By CLINT FOSTER
The upcoming uniform election is just a few days away and will place the fates of a hospital trustees, two Independent School District bonds and nine state constitutional amendments in voter’s hands.
Early voting continues through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Palo Pinto County Courthouse or the Palo Pinto County Annex Building in Mineral Wells. Remember to bring a valid form of photo identification.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5, when, county wide, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
As for the Palo Pinto General Hospital (Hospital District) board of trustees election, there is one contested race, in which newcomer Matthew Baker is challenging incumbent James “J.C.” Colton for Place 2. Tim Hopkins (Place 1) and Lori Baker-Boyd (Place 3) are also on the ballot, but are uncontested in their elections.
Let’s meet the candidates for Place 2:
Matthew Baker will challenge the incumbent Colton for his position on the hospital board. Baker has spent the last four years as a nurse for Dr. Eric Brock at PPGH and told the Index he has “fallen in love with the area” since moving to Mineral Wells.
He has 36 years of experience in the medical business, including service as a hospital corpsman medic in the U.S. Navy and a 15-year stint with the Burn Intensive Care Unit in Lubbock before moving to Mineral Wells. He graduated second in his class from South Plains College’s nursing school in Levelland.
Baker has never sat on a hospital board, but what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm for the position. He said he wants to bring new insights and needed change to PPGH.
“I want this hospital to be absolutely the best that it can be,” he said. “My goal would be to improve patient care. I’ve worked in some good hospitals and some that needed improvement. So, I think I’ve got some insight on some things that work to improve a hospital.”