Tuesday, January 8, 2013 marked the first day of the 83rd
session of the Texas Legislature. I was
joined by my family and friends at the Capitol in Austin to take my Oath of
Office for the first time.
After the swearing in ceremony concluded, the vote for
Speaker of the House took place. I heard
from many residents of Smith County about the type of conservative leadership
they were looking for in a House Speaker, and I took that feedback to heart.
Speaker Joe Straus was the only candidate to choose from
after Rep. David Simpson R, Longview, withdrew his candidacy prior to the
vote. As a result, Speaker Straus was
elected by acclamation. If Rep. Simpson
had been on the ballot, I would have voted for him. He pursued my vote with zeal, and I was persuaded
by Rep. Simpson's strength of character, conservative philosophy, and fresh
It has been my position that I would support the
candidate who I felt was the most conservative and had leadership ability. I do appreciate the dialogue that Rep.
Simpson brought to the Speaker's race.
He is a great friend and East Texas neighbor. I believe competition in any bid for public
office is healthy for public discourse.
Not only did this challenge allow for new ideas, but it also allowed for
the people of Texas to learn more about the Speaker's broad powers and
Rep. Simpson made many good points, including his
proposal for members to play a greater role in selecting committee assignments,
by concentrating less power in the hands of a few. He is also to be commended for his desire to
conduct the people's business more efficiently and allowing a predictable work
schedule for the House.
The will of the House has been exercised and it is now
time to move on, work together, and do the people's business. I truly believe that Speaker Straus listened
to the concerns raised by Rep. Simpson and those that supported him, and it is
my hope that he will take those concerns to heart as we move forward. Speaker Straus now rightfully deserves the
support of House Members in order to make this Legislative session productive
and conservative. I look forward to
working with the Speaker and all of my colleagues in the House to expand the
field of freedom in Smith County and the State of Texas.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 03:46:11 GMT
Flash floods took over several streets in Athens, TX as a line of storms moved into East Texas Tuesday night. A designated flood area had high and fast moving water near Trinity Valley Community CollegeMore >>
Buildings in Gilmer and Whitehouse are damaged, trees are down in several areas, and many are without power.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:38:51 GMT
We're all familiar with the underground storm shelter. Now there is an alternative to digging a hole in your yard. We found a man who can turn an interior closet into a debris-proof safe room. Rudy WrightMore >>
We're all familiar with the underground storm shelter. Now there is an alternative to digging a hole in your yard.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >>
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >>