From Staff Reports
State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, announced today that he will not seek re-election to the Texas House of Representatives.
Orr, who is in his fifth term representing District 58 including Johnson and Bosque counties, said he has “mixed feelings” about his decision.
“To say that it has been an honor representing the residents of Johnson and Bosque counties is an understatement,” Orr said. “The respect and support that you have shown me over these many years is something I treasure.”
Orr said that in retiring now he is honoring a promise he made early on to his constituents.
“During my first campaign, I promised the voters I would not be a career politician,” Orr said. “Deciding to retire has not been easy, but I believe it is time to end this chapter of my life as I look forward to new opportunities.
“On a personal note, I want to thank my wife, Pam, my family and my staff for their continuous support. I could not have done this job without them. God Bless District 58 and God Bless Texas.”
Throughout his career, Orr has prided himself on being “a strong advocate for private property rights” and “a staunch pro-business, pro-life conservative,” according to the statement released today.
He has served as chairman of the House Land and Resource Management Committee, vice-chairman of the Business and Industry Committee and as a member of the Appropriations Committee. He has also served on the Local and Consent Calendars, Redistricting, Financial Institutions, Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committees.
During five terms in the House, Orr has received awards from organizations including the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Realtors and Texas Right to Life. He was also recently named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association and by the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association. In October, he will be honored by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas.
“Reflecting on the past nine years, there are so many things I am pleased to have been a part of, it’s impossible to list them all,” Orr said. “As a small business owner, I am proud that Texas is continually recognized as one of the best places to do business. It has been extremely rewarding to see our great state become the most powerful economic engine of the nation; and we did that by creating twice as many jobs as any other state and keeping regulations on business owners low.
“It has also been enormously gratifying to help our state overcome some of the most difficult times it has seen. During my tenure we have faced huge budget deficits, yet when we began the most recent session I’m proud to say that with our conservative budgeting and the state’s growth, we started with an $8 billion surplus.
“Although it has not been easy and many difficult decisions have had to be made over the past several years, I am proud of how our state and its leadership have put the best interests of all its citizens at the forefront. Texas has survived the worst economic downturn in recent history and emerged stronger than before.”
Orr said that completion of the Chisholm Trail Parkway toll road linking Cleburne and Fort Worth has been one of his top priorities since the first day he was elected. He said that after exhaustive negotiations and in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, the North Texas Tollway Authority, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Johnson County and its member cities, a unique funding mechanism was adopted that turned a 40-plus year old dream for a road into a reality.
“It will be an exciting day when vehicles begin traveling on this roadway in the spring of 2014,” Orr said.
Among the initiatives Orr said he has guided through the legislative process is the passage of a constitutional amendment to provide additional funding to public schools by authorizing the School Land Board to make direct contributions to the Available School Fund and significant reforms to eminent domain laws to provide greater protections for property owners.
Orr said that because “supporting and strengthening family values is central to my beliefs,” he is “proud to have supported adding ‘under God’ to the pledge to our state flag, along with defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.
“Working one-on-one with my constituents has been the most satisfying part of being a representative,” he said. “When people contacted me with government-related problems or ideas, helping work through those problems and turning those ideas into reality always reminded me of the true meaning of being a public servant.”