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2015-06-11

Senator Fraser announces retirement

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

District 24 State Senator Troy Fraser announced his retirement Tuesday, June 2, following the end of the 2015 legislative session. Fraser had served in the State Legislature for 27 years, 19 of those years as a senator.
"When I ran for office in 1988, I was frustrated with the overreach of government and wanted to make a difference. As a businessman, I saw firsthand that the workers' compensation insurance market was crippling our state's economy," said Fraser in his announcement letter. "So, I did what so many Texans before me have done: I rolled up my sleeves and went to work."
During his three decades in office, Fraser worked for a balanced budget, encouraged a "wide open" business climate, worked to establish a statewide water plan, and secured funding to bring "crucial higher education and medical care facilities to my district."
He said his proudest accomplishment was "passing legislation requiring photo identification to vote...."
He closed his letter by saying, "For 27 years, I have walked the halls of our magnificent Capitol building. I have marveled at its dome, gazed upon the Goddess of Liberty, and dedicated myself to my constituents. To quote the late Bob Bullock, 'only death will end my love affair with Texas.'"
Fraser served as a committee chair for 16 of his 18 years in the Texas Senate, overseeing action on economic development, water, oil and gas, the electric market, insurance, real estate, banking, air quality, telecommunications and the cable industry.
He authored SB 332 in 2011 that "clarified a landowner has a property right to the resourced on their land from the surface to the center of the Earth."
Fraser also authored legislation in 1999 to restore and preserve historic courthouses throughout the state, a piece of legislation that benefitted Bandera County significantly.
Fraser, a conservative Republican from Horse-shoe Bay, represented 21 Central Texas counties, including Bandera, when he retired. However, due to periodic re-districting, he did not represent Bandera County during his entire time of service.
It has been noted, by some locals, that his representation of Bandera County might be described as tepid. He is 65.
According to Dave Mauk, general manager of the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater Conservation District, "During this past session Chairman Fraser filed SB 363, which successfully changed our election date to the month of November of even years. The District had attempted legislation in the past but was not successful. This bill will save taxpayer money and hopefully promote increased voter participation. Chairman Fraser was a friend to the District and he will be greatly missed."
According to the Texas Tribune, "Fraser was criticized for failing to disclose real estate holdings in Horseshoe Bay, including the coveted property he bought for Gov. Rick Perry in 2000. Perry bought the property from Fraser and then sold it for the biggest real estate profit he ever made. By the time the failure to disclose had been discovered, it was long past the statute of limitations for any enforcement action. Fraser, who had failed to disclose other Horseshoe Bay properties, has since amended his reports to reflect his current real estate holdings and called the failures innocent errors."
The Tribune goes on to say "Fraser has faced scrutiny for his lavish campaign spending after using the account to pay for trips he took with his wife to Park City, Utah and to travel to Hawaii, Russia, Spain, England, Germany, Panama, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, often staying in upscale resort hotels.... He has also spent thousands to host conferences and 'constituent meetings' in New Mexico, where he owns a vacation condo, records show. Fraser has defended the travel as related to state business, including studying wind farms and other renewable energy sources."