Rep. Gary VanDeaver to seek re-election to the Texas House

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State Rep. Gary VanDeaver will seek re-election to the Texas House, citing recent accomplishments and the critical need to stand up for northeast Texas.


“I am deeply honored to represent northeast Texas in the state house. This has been my home for generations and that’s why I’m fighting to keep our communities, public schools, and economy strong for generations to come,” said Rep. VanDeaver.


“Unlike the gridlock in Washington, here in Texas, we made important progress with reforms to child protection, banning sanctuary cities, defending human life, and protecting taxpayers with a conservative state budget,” Rep. VanDeaver continued.


Rep. VanDeaver is serving his second term representing District 1, which includes Bowie, Lamar, Franklin, and Red River counties. He sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, where he helped to draft a state budget that holds the line on spending while investing more in priorities like school enrollment growth, border security, transportation, and overhauling the state’s child protective services. Local colleges and junior colleges will also benefit from more student aid to prepare northeast Texans for the workforce.


The legislature enacted key priorities of Governor Abbott, including several new laws that will improve child protective services with greater accountability, oversight, resources, and community-based foster programs. Rep. VanDeaver also helped to pass new laws to protect human life by banning partial-birth abortion in Texas, removing funds from Planned Parenthood, and supporting women’s health initiatives.


Additionally, the legislature banned sanctuary cities in Texas to make sure that immigration laws on the books are enforced fairly and uniformly across the state. It also fully funded the new border security plan that Rep. VanDeaver co-authored during his first term in office, which will deploy $800 million in assets to secure the Texas-Mexico border from illegal crossings by drug smugglers and traffickers.


VanDeaver highlighted property tax reform, school finance reform, and support for retired teachers among his continued priorities.


“Reforming school finance laws is essential to providing major property tax relief to Texans and a better classroom education for Texas students. We made some progress on these issues but they must remain priorities until fully resolved for the long-term,” said Rep. VanDeaver, who also serves on the Public Education Committee.


Earlier this year, Rep. VanDeaver helped to eliminate a policy that unfairly penalized small school districts from receiving their fair share of school funding. This will bring $41 million more to rural schools, including several districts in northeast Texas. New funds were also made available for students with disabilities. Rep. VanDeaver also worked to pass $212 million for retired school employee insurance, in order to lower premiums for the next two years. However, school finance and retired teacher programs will require attention in the next legislative session to achieve permanent fixes.


Rep. VanDeaver is a retired school superintendent and resides in New Boston with his wife of 34 years, Pam. They are members of the First Baptist Church, where Gary serves as a Deacon. The VanDeavers have two grown daughters and one granddaughter.

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