Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” These words ring especially true as we approach the Texas House District 60 Runoff, now scheduled for July 14.
It has been 39 years since Palo Pinto County has had one of its own serve in any capacity at the state level. Palo Pinto County is one of eight counties that make up District 60 and is the third most populous county behind Brown and Hood. While we have a few medium size cities, District 60 is primarily a rural area with an economy largely dependent on agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing.
My husband, Tom Creighton served as state senator from 1961 to 1981. Tom was a native of Mineral Wells and loved his hometown and his home county. He was a local attorney for over 50 years and served as County Attorney in the 1950’s. Tom was passionate about making a difference at the local level and driven to make Texas a better place for future generations.
Sen. Tom Creighton was instrumental in getting the needs of our area brought to the forefront both in Austin and in Washington, D. C. When the federal government announced the closure of Fort Wolters, Tom worked with federal, state and military authorities trying to prevent its decommissioning; when this was not possible, he then re-directed his efforts and, along with city and county officials, made it possible for the abandoned military base to be deeded the City of Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County for the benefit of our local economy. From this we have Wolters Industrial Park, home to numerous companies, and Mineral Wells State Park, which brings more than 100,000 visitors to our area annually, resulting in millions of dollars added to our local economy.
After Nazareth Hospital closed, Tom was instrumental in obtaining state approval for the establishment of what is today the Palo Pinto General Hospital district. This visionary leadership and ability to work with colleagues at the local and state level has insured that we would have local, affordable and economically stable healthcare available to all county residents. While Texas has led the nation in rural hospital closures for the last decade, our hospital has been safe because of the work that Tom and his colleagues did in the 1960s and 1970s.
Tom didn’t stop there. He worked with county officials to get a new, modern county jail built in Palo Pinto, so that prisoners would no longer have to be housed in the top floor of the county courthouse. He worked to get funding and convince the Texas Highway Department (predecessor to TXDOT) to build Garret Morris Parkway, which fueled economic & residential development and to this day, is well used. None of these accomplishments would be possible if our county did not have a representative in our state government.
During his time as Senator, Tom always kept the good of our state in mind and helped several bills to become laws. He was instrumental in getting North Texas State College changed to a four-year university, now known as The University of North Texas, where years later his stepdaughter earned her bachelor’s degree. He also worked with the late Senator Moore of College Station to make it possible to admit women to Texas A&M. (He would be happy to know that almost 50 years later, he has a granddaughter-in-law who is a graduate of Texas A&M and two step-granddaughters that are presently enrolled at Texas A&M. It would further delight him to know that he had a granddaughter who earned a law degree from SMU because she was able to experience his love of law.)
As wife of the late Senator Tom Creighton, I say to the voters of District 60, it is extremely important to elect a person who is concerned, motivated and local to our area to serve rural Texas in Austin. This not only applies to Palo Pinto County but to every county of District 60!
I believe it’s imperative that people understand what a tremendous difference strong, visionary leadership can do for our community, our county, District 60 and our state. A leader that is involved. A leader that is concerned. A leader that listens. A leader that TRULY represents his constituent — ALL of his constituents!
We have a choice on July 14. Dr. Glenn Rogers of Graford is the absolute best candidate to elect as our state representative. Glenn is a native. He has decades of experience as a veterinarian, rancher, tenured educator and small business owner. He has served in leadership roles in our communities, his profession and his church. He has worked hard to visit with all the counties in our district and to understand the local issues and needs. This is the type of Representative we need in Austin!
Good, effective government requires hard work! It requires good communicators, visionary leadership, and someone that truly cares about the people, the cities, and the counties that make up District 60.
If you voted in the Republican Primary Election, you are eligible to vote on July 14. If you failed to vote in either primary (Democrat or Republican) but are a registered voter, you can vote in this election.
We need to get out the vote for Dr. Glenn Rogers.
We need his local voice in Austin!
Mary L. Creighton