Jennifer Truelove, a local attorney with McKool and Smith, will be the city of Marshall’s next District 3 councilmember starting in May after Mayor Terri Brown opted not to rerun for her position.
Truelove was originally running for the position against candidate John Flowers, who chose to remove his candidacy for the position days after the application period closed. For this reason, no election for the open city council seat will be held, with all candidates running unopposed.
Truelove is originally from Plano, where she moved with her family at 5-years-old after her father retired from the Marine Corps.
She attended Texas A&M University as an undergraduate, studying Russian, before moving on to law school a few years later at Texas Tech University.
It was in her first year of law school at Texas Tech when Truelove met her now husband, Kurt, who is also a local lawyer here in Marshall.
“We gotten broken into three sections of first year law students, and you had all of your classes your first year with your section,” Truelove said. “He was in mine, and there was a group of 20 of us from that section that became very close, and that’s how I met him.”
The couple moved to the East Texas area in July 1999, to live closely to Kurt’s family who are local to the Marshall area. A few months later, the couple both found out that they passed their Bar exams, and began working to secure jobs in the legal field here in East Texas.
Truelove starting working locally with attorneys Brad Morin and Doyle Curry, doing a wide range of legal work for the firm.
“I did a little bit of everything for them at the time, it was almost whatever came in the door,” she said.
After working with Morin and Curry, Truelove said that she moved to work with the District Attorney Joe Black, where she gained experience working with Child Protective Services, and prosecuting criminal cases involving abuse of children.
“I did that for a long time, for almost seven years,” Truelove said, “I loved it, I did, I loved the work I was doing with them.”
Then in 2010 Truelove moved on to work with McKool and Smith, the firm where she still currently resides.
Though she has been working in the area for quite some time, the Truelove family did not decide to move their family into the Marshall city limits for a number of years.
It was during this transition that the family built a home, and began to move their children into the Marshall Independent School District that Truelove said she began to be more interested in getting involved with the community.
She began by working with the school district to work on getting a MISD school bond passed, after it failed the year before she became involved.
“After it failed, Kurt and I became curious as to why, because it seemed so essential. So we got involved that way, just by asking questions and figuring out what maybe went wrong, and what a school bond might look like that we could get passed,” she said.
Eventually Truelove took on a larger role with the campaign, volunteering as president of the pro-bond political action committee.
“We went door to door, we spoke at every public meeting, we were out in the community trying to do everything that we could,” Truelove said.
Efforts to pass the bond were successful in 2015, which Truelove said has been a great improvement to see in the local school district.
“We have great schools, and now they have even better buildings, and I just felt like because I had the time, and this was important to me, that this was something that I was going to need to do,” Truelove said.
It was this experience that she said inspired her to get more involved with the city, by applying for the open District 3 city council position.
“It really was just perfect timing, I had been looking to get more involved and I had this opportunity in front of me, and I feel like its my job to make sure Marshall continues to be a great place to live,” she said. “I live here, my kids live here, I will probably die here, so why not work to make it better?” ‘
Since learning she will be inducted into the Marshall city council in May, Truelove said that she has made it a priority to meet with local leaders, including Police Chief Cliff Carruth and Fire Chief Reggie Cooper, to familiarize herself with the issues that need to be solved in town.
“With my experience in the District Attorney’s office, I am very familiar with law enforcement and what their needs are,” Truelove said.
She said that when she steps into the city council position, the focus will on transparency and accountability within the city government, and addressing issues that may have been ignored for a number of years.
“I do think that there is a lack of transparency right now in Marshall,” Truelove said. “And that is something that I am all about. I want that honesty and openness, and I really want to focus on that.”
Outside of her work with McKool and Smith, Truelove and her family attend Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall, and she participates in the Marshall Symphony Orchestra.
She currently resides in Marshall with her husband and three children Cate, Maggie and Walt.