State Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, will seek a second term in the Texas Senate next year.
Creighton won a special election in 2014 to fill the unexpired four-year term vacated by Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, which is why his seat already is up for re-election. In that 2014 special election, Creighton defeated The Woodlands Township board member Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Mike Galloway and former state Rep. Steve Toth, who forced a runoff with Creighton.
Creighton noted, to his knowledge, that race was the first time in SD4’s history that only Republicans and only Montgomery County residents were bidding for the seat.
Creighton, who previously served in the Texas House, was part of the largest freshman class in the Texas Senate in 2015.
In 2014, Creighton first announced he would run for Texas Agriculture commissioner before switching to the Senate race.
“It was a really tough race for just a year and three months of service,” Creighton said Wednesday during an interview with The Courier. “That’s good, though. That’s the way things are supposed to happen with vacancies.”
During his first session in the Senate – he was the House Majority Leader when he became a state senator – Creighton said he worked on several bills that “received a lot of notoriety and that I had an intent to work on for years.”
One of those was a bill that creates a special three-judge panel to handle statewide issues previously handled by a single Travis County judge.
“I filed a bill that will allow a process for a panel to be created from here forward if a suit is filed in Travis County, there’s a process where two other judges will be placed so that there is some kind of exposure or touch (from other areas of the state),” he said.
Creighton said he was in debate for several hours with five Democratic senators he said put up “good debate” including longtime state Sens. Royce West, of Dallas, and Kirk Watson, of Austin.
He also mentioned a bill that would allow for the deepening and widening of the Beaumont/Port Arthur port in connection with an expansion of the Panama Canal.
“The port on the Sabine Neches (River) is the No. 1 port for military tonnage,” Creighton said. “… It’s the No. 3 port in the country only behind Houston and New Orleans in total tonnage. This bill will allow for the deepening and widening of the Sabine Neches so that Panama Canal ships can park there.”
Creighton hopes this sparks additional conversations about trade on the state level rather than just at the federal level.
He also celebrated a personal victory Tuesday night when his hunting and fishing constitutional amendments passed voter approval. Proposition 6 makes it a state constitutional right to hunt and fish, which Creighton says provides additional protections from lawsuits from environmental groups.
The Republican primary is March 1, with a November 2016 general election. Filing for the March election begins this month.