• December 27, 2014

Praying pays off for rain and state politicians

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — Hallelujah! Rain!

There is a fresh supply of water in Coryell County lakes, rivers, creeks, stock tanks, ditches and rain barrels after a welcome spell of thunderstorms last week. With luck, some of that moisture will seep down and freshen up the groundwater.

We got 4½ inches at our place, enough to bring a dry pond back to life. The frogs sound mighty happy.

All that praying finally paid off.

On the subject of answered prayers, Jim Hogan credits the almighty with his surprising win in the Democratic primary runoff for state commissioner of agriculture.

Hogan is a Cleburne cattleman and insurance agent who finished first in the three-way primary contest, then defeated musician and jokester Richard “Kinky” Friedman in the runoff last week.

What makes Hogan’s victory unusual is that he didn’t campaign, didn’t solicit or accept contributions, make speeches, hand out flyers or smear his opponent with accusatory advertisements.

By Texas political standards, Hogan is a weirdo. He doesn’t have a website and is not on Facebook or Twitter. He does, however, return phone calls — even from reporters.

Hogan said his place was blessed with about 3 inches of welcome rain.

Sid Miller, former state representative for Coryell County, will be Hogan’s Republican opponent for agriculture commissioner in the general election.

Susie Gunnels, who has been the executive director of the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce for the past five years, is leaving that post to return to her former employer, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Gunnels said she accepted an offer to return to TDCJ in the office of human resources at the Crain Unit in Gatesville.

Gunnels’ successor at the chamber, Lynn Smith, a retired TDCJ warden, will assume duties June 9, Gunnels’ last day.

Copperas Cove residents who think of other county folks as rivals may be interested to learn the county commissioners refused to OK a proposal from the county economic development board until economic planners in Cove and Gatesville give their seal of approval.

County Judge John Firth said he was told some members of the Cove EDC board had questions about AngelouEconomics, the Austin firm selected to create the strategic plan.

But Polo Enriquez, the executive director of the Cove EDC, said the EDB doesn’t need Cove’s blessing for their project.

“We don’t want or expect to be briefed by the EDB,” Enriquez said. “We don’t think ourselves so highfalutin that we need to check off on what they are doing. Who they hire to do their strategic plan is fine with us.”

EDB Chairman Dick Van Dyke plans to meet with Enriquez anyway to address any Cove concerns about the plan.

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