BURLESON – State Representative Rob Orr (R-Burleson) announced that he will not seek re-election to the Texas House of Representatives.
"It is with mixed feelings that I make this announcement," Rep. Orr said. "I will be retiring from the Texas Legislature when my current term ends. To say that it has been an honor representing the residents of Johnson and Bosque Counties is an understatement," he continued. "The respect and support that you have shown me over these many years is something I treasure."
Throughout his service in the Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Orr has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for private property rights, and as a staunch pro-business, pro-life conservative. He has been a leader as chairman of the House Land and Resource Management Committee, vice-chairman of the Business and Industry Committee, and as a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee. In addition, he has served on the Local and Consent Calendars, Redistricting, Financial Institutions, Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committees.
Rep. Orr has received numerous awards throughout his legislative career from such organizations as the Texas Association of Business, Texas Association of Realtors and Texas Right to Life. Most recently he has been named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association and the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association. Next month he will be honored by the Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas.
"Reflecting on the past nine years, there are so many things I am pleased to have been a part of, it's impossible to list them all. As a small business owner, I am proud that Texas is continually recognized as one of the best places to do business. It has been extremely rewarding to see our great state become the most powerful economic engine of the nation; and we did that by creating twice as many jobs as any other state and keeping regulations on business owners low.
"It has also been enormously gratifying to help our state overcome some of the most difficult times it has seen. During my tenure we have faced huge budget deficits, yet when we began the most recent session I'm proud to say that with our conservative budgeting and the state's growth, we started with an $8 billion surplus. Although it has not been easy and many difficult decisions have had to be made over the past several years, I am proud of how our state and its leadership have put the best interests of all its citizens at the forefront. Texas has survived the worst economic downturn in recent history and emerged stronger than before."
From the day he was first elected, seeing the Chisholm Trail Parkway between Cleburne and Fort Worth become a reality has been at the top of Rep. Orr's legislative agenda. After exhaustive negotiations and in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, the North Texas Tollway Authority, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Johnson County and its member cities, a unique funding mechanism was adopted that turned a 40-plus year old dream for a road into a reality. "It will be an exciting day when vehicles begin traveling on this roadway in the spring of 2014," he noted.
Among the initiatives he has guided through the legislative process is the passage of a constitutional amendment to provide additional funding to public schools by authorizing the School Land Board to make direct contributions to the Available School Fund and significant reforms to eminent domain laws to provide greater protections for property owners.
"Supporting and strengthening family values is central to my beliefs. I am proud to have supported adding 'under God' to the pledge to our state flag, along with defining marriage as being between a man and a woman," he said.
"Working one-on-one with my constituents has been the most satisfying part of being a representative. When people contacted me with government-related problems or ideas, helping work through those problems and turning those ideas into reality always reminded me of the true meaning of being a public servant," he continued.
"During my first campaign, I promised the voters I would not be a career politician. Deciding to retire has not been easy, but I believe it is time to end this chapter of my life as I look forward to new opportunities. On a personal note, I want to thank my wife, Pam, my family and my staff for their continuous support. I could not have done this job without them. God Bless District 58 and God Bless Texas."