Political shocker: Gattis drops out of race
State Rep. Dan Gat tis (RGeorgetown) announced Sunday he is dropping out of the race to succeed longtime State Sen. Steve Odgen (R-Bryan).
In September Ogden had announced he would not seek re-election. But now it appears he might change his mind.
Gattis' announcement on Sunday said he was dropping out of the State Senate District 5 race "ahead of an expected announcement from Ogden that he will file for re-election."
Both men represent Milam County in their respective legislative chambers.
'Peace of mind'
Ogden has not yet commented on the situation but Gattis told a daily newspaper during the weekend he "felt comfortable" stepping out of the race only because he knew Ogden was stepping back in.
Gattis said he and Odgen were together at a recent funeral when he suggested Ogden reconsider his decision not to seek re-election, a move Gattis termed "half jokingly."
And Gattis' statement includes these words"
"...Sen. Ogden and I began discussing the very real financial and budget challenges facing our great state and his interest in returning to the senate should I make the decision to step aside... It is Sen. Ogden's willingness to return to the senate that give me the peace of mind to withdraw from the race at this time."
Family a priority
Gattis said his decision to withdraw was based on a desire to spend more time with his "young, growing family" and his law practice.
"While public service has been rewarding, too often fulfilling my public obligations meant time away from (wife) Shana, our children and my business," he said.
Gattis said he would serve out the remainder of his House term which expires in January 2011.
Both men were together in Rockdale in October in a countywide Republican gathering.
At that meeting Ogden again stated his decision to retire and discussed the challenges facing the state and the legislature.
Gattis was the speaker for Tuesday's meeting of the Rockdale Rotary Club, his first public appearance since the announcement.