Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rep. Mike Krusee heads for greener pastures

Key Local Rep Decides He Won't Seek Another Term

Nov 27, 2007

Copyright 2007

Republican Rep. Mike Krusee of Williamson County ended weeks of speculation and admitted in a statement Monday afternoon that he won't seek a ninth term in the Texas House.

Krusee was once a key member of Speaker of the House Tom Craddick's inner circle as chair of the House Transportation Commission.

He saw his star dim considerably during the most recent session, however, as he faced a backlash over his authorship of the transportation bill that created regional mobility authorities, the Trans-Texas Corridor and the increased use of toll roads as an option to fund major road projects.

When it came time to reverse measures under the bill, he was the sole House member to vote the measure down.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Krusee wrote about his decision to leave office, saying he was proud to have laid a foundation that created regional water agreements, new higher education facilities and the option of commuter rail in his district, which primarily serves Williamson County.

He also acknowledged his role in transportation, saying that Texas had taken "bold visionary steps toward our looming infrastructure problems."

"There is no silver bullet of infrastructure needs, but we've taken the issue off the back burner and made it a priority," Krusee wrote in a one-page statement on his decision. "Communities now have the power and tools to address infrastructure needs as never before. Time will show that we were right to take bold steps on transportation policy."

Krusee faced a tough election last term, coming close to losing his seat to a Democratic unknown. Rumors in recent weeks had focused on Krusee taking some type of appointment in transportation, possibly a seat on the Texas Transportation Commission.

Krusee confirmed in his statement that he wanted to pursue a career in transportation consulting and new urbanism, which were his two passions when he was in the Legislature.

Craddick issued a statement on Krusee's decision, saying that the representative was an advocate for giving children better educational opportunities and for improving the quality of life by building transportation infrastructure. The state was better for his service, Craddick said.

Krusee served in House District 52, which includes portions of Round Rock, Georgetown and rural areas of eastern Williamson County. He also represents a small sliver of far north Austin.

Diana Maldonado, who serves on the Round Rock school board, has indicated her intention to run for the seat in the Democratic primary.

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