McBrayer focused on neighborhoods in his bid for Lubbock mayor

Mark McBrayer, mayoral candidate in Lubbock, Texas

Mark McBrayer, mayoral candidate, courtesy photo

District 3 Councilman Mark McBrayer, running for mayor in the May 4 election, tried to be the peacemaker in an August City Council meeting. Proposed student housing in the South Overton Neighborhood got people angry.

One woman confronted the Council, saying, “I’m seeing the City of Lubbock – the history of Lubbock being killed by some person who has never lived here!”

A seven-story building at 15th Street and Avenue X would have been home to 700 or so Texas Tech students. Some from South Overton spoke in favor. But the majority were opposed.

After more than three hours of heated discussion, McBrayer asked the Council to put off the vote for one month.

“ … Give another opportunity for this neighborhood and this developer to see if they can make this work in some way,” McBrayer pleaded with his fellow councilmembers. His motion died on the floor for lack of a second. The Council then voted down the project, 4-3. McBrayer was among those rejecting it.

McBrayer pointed this example during his interview with

“I stand up for neighborhoods and neighborhoods are important to me,” McBrayer said. “I felt like projects were being proposed in neighborhoods that would not be good for those neighborhoods.”

Race for mayor: This is one story in a series about the 2024 race for mayor. Click here to get an overview and links to other stories in the series.

Grew up in Lubbock

McBrayer has lived in Lubbock since age 4.

He graduated from Monterey High School, Texas Tech University, Denver Seminary and the Tech Law School.

“I do travel the whole world. I’ve seen a lot of it, but Lubbock is my home. It’s where my kids live. It’s where my grandkids live. It made a good life for my parents and for me,” he said.

“I’ve never really wanted to go anywhere else. Had opportunities, but they just didn’t appeal to me,” McBrayer said.

“My first job was as a youth minister,” he said. He also owned two businesses – one of them used to be J&B Coffee. He’s a lawyer at Crenshaw Dupree & Milam. He was elected to the City Council in 2022.

McBrayer and his wife, Cindy, will be married for 41 years this summer.

“She and I both grew up here in Lubbock,” McBrayer said. “My faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing to me.”

‘City elections are really a lot more important than a lot of people think’

“I just believe that city elections are really a lot more important than a lot of people think,” McBrayer said.

“Now that I’ve been on the Council, sometimes the people who come and share their concerns are treated with a lack of respect — treated like maybe they don’t know what they’re talking about. They do know what they’re talking about. They know what’s important to them,” McBrayer said.

“My reason for running is to try to rebuild some trust, I think, and faith in city government that’s been lost. I want citizens to feel like their voice is heard,” he said.

He’s worried that in Council Districts 4 and 6, only one candidate signed up. In the special election to replace him in District 3, there’s only one candidate.

“It does concern me a little bit. When I ran two years ago, I was the only one who ran,” McBrayer said.

Special election explained

Because McBrayer announced in January he is running for mayor, he automatically forfeits his current seat in District 3. But there’s an added twist. He serves on the Council until he is replaced.

He timed his announcement less than 120 days before the normal city election.

“I wanted to make sure that the special election could be held on the same date as the general election on May 4th so that the citizens didn’t have to pay additional money for a special election,” McBrayer said.

“If I’d announced any earlier, they would have had a special election sometime before May 4th,” he added.

Three priorities

McBrayer said his three top priorities are public safety, not raising taxes and protecting neighborhoods.

“We shouldn’t keep coming up on a list of most dangerous places,” McBrayer said. Lubbock will hire a new police chief and McBrayer has a couple thoughts on that.

The new chief should be good at retaining good officers in the department. (Recruiting and retention also apply to the Lubbock Fire Department, he said.)

“We get someone with a record of reducing the kind of crime we see here in Lubbock,” he said, including drug-related crimes and shootings “almost every other night.”

“Those are what made people feel unsafe in their neighborhoods and those are things that we need to be able to address.”

“We talk about the city all we want, but people live in neighborhoods, and their neighborhoods are important to them,” McBrayer said.

All of this must be done without tax hikes, he said.

“The two years I’ve been there, I’ve voted not to raise people’s taxes,” McBrayer said. “I knew people’s household incomes and wages have fallen, and inflation had eaten them up.”

McBrayer is also not a fan of the ballot proposition to reduce enforcement of misdemeanor marijuana violations. He felt like it would tie the hands of police officers.

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Author: James Clark- James Clark is the associate editor of Lubbock Lights. He worked in radio, television and digital media for a combined total of more than 30 years. He was Director of Digital News Content at KAMC, KLBK and for nearly 10 years.