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Corpus Christi City Council appoints new port commissioner

Gabe Guerra will replace incumbent Rick Valls
Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 23:21:31-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, the Corpus Christi City Council appointed Kleberg Bank President and CEO Gabe Guerra to the Corpus Christi Port Commission.

Guerra was voted in six to three against incumbent Rick Valls.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while and people who know me, well, know that I’m prepared to do that,” Guerra said during a phone interview with KRIS 6.

Guerra had previously served as a chairman for the Economic Development Corporation, the EDC, a chairman for the former Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and several others in the community.

“The Port of Corpus Christi is so important,” Guerra said. “It’s a driver of economic opportunity and helps drive our quality of life, as well, in many ways indirectly. And, I’m excited to be part of that.”

During public comment, members of a local organization asked city council to consider appointing someone with no financial ties or interests to the port.

Guerra said he was born and raised in Corpus Christi and worked hard to get to where he is today.

He attributed his success to his supportive parents and community.

“I am a product of our community,” Guerra said. “And that, that’s what embodies that port. And what can we do to continue to foster that for our children, my children, our grandchildren and future generations of Corpus Christians?”

Guerra graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to study banking at Southern Methodist University.

As KRIS 6 reported, council member Billy Lerma alleged that a candidate seeking re-appointment had tried to bribe a member of city council.

The only port commissioner up for re-appointment was Rick Valls.

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority is governed by a commission of seven members who each serve three-year terms. Three are appointed by the Corpus Christi City Council, three by Nueces County commissioners, and one by San Patricio County commissioners. It is an unpaid position.

Gabe Guerra will be sworn into the port commission in January 2022.