Eliseo Solis, 66, the first Hispanic Lubbock County commissioner, died Monday afternoon after a lengthy battle with cancer, friends confirmed Monday.
Solis, a Levelland native, served as Precinct 3 commissioner on Lubbock County's Commissioners Court from 1984 to 1992 and was a passionate advocate for voter registration, said County Commission Lorenzo Bubba Sedeno Sedeno, sworn in last week as Precinct 3 commissioner, who had high praise for his predecessor.
"Eliseo was a man of vision, he was politically astute, and was one of those leaders who looked out for his fellow man, the common man," Sedeno said.
Solis lead the way for Hispanics in county government, Sedeno said.
"This was the first time people had one of there own to fill a position like that," he said.
The precinct has been represented by a Hispanic commissioner ever since.
Jessie Rangel, a lifelong friend of Solis, said Solis became a teacher after earning a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech. He said Solis served several years in the U.S. Army, including service in Vietnam.
Rangel said Solis worked as a teacher in Crystal City in the 1970s before moving to Lubbock, where his interest in politics inspired his successful run as a commissioner.
Sedeno, who said he knew Solis for more than 30 years, recalled Solis' work as a volunteer with the Southwestern Voter Registration.
"He was very passionate about representing everybody," he said. "I've got some big shoes to fill."
Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez released a statement of comfort for Solis' family through Facebook.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of great sorrow for the entire community," he wrote. "Peace be with you."
Solis' funeral services are pending through Guajardo Funeral Chapel in Lubbock.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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