By TYLER MASK
Tuesday night’s Palo Pinto County Republican Club meeting, which regularly meets every fourth Tuesday of the month, was no ordinary meeting.
With early voting beginning in late February and the Primary Election coming on March 4, candidates who either serve Palo Pinto County or desire to serve PPC in the coming years were at the meeting to greet the audience and seek their votes.
Among some of the candidates, Republican and State Representative Jim Keffer made an appearance and addressed the audience.
Cullen Crisp, who is another Republican running for the same position as Keffer was not able to make to the meeting.
Keffer considers himself a conservative family man and a strong supporter of rural Texas economy.
He is a graduate of Texas Tech University, deacon in his church, President of EBAA Iron Sales in Eastland and a member of the NRA.
“In 1977, Jim Keffer became the first Republican ever to represent District 60,” Palo Pinto County Grassroots Coordinator for Keffer’s campaign Mary Creighton said. “He has worked hard to represent all citizens of this district throughout his time as representative.”
According to his personal website, Keffer is known as “Your Texas Taxpayer Watchdog,” and has passed much legislation to prove his title.
Some of his governmental work includes co-authoring and passing the “Texas Taxpayer Appraisal Bill of Rights,” creating the first-ever appraisal cap on homeowner property taxes and authoring and passing the three largest tax cuts in Texas history.
Once Keffer took the platform at Tuesday night’s meeting, he started personalizing things right away and appealing to certain aspects of Texan pride.
“I can’t believe you guys are missing the State of the Union,” Keffer said of President’s Obama’s address to a national television audience that same night.
To which the audience responded with much laughter.
“I am going to be a little campaigny tonight,” Keffer said. “There is going to be a lot of people that want to hook Washington, DC and Austin together, that whatever is going on in Washington, DC has got to be going on in Austin. Let me tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“The only thing that Austin and Washington, DC, as far as government is concerned, have in common is that we both have dome buildings. Now remember, Texas’ is 7-foot taller.”
Again, met with much laughter. Keffer continued with the same level of frankness.
In the remainder of Keffer’s speech, he covered topics such as Texas’ economic health, the fiscal conservativeness of the Texas government, his support for public schooling, water and Proposition 6, Texas population growth and his concerns regarding the Federal Government.
“We have to continually be on the offensive and defensive as far as working against our own Federal Government, which is a terrible shame,” Keffer said. “Obamacare is probably going to be an issue, but another issue that is going to come from the courts is equity.”
Currently, Keffer is running for his 10th term.
“A lot of people say, ‘Well, you’ve been there too long,’” Keffer said. “Let me tell you something, seniority in a rural district is not a bad thing. This last census, we lost two seats in West Texas, which just means, we that are left, better be loud. We that are left have to have the respect of the house so that we can get things through... and make sure that rural Texas still has a seat at the table.”
In closing, Keffer spoke highly of the area.
“I’ve had the honor of representing Palo Pinto County since I have been in the legislature,” Keffer said. “We have grown up together very well. We have worked on the Baker Hotel. We have worked at Possum Kingdom.
“I want to congratulate you guys because I think one of the great things that you have done and continue to do, is your Mineral Wells leadership.”
For more information regarding Keffer, consult his website at www.jimkeffer.com.