Officials: Turner to give Brown County ‘a huge voice’

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin

Brown County Commissioners agreed Monday to again participate in hiring former Texas Rep. Bob Turner as a legislative liaison for the next legislative session — agreeing it’s an even more crucial move because Brown County will be represented by new members of the House and Senate.

    Brown County will be one of six entities helping pay Turner’s $44,000 fee for a two-year contract. The cost to each entity for the two years is $7,333, commissioners were told.

    The Brown County Water Improvement District is participating for the first time in hiring Turner.

    Mike Lang of Granbury won the race for House District 60, defeating Kevin Downing, also of Granbury. Veteran lawmaker Jim Keffer is retiring from the District 60 seat.

    Lang does not have a Democratic opponent in the November general election.

    Susan King of Abilene and Dawn Buckingham of Austin will meet in a runoff in the race for Senate District 24. Longtime Sen. Troy Fraser is retiring from the seat.

    The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Virginia Leeder.

    The voices of Brown County’s new legislators “will be way down on the totem pole,” Commissioner Gary Worley said. “They won’t have any clout.”

    But having Turner as a legislative liaison will give Brown County “a huge voice down there in Austin,” Worley said. “He is well known. He carries a lot of clout.”

    It has been 70 years since Brown County has had newcomers in both the Texas House and Senate.

    Turner, speaking at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit in February, said the new legislators will have very little institutional knowledge as the legislative session begins, and they won’t be chairing any major committees.

    “That puts us in an awkward position,” Turner said.