Wife, mom, farmer, small business owner, hunter, native Texan … all of these describe Laura Hester.

In the past couple of years, the Parker County resident also became a community organizer, property rights advocate, and Conservative Leader Award recipient.

What prompted the ever-busy Hester to take on more?

Hester’s involvement in grassroots politics started in 2017, when the city of Weatherford tried to forcibly annex her unincorporated Zion Hill community.

“I didn’t want to be pulled into the city limits,” Hester said. “We bought our land in the country so we could have farm animals and hunt. I didn’t think a city should be able to annex us against our will. So I formed a group and fought the annexation.”

Hester and her neighbors fought off the city’s annexation attempt, and in the process started a movement to stop land grabs in counties throughout the state.

That movement became like another job for Hester. As president of the group Stop Involuntary Annexation in Parker County, she not only helped lead her county’s petition drive for a vote to end forced annexation there, but she also helped several other counties organize their local efforts as well.

Hester says she created that first Facebook group to organize Zion Hill residents because she didn’t know what else to do. “I had no idea what just that one step would lead to,” she told Texas Scorecard last year after Parker County succeeded in petitioning for a vote on the issue.

Six counties, including Parker, passed measures in November 2018 to end forced annexation locally.

Following that huge victory, Hester was happy to have more time for family (especially with twin grandsons on the way), farming, and business. But she’s not done advocating for property rights just yet. She and others in the movement are currently working with state legislators on a new law that will finally end forced annexation for all Texas residents.

Hester also added being a precinct chair to her list of responsibilities.

She says everyone should stay up to date on what’s going on in their community and at the state level:

“If you feel something isn’t right, you should reach out to your local officials or your state representatives to see how you can get involved. Everyone should educate themselves about the candidates at election time and go vote.”

Hester is married to her high school sweetheart, Chris. They’ve lived in the Weatherford area for 25 years, where they raised three children (as well as flocks of chickens and turkeys) and opened a plumbing repair business. In addition to camping, hunting, and spending time with family, Hester enjoys her relaxing country lifestyle.

Thanks to Hester’s action, her family and many others throughout the county and state can do the same.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.