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Christian touts seniority in Texas House race

By Hannah DeClerk
March 20, 2012 at 10 p.m.

MARSHALL - Texas Rep. Wayne Christian, who has been challenged by Marshall Mayor Chris Paddie for the District 9 seat, said if re-elected, his seniority will make him a better representative.

Until the recent redistricting, Harrison County has been in District 5, served by Rep. Bryan Hughes. Cass, Marion and Panola counties also were added to District 9.

"You have a simple choice during this election to either decide you want the House of Representatives looking up to your Legislature for directions, or 149 looking down," Christian told The Harrison County Republican Party candidate forum on Saturday.

Christian said if re-elected, he would have almost 14 years of seniority, which puts him in the top 20 percent of senior members serving in the Texas House.

He said this would be "tremendously important" because senior members have first selection of committees on which they will serve.

"When a committee has the house floor, it is a lot harder to kill or veto a bill," Christian said.

When asked which committees he would choose, Paddie said he would serve on committees critical to East Texas.

"Since October, I have been running a grassroots campaign, where I have knocked on thousands of doors, and my number one question is what is their biggest concern," Paddie said.

He said some of the critical issues in the area that need to be addressed include natural resources, education, industry and natural gas.

"I have served as a community leader for the past 10 years, and I know what you care about. And that is the kind of access you will have to your next state representative," Paddie said.

Christian was the first Republican elected to the Texas Legislature from East Texas since Civil War Reconstruction. He is a sitting board member of the tea party caucus, as well as sitting president of the Texas Conservative Coalition.

The usual primary date has been pushed back to May 29, when the two Republicans square off. There is no Democratic opponent.



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