"I don't expect anybody in the public to condone what I did and I don't expect anybody to forgive what I did," said Sliter, 42. "What I do hope is people look at my current character ... . People can rehabilitate and make themselves a better person."
Sliter was arrested after arranging a meeting with whom he thought was a teenager, according to state records. He was charged with attempting to commit sexual assault of a child and placed on 10 years probation, records show.
Sliter is eligible to run for office in Wilmer, a town of about 3,400 just south of Dallas, because he was never convicted. He received deferred adjudication, which means he will not be convicted if he successfully completes probation.
"Someone told me, `Make something positive come from this,"' Sliter said. "I feel really bad about it, really embarrassed about it, really awful about it. I am really glad there is no direct victim. I thank God for that every day."
Sliter, an accountant, has been open about his arrest, even mentioning it in a campaign flyer.
His opponent, incumbent Mayor Don Hudson, has said having a registered sex offender as mayor would embarrass the city.
The election is scheduled for May 10.