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Hilderbran will not seek re-election

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Texas District 53 Rep. Harvey Hilderbran pictured at a meeting of the Ranchers & Landowners Association of Texas in Bandera.

Paving the way for a probable statewide run, Republican Harvey Hilderbran, longtime representative to the Texas Legislature, announced he would not run for re-election. The not-unexpected announcement on Wednesday, July 10, bolstered rumors he will seek the position of Texas Comptroller, an office being vacated by Susan Combs, who recently announced she would not seek re-election.
Bandera County came under Hilderbran's purview in 2011 when redistricting took the county out of 73rd District, represented by Doug Miller, and realigned it to the 53rd District.
At that time, Edwards and Medina counties were also transferred to the Hilderbran's District.
Commenting on the realignment, Hilderbran said, "These three counties fit perfectly into District 53. Their interests and geography align with the other nine counties in my district, and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my new constituents."
District 53 is also comprised of Crockett, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, Menard, Real, Schleicher and Sutton counties.
First elected to the state legislature in 1988, Hilderbran, a Kerrville resident, was appointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2011. In that capacity, he oversaw the passage of $1.4 billion in tax relief and led the charge to cut wasteful spending and to make the tax system more fair and transparent.
Additionally, as committee chairman, Hilderbran oversaw the comptroller's office and sat on the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Budget Board, which prepares the draft appropriations bill and budget estimate for each state agency.
In a prepared statement announcing his decision not to run for re-election, Hilderbran noted, "I'm most proud of being the author of House Bill 500, which provides $710 million in tax relief to 850,000 Texas businesses."
The bill permanently exempted Texas' small and medium-sized businesses that make less than $1 million from paying the margins tax. It also guaranteed a $1 million deduction to all other businesses, and reduced the tax rate by 2.5 percent for each of the next two years. "The guaranteed $1 million exemption ensures that the margins tax is applied more fairly to all businesses," Hilderbran said.
Concluding his statement, Hilderbran noted, "It's been my distinct honor to serve in the Texas Legislature. Texas is a great state and our economic strength is leading the nation. We need to keep it that way and I intend to play a major role in that effort. I look forward to making an important and exciting political announcement in the coming weeks."
Hilderbran is expected to announce his run for the comptroller's office later this summer.
Karen Harris of Lakehills has announced her intention to run for representative of District 53 in the 2014 election.