Straight shooter

Ogden, the state’s ‘budget brain,’ has served Texas diligently

Sen. Ogden Sen. Ogden We have long appreciated State Senator Steve Ogden’s candor. He has not only been one of the most influential leaders in the legislature for 20 years, he has been its “budget brain.”

Sen. Ogden, 61, announced last week that this term, which ends Jan. 1, 2013, will be his last.

There is little doubt that he could have been the next Texas lieutenant governor if Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wins his bid for the U.S. Senate. Ogden said that prospect was appealing, but not compelling. Always a straight shooter, he said, “I just thought it was too speculative and to a certain extent it was inappropriate to go run for another seat in the Senate if that wasn’t what you really wanted to do,” he said.

Ogden (R-College Station) plans to spend more family time and more time in his oil and gas exploration company, long a family business. And to lay low politically.

In the complex field of state fiscal matters, Ogden was a calm, patient voice of reason in a very choppy sea. And that’s what you would expect from a man who spent months at a time under the sea in a nuclear submarine after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy where he played end for the football team, as did a son that followed him there. Distinguished military service is an Ogden family tradition.

Although Sen. Ogden didn’t endorse a successor, he said he felt State Rep. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) is well qualified. Schwertner has announced that he would seek Ogden’s District 5 Senate seat.

And therein is a Rockdale connection. Rep. Schwertner is a Georgetown physician who also practices part-time at the Richards Memorial Hospital clinic in the RMH professional building.—B.C.

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2011-09-29 digital edition

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