The Georgetown Gamble
Controversial lege administrator Milton Rister considers House run as Gattis Senate rumors rumble
By Richard Whittaker, 11:36AM, Tue. Jun. 9, 2009
Seems like campaign season has started already in Williamson County, as the lege seat shuffle begins in earnest. The suggestions that the 81st legislature would be Bryan GOPer Sen. Steve Ogden's swansong started last session, and there's little secret that Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, is viewed as the heir apparent for his Senate seat.
So who wants to step into Gattis' seat? Outgoing Texas Legislative Council Executive Director Milton Rister, who has announced he is forming an exploratory committee. It's actually not too much of a stretch: In a total switch from the traditions of that post being a non-partisan appointment, Rister was the former executive director of the Republican Party of Texas, and a close associate of Karl Rove and Tom DeLay.
However, don't expect too much frantic stumping by House members on his behalf. Rister wasn't exactly well-beloved during his TLC tenure (so little so that Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, filed a bill requiring the executive director be a licenced attorney, which would have meant Rister would either have to quit or go back to school.) Regarded by many (including some Republicans) as a Craddick cabinet member, it will be intriguing to see whether his behind-the-scenes experience had any campaigning application.