Mayor, Texarkana, Texas, and Commercial Lender and Public Relations at Red River Credit Union

Bob Bruggeman considers himself to be a positive person. He loves Texarkana and looks forward to each day that he can work to make our great city even better. “This keeps me going every day!” Bob says. “I want to be remembered as someone who worked hard to help others and exemplified Christian values.”

Bob says that several important projects are currently underway in Texarkana that will shape our community for the next four to five decades. They include a new airport terminal, Hotel Grim redevelopment, new water treatment plant, Interstate 30 lane extension, State Line Avenue corridor project, and a new campus for Wadley Regional Medical Center, to mention a few of them. “The council members and I will continue to work with city staff and other entities in getting these projects completed,” Bob says. “We look forward to how these major projects will impact our community for the better.” 

One of the biggest challenges that Bob has faced during his time as mayor came during the pandemic. “ I was called upon to sign an unprecedented three Emergency Declarations during a twelve-month period. The declarations were for the COVID-19 pandemic, a cyber-attack, and the winter storm that occurred in February of this year,” Bob says. “The city staff, along with others, did an incredible job of assisting in addressing these issues.”

Though he has had many memorable moments in office, Bob says that spending time with the late Mr. H. Ross Perot stands out. Bob attended several community events with Ross Perot and had other social occasions to visit with him. “His work ethic and passion for the military and our country were incredible. A true Patriot! He did many great things to support our community, such as providing funding for the restoration of the Perot Theatre, supporting Texarkana College, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and other notable causes,” Bob says. “Every time I drive by his boyhood home on Olive Street. I say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Perot.’” 

On top of his other obligations, Bob is also very involved in the community. He is a member of First Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon, head usher, and finance committee member. “I am also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Texarkana and the Texas Association of Sports Officials – Texarkana Baseball Chapter. I am Chairman of the Bi-State Intergovernmental Advisory Committee and Texarkana Urban Transit Board,” Bob says. “I also serve on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, City Investment Committee, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and AR-TX REDI Board of Directors.”

To relax, Bob loves to play golf and umpire baseball. His “therapy” is mowing and landscaping his yard and washing and detailing his vehicles at home. He also enjoys spending time with his family. Bob and his wife, Jackie, have been married for 37 years. Jackie is a long-time teacher of the visually impaired. “We have two daughters, Elizabeth (Liz) Friday, who is married to Micah Friday, a local CPA. Liz and Micah have two children: Ava and Shepperd. Olivia is my other daughter. She is a local hairstylist at the Edge Salon and assists with video productions,” Bob says. “My family has been very supportive of me during my service in city government. Over the years, Jackie picked up Olivia from dance or school activities when I had meetings or events to attend. My family has also helped to campaign for me during elections. I am very grateful for their help.”

The personal accomplishments that Bob is most proud of include making six hole-in-ones and being a high school baseball umpire with 42 years of service. He is also honored to have been selected to work the state finals in Austin in 2010 and 2011. Professionally, Bob is extremely proud to have started his fifth term as mayor. He has a total of 16 years of City Council experience, and this is his way of giving back to the community. “I have also worked hard to build a cooperative working environment with our sister city, as well as Bowie and Miller counties. So much more can be accomplished by working together,” Bob says. “With the projects currently underway throughout the community, we are poised for many great things in the future. I am grateful to be a part of the process. This is an exciting time in the history of our great city.”

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