Weatherford Democrat

Local News

December 3, 2007

Tison to challenge King for Texas House

Galen Scott

gscott@weatherforddemocrat.com

Weatherford Mayor Joe Tison, a Republican, announced his intent to represent District 61 in the Texas House of Representatives Monday.

“This fast-growing area needs a representative whose top priorities are the hard-working families and small business owners of Parker and Wise counties, not the partisan agendas of politicians in Austin,” Tison said in a statement.

Tison is expected to compete against Incumbent State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) in a race that pits two of Parker County’s best known and most powerful leaders against each other.

The Weatherford Democrat first reported Tison was considering a run for state office Nov. 13. Tison said he’s been asking for a lot of advice over the last two months.

“As I looked at the possibilities for representing the people in Parker and Wise Counties, it became pretty obvious to me that Phil King spends a lot of time and energy working on utility and telecommunications legislation in Austin,” Tison said Monday. “I believe that the residents of both Parker and Wise Counties, from what I hear, want someone who will spend time and energy working with them on the issues that we’re facing in this rapidly-growing area that we live in.”

Tison offered up Senate Bill 5, King’s landmark telecom deregulation bill, as an example of his frustration. He said the legislation impacted the City of Weatherford greatly, and that the original bill was designed to remove local control of franchise fees and utility right of way.

“Ultimately, it got amended, but we had to fight to get those amendments done,” Tison said. “I would have preferred to have been asked up front ... instead, we had the industry people coming to us, urging us to be supportive of it.”

On Monday, King said he was very surprised that Tison decided to run against him.

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