Monday, January 28, 2008

Hope Floats to the Top

Perry picks replacement for late transportation chief

Andrade named commission's interim chairwoman

Jan. 28, 2008

Associated Press
Copyright 2008

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry picked Texas Transportation Commission member Hope Andrade of San Antonio as interim chairwoman of the panel Monday, but he hasn't yet named a fifth commissioner to replace the late Ric Williamson.

Perry is getting pressure from Dallas-Fort Worth leaders to name someone to the five-member panel that will give that area the geographic representation it lacks with the death of Williamson.

Among the applicants disclosed by the governor's office are Erle Nye, Texas A&M regent and former TXU chief executive and chairman; former Denton County Commissioner Sandy Jacobs; and Southlake Mayor Andrew Wambsganss.

The designation of Andrade as interim chair doesn't mean she will permanently lead the commission that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation, but she has the top spot unless and until Perry decides otherwise.

"The governor has chosen her to be the leader for the ... time being, until he makes a decision to appoint a more permanent chair," said Perry spokeswoman Krista Piferrer.

Andrade was named to the panel by Perry in late 2003. She previously was named by the GOP governor to the Texas Turnpike Commission, which became part of TxDOT.

Andrade and other commissioners said in recent interviews that they support tollways, and public-private partnerships on the roadways, as a key part of the state's transportation funding mix, a view championed by Perry that was pushed aggressively by Williamson and one with which a number of lawmakers take issue.

© 2008 Associated Press:

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