Candidate Ernesto “Pancho” Lerma who is seeking the position of mayor of Freer during the city election on May 10, says he’s running because he thinks it’s time for a change.

“I’d like to see Freer grow,” he said. “Our community needs a lot of improvements done and I think that can happen.”

Lerma said such improvements include a city-wide cleanup, street repairs and more for kids to do.

“I talk to people and they’re telling me these things, too,” he said. “I look around and see what needs to be done.”

Lerma says he cares a lot about his community.

After graduating from Freer High School in 1973, he joined the U.S. Air Force.

He was stationed in San Antonio serving as a firefighter and then moved to Germany for a two-year tour of duty. In 1977 when stationed in Abilene he was honorably discharged.

“We then moved back to Freer and have been here since,” he said.

Lerma is employed with Newman Operating Company as a welder.

“If I’m elected mayor, I’ll do everything I can to help our community. If we all get the ‘can do’ attitude, the we can do,” he said, “and I would also like to encourage voters to early vote at city hall.”

He and his wife, Norma, have been married 33 years and are members of the Assembly of God Church. They have three children, Ernesto II, Danielle and Priscilla and also have three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.