By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE — Gov. Rick Perry showed his support for District 59 state Rep. Sid Miller on Monday at the Copperas Cove Public Library as Miller signed Perry's state budget compact.
"I am glad to add my signature to this compact," said Miller, R-Stephenville, who is also in a runoff election campaign against J.D. Sheffield, a family practice doctor from Gatesville.
Perry urged all Texas representatives and residents to sign the Texas Budget Compact, which calls for the state to practice truth in budgeting, support a constitutional limit on spending tied to the growth of population and inflation, oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small-business tax exemption permanent, preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund, and to cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies.
The compact will help protect the futures of Texas children, said Perry after signing the document and before talking about Miller.
"He is a good man, and a decent man," said Perry of the incumbent legislator. "He is a true conservative."
By hosting the meet-and-greet among Perry, Miller and about 100 residents, the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors showed its support for Miller, too.
"I think you have to look at the most qualified," said Michael DeHart, executive officer of the group. "I do know Sid, and I do know his record."
Realtors are "out in force," Perry said, because the one thing that gives the power of freedom is the ability to own property.
Miller opened his portion of the discussion by saying he was pro-guns, anti-abortion, pro-military, pro-God, and anti-Obama and has represented Coryell County for 12 years.
He also spoke about his political record.
"I have a very special interest in veterans," Miller said, stating he has co-authored or authored 48 bills to help veterans. Included among the bills was the creation of the State Veterans Cemetery system, and the opening up of the first Texas Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.
He also talked about his work on border security and how he is a "strong supporter" of education, noting numerous family ties to people who work in education.
Sheffield, who was not present at the meet-in-greet, was not surprised by Perry's endorsement of Miller, because Miller is afraid of losing the race, said Sheffield.
The two candidates were separated by only 177 votes in the primary election, with the majority being in Miller's favor.
"I think he is a lot more worried this time about what the voters are doing, which means they are looking for a change, and now he finds himself in a runoff," said Sheffield.
Several top offices, lobbyist groups and organizations have shown their support for Miller because he is the incumbent, said Sheffield.
He said Miller has no background in health care, and with recent current events, the topic will be a major issue for the Texas House in the upcoming session.
"With Obamacare being passed and with the Medicare issue coming, there is no way he can top what I have learned in 19 years of experience," said Sheffield.
Sheffield said that he won't be supporting the compact, much like President George H.W. Bush wouldn't have, because it locks people into a situation that may need to change.
"I believe these gentlemen are looking out more for their personal and political ambitions than they are trying to prepare for what the state may need," said Sheffield.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.