GRANBURY

Brian Birdwell, the Texas State Senator who represents District 22, announced plans for his 2020 reelection campaign Wednesday.

District 22 includes 100 percent of Ellis, Bosque, Falls, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan, Navarro and Somervell Counties, as well as about five percent of Tarrant County. It encompasses a total of 809,840 constituents, according to the documents provided by the Texas Legislative Council to The Texas Tribune.

According to Birdwell's official announcement, the Senator has "remained true to the conservative principles upon which he first campaigned" during his five legislative sessions since first being elected in 2010.

"He has forged a reputation as a respected leader in the fight for the sanctity of life, limited government, individual liberties, low taxes, and economic policies which have led to record jobs, growth, and unparalleled opportunity for Texas citizens," the announcement adds.

In an emailed statement provided to the Daily Light, Birdwell noted that he has "worked diligently to preserve religious liberty, improve government transparency, defend Second Amendment rights, advance border security, and support responsible fiscal stewardship" since in office.

"I am excited about the opportunity to continue my efforts, so Texas remains a national model and withstands attacks from those wishing to undermine our conservative governing model," Birdwell added. "With so much at stake in the 2020 elections, we must ensure that future generations of Texans continue to benefit from the freedom and liberties we enjoy today."

Following the 2017 legislative session, Birdwell began a rigorous and successful interim of cutting waste and improving the efficiency of state government agencies as the chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, the release notes.

Also, during the interim in March 2018, Birdwell was appointed by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to serve as chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development, a committee he still leads as chairman.

In addition to those appointments, Birdwell continued to serve as a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Committee on State Affairs, overall chairing or serving on four committees in the Texas Senate.

During the 86th Texas Legislative session, Birdwell worked with colleagues to pass the Texas Born Alive Infant Protection Act, property tax relief for homeowners and businesses, state income tax ban and numerous laws to strengthened the Second Amendment. He also helped close a loophole to "ensure taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion" and helped shore up the Teacher Retirement System Pension Trust Fund, the release notes.

"For many years, it was an honor to serve my country when wearing the uniform of the greatest nation in history," Bridwell stated. "Over the past decade, I've been given the privilege of serving the citizens of Senate District 22 and representing their values and interests in the Texas State Capitol. I will be honored if those same men and women grant me the opportunity to again represent them for another term to advance our shared principles in the Texas Senate."

Birdwell is a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army and was a staff officer at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, which was when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the building. He endured 39 operations after the crash led to over 60 percent of his body being burned.

Birdwell was awarded a Bronze Star for service in the Persian Gulf War, the Purple Heart for his wounds at the Pentagon, and upon retirement in July 2004, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Birdwell and his wife, Mel. authored "Refined by Fire: A Family's Triumph of Love and Faith," which tells their story of survival.

From 2004 to 2017, the two operated Face the Fire Ministries, a non-profit organization they jointly founded to support critical-burn survivors and wounded service-members and their families.

"Even as a public servant, Birdwell has continued to share how faith in Christ sustained the family during their long ordeal following the 9/11 attack," the campaign announcement added. "In 2011, Birdwell agreed to share his story in an 'I Am Second' video testimonial which has been viewed more than 100,000 times."

The Birdwells have been married for over 30 years and reside in Granbury. They have one son, Matt, a graduate of Texas Tech University and a daughter-in-law, Ann Marie. The two reside in Tarrant County with the Birdwell's first grandchild, Elijah.