TEMPLE — Hugh Shine seeks to return to the seat he held 30 years ago as Texas state representative.
He will have to unseat incumbent Molly White in the Republican primary to do it.
Shine, who announced his candidacy for District 55 in July, is a Texas native who attended Sam Houston State University on an Army scholarship and went into active duty immediately after graduation. He spent a year at aviation school.
“The Vietnam War ended while I was there,” he said. “So I went to South Korea. When I returned, I was stationed at Fort Hood in 1977. That’s when I made Temple my home.”
After his service, Shine joined the National Guard and began building a career in financial services. He was elected to the City Council and became mayor pro tem.
“When there was an opening in the state Legislature, a lot of the local people encouraged me to consider running,” Shine said. “I did and was successful. I held two full terms and planned on seeking a third term — it appeared I was going to be unopposed — then our congressional seat came open.”
Shine said the community encouraged him to consider running and he did. After an unsuccessful campaign, he returned to Temple to focus on his business, family and the community.
Earned master’s degree
Shine went back to night school at Baylor University for his master’s degree in business administration and attended the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania for an executive education.
In 2000 he was promoted to colonel and commanded the Aviation Brigade for Texas for the next four years. He attended the Army War College where he received a master’s degree in strategic studies.
After 30 years of service, Shine retired from the military and turned his focus to his business and community involvement. He served on the Texas Association of Business, the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation.
“Now here I am today, seeking to return to the Legislature in the District 55 race,” Shine said.
Budget & education
He said his first priority is the state budget.
“I’ve always believed that regardless of what level of government you’re in, you start by looking at how you spend money,” he said. “You review the budget to make sure that every dollar you spend is for what needs to be spent. Once you’ve done that, you match the revenues, and if you have enough revenues coming in to cover the needs, then you can start looking at wants.”
Shine said the second most important issue is education.
“Texas is a huge state,” he said. “We have over 1,000 school districts. We need to make sure the people coming out of our schools are either prepared with a skill set to go into the workforce or prepared to go into higher education.”
He said as a parent he would like to see an outstanding education system so when children graduate, they can find jobs close to home.
Border security is critical, Shine said.
“I have been there,” he said. “I have flown those missions … with law enforcement officers and our helicopters, assisting them and supporting them.”
He said such efforts continue in the National Guard but in the last few years the nation has elevated viewing the issue as a priority.
Water & infrastructure
He also listed water and infrastructure as vital.
“I’m a rancher,” he said. “I know personally what the experience is for people who try to cultivate crop lands or run cattle when you have a water crisis. When I was on the City Council, I worked on water issues, and when I was chairman of the business league, I conducted a water summit.”
He said if a business is looking at a community and it doesn’t have adequate water or infrastructure such as highways, rail networks and economic incentives already present from the state and local communities, they’re going to go somewhere else.
“If they go somewhere else that means we lose jobs,” Shine said. “That means less opportunity for communities to grow, and when communities grow we grow tax base, which means we have more money for our schools and other needs. It’s an effort that everyone wins.”