La Grange’s New Groundbreaking Mayor Also Works as a Waitress, H-E-B Manager and School Registrar
The Incredible Story of Jan Dockery.
“Homegrown mayor wins organic election” would be the perfect headline for the results of the most recent mayoral race in La Grange, Texas. La Grange native Jan Dockery has been a familiar face in town for her entire life. She grew up on Monroe Street, was a student in the local school system, raised a family and has worked numerous jobs all within a few miles of the town square.
By choice, Dockery has always juggled at least two jobs. In 2019, she retired from her career of 28 years with the La Grange Independent School District. These days, you might see her at the local H-E-B, where she’s a manager; at La Marina restaurant, if you’re lucky enough to have her as your waitress; or confidently sitting front and center at a city council meeting. Because Jan Dockery is the new mayor of La Grange — and no one is more surprised than she is.
The previous mayor of La Grange, Janet Moerbe, held the office for 20 years, or 10 terms. Mayor Moerbe was a trailblazer as the first female mayor of La Grange, and she served as mentor to the next first female in the city. In 2019, when a city council seat opened up in Dockery’s ward, Mayor Moerbe urged her mentee to run for the seat. Dockery did, and she won. Jan Dockery is the first person of color to hold the office of city council member and the office of mayor in this small Texas town with a population south of 5,000.
Growing up in La Grange, Dockery thought she stood out not because of the color of her skin, but because she didn’t have a father at home. She felt like being the child of a single parent put her in the spotlight, and her thought was: “If I’m going to be in the spotlight, then I’m going to shine.”
She was the kind of kid who always tried to make good choices, and she genuinely wanted to set a standard for other people. To this day, she is a woman of great faith who will tell you, “I’m just following the path that the Lord has set out for me.”
On February 4, the incumbent mayor of La Grange announced that she would not run for an 11th term. Instead, Moerbe endorsed Dockery as the trusted candidate to lead the city. Dockery revived her campaign slogan from her city council run: “Homegrown and ready to serve my hometown.”
Organically, her campaign grew. People actually approached her to volunteer, place signs in yards, and knock on doors. She was shocked at how many residents already knew her, as word of mouth had spread her solid reputation.
It’s no surprise that after 28 years with the school board, Dockery’s platform was weighted heavily on the youth of La Grange. From her perspective, La Grange lacks in activities for the children and young parents of the area, and she would like to see resources spent on adding quality programs and facilities to the town. She’s also concerned about affordable housing and the fact that many businesses have left the central town square.
As newly elected mayor, Dockery is trusting that teamwork within the city council will help her see positive changes during the two-year term she’ll serve. Although she’s still “in awe of winning,” she’s grateful to be of service to her hometown. And she’s equally proud to be your waitress, your H-E-B team member and your mayor.