By CHRIS AGEE
State Senator Craig Estes, R–Wichita Falls, recently announced his intent to seek re-election in District 30, which includes Palo Pinto and Parker counties among others.
“I look forward to once again earning the support of the citizens in District 30 and continuing to fight for common-sense conservative values in the Texas Senate,” he said. “I plan to run a positive grassroots campaign across the entire district based on my proven record of conservative leadership.”
Though ultimately unsuccessful, Estes was among state and local leaders who campaigned to save the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility.
The Corrections Corporation of America-owned unit has long been targeted for closure by Sen. John Whitmire, D–Houston, and Estes is among many who expressed the opinion state prison officials, not legislators, should determine which prisons remain open.
Though the Texas Department of Criminal Justice did eventually receive authority to make such determinations, the agency upheld the recommendation and will let the local facility’s contract expire in August. At that point, inmates will be transferred to alternate facilities.
In 2011, Estes was at the center of a local debate concerning which watercraft could be used along the John Graves Scenic Riverway portion of the Brazos River.
The senator authored Senate Bill 408, which would outlaw airboats and certain other craft. The measure was met with significant criticism by many locals and dozens of concerned citizens converged on the Index offices to express their displeasure with the bill.
Gov. Rick Perry ultimately vetoed the controversial bill.
During the 2013 session, Estes authored Senate Bill 1857, a school safety bill Perry has since signed into law.
“My constituents made it clear they wanted us to pass a conservative legislative agenda and I am proud of what we were able to accomplish,” he said of the recent session. “When re-elected, I will continue listening to the families of District 30 to make sure our shared conservative values are well represented in the Texas Senate.”
In addition to Palo Pinto and Parker, District 30 also includes all of Archer, Clay, Cooke, Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Wichita, Wise, and Young counties, as well as portions of Collin and Denton counties.