"Conscience of the Senate" Announces Retirement - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/20/03 - Mount Pleasant

"Conscience of the Senate" Announces Retirement

A massive change in the East Texas political landscape -- as longtime State Senator Bill Ratliff calls it quits.

He represents much of East Texas in Austin, and was at the forefront of the debate on redistricting. He has been called the "Conscience of the Senate."

He quoted from the book of Ecclesiastes: "To everything there is a season, and a time for a purpose under Heaven."

"After 15 exciting, rewarding years in the Texas Senate, I've decided this is my time for going out," Ratliff said.

Friends say he'll leave a huge void in the Senate...a leader who sometimes defied the Republican Party, voting his conscience.

"That freedom has allowed me to vote my convictions, and ignore the pressures of political partisanship."

This summer, he said he believed the redistricting battle to be destroying the Senate. Then, was the talk of leaving. 

"I dearly hope the Texas Senate can return to an era of civility."

Pittsburg constiutuent Jim Nickerson said, "It made no difference whether it was Republican or Democrat, he always stood up to do the right thing everytime."

Former Democratic Rep. Bob Glaze said, "Though we were on the opposite sides of the fence as far as parties went, a partisan issue was never an issue between us."

Ratliff will leave in January, a special election to follow to find a replacement. Through the years, Ratliff says having his wife by his side was the most important thing.

"My wife Sally has been my partner from day one.  We leave my career as a public servant with wonderful memoiries of my time in the Texas Senate."

Senator Ratliff says his first goal after leaving office is to win a few more rounds against his golfing buddies.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Shelter cares for pregnant homeless people

    Shelter cares for pregnant homeless people

    Sunday, December 17 2017 11:48 PM EST2017-12-18 04:48:40 GMT
    One East Texas shelter has seen a unique need for one area of the homeless- expecting mothers. Longview's 'House of Hope' women’s shelter is trying to meet an unusual challenge. For over a decade the shelter has been a haven for homeless or abused women to take sanctuary, and beloved during the holiday season."When we come here we go to another place that is kind of home, go to another place of family, and it makes a really big difference in the lives of the ladies that a...More >>
    One East Texas shelter has seen a unique need for one area of the homeless- expecting mothers. Longview's 'House of Hope' women’s shelter is trying to meet an unusual challenge. For over a decade the shelter has been a haven for homeless or abused women to take sanctuary, and beloved during the holiday season."When we come here we go to another place that is kind of home, go to another place of family, and it makes a really big difference in the lives of the ladies that a...More >>
  • East Texas well represented in UIL State Football Championships

    East Texas well represented in UIL State Football Championships

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:40 PM EST2017-12-18 03:40:00 GMT

    The UIL Football Championships will showcase some of the best football there is at the high school level. 24 teams will play over 4 days to claim state championships in 12 divisions through six classifications.

    More >>

    The UIL Football Championships will showcase some of the best football there is at the high school level. 24 teams will play over 4 days to claim state championships in 12 divisions through six classifications.

    More >>
  • Morris brings Arkansas recruiting trail to East Texas

    Morris brings Arkansas recruiting trail to East Texas

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:01 PM EST2017-12-18 03:01:05 GMT

    It did not take long for East Texas to become a target for Arkansas Football under the new leadership of Edgewood's Chad Morris.

    More >>

    It did not take long for East Texas to become a target for Arkansas Football under the new leadership of Edgewood's Chad Morris.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly