Merritt Stumps for Votes in Senate Seat run - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/10/03 - Longview

Merritt Stumps for Votes in Senate Seat run

  Four term state representative, Tommy Merritt officially filed Monday for the senate district one position, which will be vacated by outgoing senator Bill Ratliff, and today he kicked off his campaign with a 5 city East Texas tour of the district, and his central message.

  "What's important is jobs, fighting for our water rights, and fighting to have the East Texas oil fields studied," said Merritt.

  Busy shaking hands and calling anyone who could back his run, Merritt spoke in Tyler in front of businessmen and woman at an open forum at Eagle Creek ranch.

"We like to think that everybody can come in and relax and as what they feel and talk about what's on their minds, and get to know the people that are out there running for office" said Tom Vice of the East Texas Center business assocation.

  Already picking up numerous endorsements, Merritt will be opposed by former Tyler mayor Kevin Eltife,  and Henderson attorney Paul Sadler.  But he's quick to point out the job has two requirements , trust, and experience. "We're not looking for outsiders, as you would describe, to come in and tell us how to represent the people... Someone has to prove what they've done for the constituents of East Texas" said Merritt.

      The candidates have 39 days to campaign for the job. Bill Ratliff officially will step down on January 10th, and a special election will be held January 20th.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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