Lamar Lewis of Temple, who has been the district director for state Rep. Hugh Shine for almost six years, threw his hat into the ring Monday for the state Senate District 24 race.
“I believe one of the most sacred concepts of self-government is the right of the people to choose their representative,” Lewis said in a news release. “This right cannot be usurped by the political leadership. For this reason I feel compelled to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for Texas Senate District 24.”
Lewis joins two other candidates who have run before, former state Sen. Pete Flores of Pleasanton and Raul Reyes Jr. of Castroville, who narrowly lost a GOP primary runoff in a congressional race.
The current holder of the seat, Dr. Dawn Buckingham of Lakeway, is running for state land commissioner.
Lewis’ comment about the political leadership dealt with the fact the district was significantly redrawn in the proposed map to include Flores’ hometown, and he quickly got endorsements from Buckingham and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“Relationships and communication means more to Texas than political endorsements,” Lewis said in his announcement. “My friends and neighbors have indicated that they have heard all the conservative rhetoric; what they desire is conservative solutions to our issues.”
The Texas Tribune previously reported that Ellen Troxclair, a Republican and former member of the Austin City Council, was campaigning for Senate District 24 for months. But after the proposed boundaries put Troxclair’s address in Bee Cave outside the Senate district, the Austin American-Statesman reported she decided to run for a state House seat in the new District 19.
With Flores and Reyes previously having received endorsements from elected officials, Lewis likely will have to garner support from outside of state political leadership.
He plans to do it the old-fashioned way.
“I’ve already started going to different forums and meetings,” Lewis said, noting that he’s had a lot of contact with a lot of the public already in his duties for Rep. Shine. “So that’s basically the focus right now.”
His time serving Shine has “given me insights to the legislative process,” Lewis said, and also made him aware of the importance of dealing with constituent concerns, that communication and having relationships with people goes a long way in helping be successful.
With litigation already underway regarding redistricting and more expected to come, Lewis was asked how this would affect his race. He noted that the core of the district was in this area and usually if litigation got involved at this late date, the courts go back to the previous district. “And that would cause the fellows down south a lot more problems than me,” he said.
A retired educator, Lewis noted that he has lived in the senatorial district for over 50 years — in Bell and Bandera counties.
Lewis said his wife Colleen grew up in Little River-Academy and he grew up here, so they have a lot of deep roots in the community.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this article