for more than 39 years as an officer with the Marshall Police Department – and for 12 of those years – he was an Assistant Chief, and in the latter part, served as Chief of Police.
People nod at Spence as he passes by, or they non-nonchalantly whisper to each other “That is Chief Spence.” He has been retired from the Marshall Police Department for a little over three years.
Spence, who graduated from Long view High School and Kilgore College, still works security at the Blue Cross Blue Shield officers in Marshall – along with some of other retired officers.
Several months ago, Spence threw his hat in the political ring, and is vying for the spot of Marshall City Commissioner for District 6 against Marshall businessman, Larry Hurta. The seat is currently being held by longtime Commissioner Garrett Boersma who decided he wouldn’t run for another term.
When asked why he decided to campaign for the office, Spence didn’t hesitate to answer. “I have been out of the public service field for three years, and I just had this desire to get involved again and help people again,” he said. “I really would like get back involved in solving issues, and helping to improve our community.”
If he is elected, Spence said, “I would continue to do what our current commission is doing in the demolition of some condemned homes, street improvement and I believe, we do need a new animal shelter – that’s cost would be reasonable for the city’s budget.”
One of the main concerns of Spence’s has been the retention of qualified personnel in the various departments in the city, like police and fire department. “We need to find a way to retain these personnel, and meet their needs through training and make sure they are paid a decent salary,” he said.
Spence was recently endorsed by the Marshall Police Officer’s Association and the Marshall Firefighter’s Association IAFF Local 906. “I was deeply honored to receive the endorsement of both organizations.”
“Being in Marshall means having a quality of life and enjoyment of life for me. I came here 42 years ago, and I am still here,” Spence said.
First day of early voting will be Monday, April 25 and last day of early voting will be May 3. Election day will be Saturday, May 7.
*Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series of several focusing on candidates for office in Marshall, Hallsville, Jefferson and surrounding communities. Candidates are welcome to contact the Piney Woods News if they would like to be interviewed. Call 903-471-6473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.