Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"'One Tough Grandma' is leading the opposition against the biggest land-grab in Texas history."

Carole Keeton Strayhorn slated to attend Trans Texas Corridor meeting

June 13, 2006

Andy Hogue
Gainesville Daily Register
Copyright 2006

Carole Keeton Strayhorn, according to her campaign scheduling director David Green, plans to attend the Save Our County meeting at Rad Ware elementary school in Woodbine around 9 p.m.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

“She is very much looking forward to explaining why the Trans-Texas Corridor is a Trans-Texas catastrophe,” Strayhorn’s communications director Mark Sanders said in an interview Monday.

Strayhorn could not be reached for comment by press time.

Sanders said the candidate has an engagement in the east Texas town of Lufkin today, which gives her barely enough time to make the Woodbine meeting.

Strayhorn, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and one of five higher-profile candidates in the 2006 gubernatorial race, has opposed incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s plan to have “multi-modal” toll roads built across the state.

Strayhorn, who ran as a Republican for Comptroller but filed as an independent in her gubernatorial bid, faces Perry in the Nov. 7 election, as well as Democrat Chris Bell, Libertarian James Werner and independent Richard “Kinky” Friedman.

Sanders said Strayhorn “is leading the opposition against the biggest land-grab in Texas history by this governor.”

He said Strayhorn calls for public disclosure of all records between the state of Texas and CINTRA-Zachry, a Spanish company which has plans to fund the tollway.

TTC-35, if built, would be 400 to 1,200-feet wide and would span Texas from Gainesville to Laredo.

The “preferred route” for Trans-Texas Corridor 35 (TTC-35, the portion of the tollway network which is planned to run roughly parallel to Interstate Highway 35), presented by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), cuts through southeastern Cooke County. TxDOT presented a map in March which included a 10-mile study area through Burns City, Callisburg, Collinsville, Gainesville, Lake Kiowa, Mountain Springs, Oak Ridge, Whitesboro, Woodbine and points in between.

Three tollways in the Trans-Texas Corridor are currently planned to feed into the Cooke County area — one from El Paso to the Cooke-Montague county line and another from Texarkana to East Highway 82 near Whitesboro.

Sanders said Strayhorn was raised in and around Austin, an area which could also be affected by the Trans-Texas Corridor.

According to her Web site, Strayhorn was the first woman to serve as Comptroller in Texas, and received the highest number of votes collected for a candidate in Texas history.

Her youngest son, Scott McClellan, is the former press secretary to President George W. Bush.

Her eldest son, Dr. Mark McClellan, is the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He previously served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Her twin sons, Brad McClellan and Dudley McClellan are both attorneys. Brad is the manager for Strayhorn’s campaign, and Dudley is Assistant General Counsel for the State Bar of Texas.

She is the daughter of the late Page Keeton, a long-time dean of the University of Texas Law School.

She is married to Ed Strayhorn, the founder and president of a tennis court construction business.

Billing herself as “One Tough Grandma,” Strayhorn is the grandparent of five young granddaughters, with a sixth on the way.

According to Associated Press reports, Strayhorn recently attempted to secure permission to have “Grandma” attached as her nickname on the November ballot.

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted at

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