Concerns brought up over campaign financial reports for county role candidates

VICTORIA, Texas- On the eve of election day, visitors to Victoria County Commissioners Court spoke up about concerns on candidates who are on the ballot.

Each public meeting gives space for community members to address the court and state questions or concerns they may have. Monday morning, concerns were raised around a court candidate.

Dale Zuck, an attendee asks the court, “Are these findings really the persona of Mr. Burns representing as ‘Mr. Transparency?’ I do not think so.”

Community members voiced a concern for campaign financial reports, Precinct 3 Commissioner, Gary Burns, was addressed with questions over his donations. 

“It’s easy to criticize  and not really do anything and they can criticize, people make mistakes, maybe, I’m not going to make excuses. I’m gonna go back and look at it,” states Burns when asked about the accusations. 

According to public records, Burns did file a financial report one day late, on February 26th when the deadline was February 25th. This may yield a fine of up to $500.

Per Texas law, during an election year campaigns are to submit four reports. The last one is meant to be submitted eight days prior to election day. 

“These are things that are very important. In your report, because you’re handling tax dollars, monies and make decisions. With that being said, I just find it troublesome,” explains Clara Ramos, another attendee that spoke to commissioners. 

Records show, a total of $1,500 in donations to Burns’ campaign for the January 15th report. The other most recent report, submitted on February 26, 2020, shows a donation with no name on record. However, Burns clarifies he accepts no donation in exchange of special favors.

“People are good, they support you because of what you do, not because they want something special, and I’m kind of proud of the people that support me,” concludes Burns. 

The concerns were not directly addressed by Burns, as commissioners, under law, cannot respond to comments during the “citizens communication” portion of an official public meeting.  All campaign financial reports for each candidate are available for viewing here