Lois W. Kolkhorst announces her re-election campaign
(WASHINGTON, TX) State Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) officially announced her intention to seek re-election at a large reception held in her honor at Washington-on-the-Brazos last night. Kolkhorst told the crowd of over 400 supporters from Grimes and Washington Counties that she is proud of the goals she's achieved but said that there is plenty more work to be done.
"Tonight isn't about me. It's about the everyday families who care about what kind of a Texas we're going to leave our kids and grandkids," Kolkhorst said. "My agenda is simple. Keep our state government lean and clean. And keep fighting to protect our businesses and working people who are the backbone of this state."
The evening's special guest was Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, who praised Kolkhorst's strong work ethic and open mind, saying that she had become a key leader in the Texas House, citing her success as Chair of the House Committee on Public Health.
A fourth-generation Washington County native, Kolkhorst was originally elected in 2000 and is seeking her sixth term.
Chairing the Health Committee, Kolkhorst helps manage the state's $52 billion health care system and works to set priorities for the Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees nearly 9,000 state employees at five state agencies. She has played a major hand in statewide health policies, and is credited for creating the Texas Nursing Shortage Reduction Program, which this year received over $30 million to address the state's shortage of health workers. Earlier this year, The Texas Hospital Association has presented her with the Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute Award.
As a member of the Corrections Committee, she also oversees criminal justice issues including the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which is headquartered within her district.
She also holds a seat on the powerful Calendars Committee, which determines if and when House and Senate bills are considered on the House floor for passage.
Chairing the Texas Tourism Caucus, Kolkhorst oversees a membership of 100 State Senators and Representatives and helps to ensure that Texas retains its position as the second most-popular tourist destination in America. She received the Texas Travel Industry Association's Silver Spur Award for her work to promote Texastourism efforts.
"Texas is facing tough new challenges," Kolkhorst said, from the historic grounds where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. "We need to take a lesson from our Texan forefathers, and keep fighting for protection of individual rights, liberties and freedoms. That's what this state and nation was founded upon. I will continue to listen to you and take your ideals to Austin."
A longtime advocate for businesses and employers, Kolkhorst was recently endorsed by Empower Texans for her anti-tax position and strong fiscal stewardship. The Texas Association of Business has consistently labeled her a "Champion for Free Enterprise" for fighting for Texas employers. Because of efforts to improve education, Kolkhorst has been honored by both active and retired teacher groups, as well as librarians and vocational training educators.
Texas Monthly Magazine has called Kolkhorst "one of the top-ten best legislators" for her work advocating for rural issues like the fight against the Trans-Texas Corridor. This year, she teamed up with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to pass tougher new sentences for cattle and livestock theft, a growing problem for many areas. She's received both the "Rural Partner Award" and "Legislator of the Year Award" from the Association of Rural Communities inTexas for her work to create jobs in small towns and rural areas.
A small business owner, Kolkhorst and her husband Jim operate Kolkhorst Petroleum in Navasota and have two children, Lois Kate and Jake.