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By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

BC candidate Nickum vows 'proactive' approach


Last updated 2/9/2021 at 9:39pm

John Nickum, born into an Orange County insurance family, says he was delivered "with a State Farm tattoo."

But the 1993 graduate of Bridge City High School hasn't just spent his entire life quoting great rates and offering safe-driving discounts.

Nickum, whose father, Bill, operates Bridge City's State Farm agency, has his State Farm business in Vidor.

But before that, he first achieved a degree in healthcare administration and long-term care from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

He worked at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston negotiating contracts between pharmaceutical companies and the hospital.

He earned a master's in business administration from Lamar University, with a dual concentration in finance and marketing.

He is currently the president of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and the Vidor Rotary Club.

And he's running for city council in his hometown of Bridge City because he wants to see the cities of Orange County work together for their common good.

"I began to learn about how municipalities and governments work while I was working on my MBA at Lamar," he said.

"I wanted to get involved, so I got involved in the Vidor Chamber of Commerce. I go to a lot of meetings and I began to realize that each town in Orange County, they talk, but they don't talk."

Nickum means the communities don't always realize their connectedness.

"If Vidor's clearing out its drainage, that water goes to Bridge City," he said. "They should talk."

As examples, John Nickum offered the cases of Jefferson County grabbing what should be Orange County's spoils.

He cited the fact that the city of Port Arthur collects most of the property taxes from the Entergy power plant, which is located on the Bridge City end of the Rainbow Bridge. And he warned of what's to come with the dredging of the Sabine-Neches ship channel that separates the two counties.

"Companies coming into Orange County that should go to Orange County," he said. "We need to have our cities unify and protect what should be ours.

"If Orange County grows, Bridge City's going to grow. Vidor's going to grow."

Nickum, father of two sons and a daughter – Coleman is graduating from Baylor in May, Nick is a high school senior and Abigail is a high school junior – has been married to his wife, Christy, 9 years.

And he's on the Chainsaw Team.

Actually, it's full name is the Southern Baptists Disaster Recovery Mud Out and Chainsaw Team. He's a team leader and trainer for that group, which deploys nationwide during disasters.

Nickum says if he wins his election to Place 3 against three-term incumbent Tammi Fisette he will use a proactive approach on council.

"I can answer phone calls and look at ditches, but what are we doing to be proactive?" he asked.

"It's good we have the plants coming in, but what do we have for a [local] labor force? If we have the people, we have tax revenue."

Friday is the final day for candidates to file to run in the May 1 city and school elections. Early voting begins April 19.


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