While he and his representatives are staying quiet on the issue for now, it appears Steve Ogden will, in fact, seek re-election as a state senator.
State Representative Dan Gattis' office issued a press release stating that Gattis, who represents District 20, would not seek the state senate seat Ogden had said he was vacating. The release went on to say Ogden had changed his mind and had decided to run for re-election after all.
"Sen. Ogden and I began discussing the very real financial and budget challenges facing our great State and his interest in returning to the Senate to address these problems should I make the decision to step aside in order to focus on family commitments," Gattis said in the release. "It is Senator Ogden’s willingness to return to the Senate that gives me the peace of mind to withdraw from the race at this time."
News 3 spoke with Ogden Monday. The senator, who is out of town, had no comment in regards to Gattis' statement, though he said he would comment on the issue when he returned later this week.
In September, Ogden announced that after nearly two decades in office, he wanted to focus on his oil business and let others have a chance to make an impact in office.
"It's time for me to move on and allow some other people to have a hand at it that's the primary reason," Ogden said at the time. "I'm proud of what we've done but it's time to move on."
In the release, Gattis also announced he would not seek re-election for his House seat either, choosing instead to devote time to his family.
Gattis has represented District 20 since 2002. The Aggie's district includes Milam and Williamson Counties.
The following is the press release issued by the Gattis for State Senate campaign:
Today, State Representative Dan Gattis announced that he is no longer seeking election to State Senate District 5 ahead of an expected announcement from State Senator Steve Ogden that he will file for re-election. Gattis also announced that he will serve the remainder of his House term but will not seek re-election to the House.
Gattis made the following statement regarding the decision:
"These past few months, and indeed all my public service, have been a great blessing to me. While public service has been rewarding, too often fulfilling my public obligations meant time away from Shana, our children, and my business. This became crystal clear to me as I was called to travel greater distances and be away from my young growing family more frequently during the Senate campaign. Concurrently with this realization, Sen. Ogden and I began discussing the very real financial and budget challenges facing our great State and his interest in returning to the Senate to address these problems should I make the decision to step aside in order to focus on family commitments. It is Senator Ogden’s willingness to return to the Senate that gives me the peace of mind to withdraw from the race at this time.
So after prayerful consideration, I have decided to devote my full-time attention to my young, growing family, particularly during these challenging economic times. I am grateful to those who supported us throughout the years and those who most recently provided their overwhelming support for our campaign for the Texas Senate. I am honored to have had the privilege to serve the citizens of Texas as an elected official for the past seven years. Although I will not seek re-election to the House, my dedicated staff and I will continue to faithfully serve the constituents of House District 20 until January 2011.”
Since his election to the Texas House, Gattis has authored and supported legislation to decrease taxes and rein in state government spending. Gattis has advanced property tax and appraisal reforms, lawsuit reforms, commonsense solutions to affordable health care and tough criminal justice laws. Gattis has also been recognized for his leadership to protect the sanctity of life and the right to keep and bear arms. House District 20 voters overwhelmingly re-elected Rep. Gattis in each of his three re-election campaigns.
Gattis and his wife Shana, both graduates of Texas A&M University in College Station, live in Williamson County with their three young children. A sixth generation Texan, Gattis works on his family's cattle ranch in Jonah and runs a business-oriented law practice in Georgetown.