The Austin Chronicle

Hinojosa, Hegar Ride On to the Sunset

By Richard Whittaker, January 9, 2008, 3:40pm, Newsdesk

Two days before its first meeting of the interim, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has finally made his Senate selections for the Sunset Advisory Commission: Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Glenn Hegar, R-Katy.

Hinojosa's name is no shock: He's been public about wanting to be around to fix the Texas Youth Commission when it comes up for agency review. Speaker Tom Craddick made his appointments in back in October, and there was silence from Dewhurst about who would replace Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, and John Whitmire, D-Houston. But Dewhurst has swapped two Democrats out for one Democrat and a Republican. It's a radical shift: Whitmire is the longest-serving senator, while Shapleigh has aggressively opposed what he sees as the gutting of vital government agencies. Hegar is two-term state rep-turned-freshman, who has made no secret of his tax-slashing predilections.

This rebalancing could be reinforced by the selection of Michael Stevens as public appointee. A Rick Perry fave (he's a member of the Governor's Business Council and sat on the the governor's 2006 appraisal reform task force), he's also a member of tort reformists Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

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