A day after the conclusion of the 84th legislative session, State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) has announced his retirement from the Senate. Fraser leaves office with a lifetime rating of C- on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, and a cumulative 80% on Young Conservatives of Texas’s legislative ratings.
“Today, it is with a heavy heart, an overwhelming sense of pride, and not one ounce of regret, that I am announcing that I will not seek another term for Texas Senate,” wrote Fraser in a letter to friends and colleagues.
In the letter, Fraser takes credit for measures that cut government spending and reduced business regulation and notes his success in water funding and the expansion of higher education and medical institutions in his district. Fraser said that his “proudest accomplishment is passing legislation requiring photo identification to vote, ensuring the integrity of the ballot box and protecting our most sacred privilege.”
While the announcement that Fraser is not running for re-election comes rather sudden, more and more scrutiny had been placed on the senator’s significant financial ties to industry and related conflicts of interest. Our own Tony McDonald exposed a conflict of interest between Fraser’s financial ties to the utility company NextEra, its lobbyists, and a legislative effort this session to use a transparency bill to give the company a big payday.
First elected to the Senate in 1996 after three terms in the Texas House of Representatives, Fraser was the second longest serving Republican Senator.
In the most recent legislative session, Fraser had chaired the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee where he co-authored the “pro-fracking” legislation that reinforced state jurisdiction over mineral rights.
With the announcement of an open seat, speculation will mount on who might run to represent the slice of central Texas. Fraser’s seat is almost guaranteed to remain in Republican hands. The district, which covers 17 counties and overlaps the districts of Republican State Reps. Molly White, Andrew Murr, J.D. Sheffield, Jim Keffer, and Susan King.