Bill Meadows: Texas needs Charlie Geren’s leadership

Small businessman Charlie Geren is the owner of the Railhead BBQ restaurant, vice president of the Stock Show, a TCU trustee and a state representative running for re-election in District 99. He is conservative, a straight shooter and was politically incorrect long before it was cool.

Charlie’s re-election is about more than who holds one seat in the 150-member Texas House and about more than jobs for Tarrant County. Charlie is a leader in the House, one of the handful of state leaders who make our state government perform its constitutional duties responsibly, conservatively and with an eye to the future.

With Charlie in leadership, the Texas Legislature has done its part in maintaining a pro-business climate in Texas, contributing to our robust job creation and the relocation of thousands of people and businesses to Texas from all over the world. And he has stood resolutely for the protection of liberty, our safety and in resistance to the encroachment of the Feds’ nanny-state policies and programs.

In a nation where most state governments, and the federal government, tax and spend like drunken sailors, Texas leads by example. Texas balances its budget every year – without an income tax. The tort reform passed over the last decade has business and doctors moving to Texas rather than running away. The Legislature blocks job-killing regulations that chase business out of states like California and Massachusetts, with many finding a welcoming home here in Texas. And we look to the future with investments in roads, bridges and water supplies, within the constraints and making the tough choices required by a balanced budget. Charlie is among the few in the Legislature who honestly can take credit for that success.

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And with Charlie in leadership, our Legislature has avoided the acrimony and partisanship that are the hallmarks of the U.S. Congress. Texas balances its budget every year, with a Congress paralyzed by grid-lock, the national budget out of control and the federal government ever expanding its reach into the lives and business of every American.

The quality of life we enjoy in Texas, the pro-business climate and the traditions we cherish all are part of why we have chosen to live in Texas, build our businesses here and raise our families. There are many factors that contribute to making Texas what it is today, including the performance and restraint of our state government. Charlie is a leader who makes sure that our Legislature does its job in a manner reflective of the values of the people it serves – makes sure it lives within its means, balances its budget every year and keeps taxes and regulation low.

There are those of the political extremes who would trade the Texas approach to governing for the hyper-partisan politics of the Congress, and that of most states. Charlie and a very few members of the Legislature serve as the firewall against that style of governing. If you want a member of the Legislature who chases every shiny political fad and spends his time on the soap box railing against enemies, real and imagined, Charlie is not for you. If you want a representative who will deliver principled conservative leadership, keep Texas “open for business,” reduce the size and reach of government, and sustain Texas as the envy of the nation, Charlie is your leader.

Bill Meadows has been an insurance executive in Fort Worth for many years and is vice chairman of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board. He also has served on the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Transportation Commission and the North Texas Tollway Authority board of directors.