Andrew S. Murr

Andrew S. Murr - Republican (Incumbent)

Representative Andrew Murr was first elected in 2014 to represent District 53 in the Texas House of Representatives. The district includes Bandera, Crockett, Edwards, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher and Sutton Counties. An eighth generation Texan, he was raised on a ranch in Kimble County, and attended school in Junction.

In 2008, Representative Murr was elected Kimble County Attorney. However, he was appointed to the position of County Judge, due to a vacancy, before he was sworn in.

As County Judge, Representative Murr presided over hundreds of criminal, civil and probate cases and was never overturned on appeal. In his term of office, he slashed county spending by 31% by cutting waste and inefficiency. Under his leadership, Kimble County today retained one of the lowest tax rates in the state, maintaining zero debt and incurring no future pension obligations. He is also the past Chairman of the Concho Valley Council of Governments Executive Committee, where he was responsible for overseeing millions of dollars in funding for the twelve-county region in the areas of law enforcement, emergency preparedness, solid waste, rural transportation and early childhood education. Representative Murr continued to serve as Kimble County Judge until late 2013, when he announced his candidacy for state office.

Governor Rick Perry appointed Representative Murr to Concho Valley Regional Review Board in 2011. He is a past president of the Kimble-Edwards Farm Bureau Board of Directors and Junction Rotary Club. He serves as a member of the Kimble County of Historical Commission and the Kimble County Youth Show. He is also a proud member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and the National Rifle Association.

During the 84th Texas Legislative Session, Representative Murr was appointed to three House Committees: Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Rules and Resolutions, and Transportation. He was also named to two Transportation sub-committees.

In September 2015, Representative Murr was appointed to the Texas Judicial Council by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. This appointment also names Murr to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. The TJC is the policy-making body for the state judiciary and the TIDC provides support to counties to develop and maintain indigent defense systems.

Representative Murr and his wife, Lacey, live on the family ranch where they raise cattle. They also own a small business, Telegraph Title Company, and Andy maintains a small-town law practice. Lacey, also a Kimble County native and graduate of Junction High School, attended Texas Tech University and graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a teaching degree. She taught at Junction ISD until she became a stay-at-home mom in 2008 after the arrival of their son, Coke. They are members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Junction.

Committees: Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Rules and Resolutions, Transportation, Transportation Sub Committee on Long-term Infrastructure Planning, Mental Health

Endorsements: N/A

Cash On Hand: $151,875.82

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Stephanie Ertel

Stephanie Ertel - Democrat

Stephanie Lochte Ertel, an attorney living in Mountain Home, Texas, is running for House District 53 State Representative as the Democratic Party candidate.  She is the first Democrat in 20 years to seek to represent the people of the 12 counties of House District 53 in the Texas House of Representatives. Ertel will face incumbent Andrew Murr of Junction in November 2016.

Low voter turnout in local and State elections (Texas was 49th among states in 2014) is a matter of great concern to Ertel.  She hopes her candidacy will provide a choice to motivate voters who are concerned about issues like education, water conservation, health insurance coverage and better economic opportunities, to participate in the general election.  As a lifelong Texan and the fourth generation of her family to live in Kerr County, Ertel has a deep appreciation of the unique character of the Texas Hill Country she seeks to represent.

Starting Out

Ertel grew up in Kerrville.  After graduation from Tivy High School she left home for careers in teaching and corporate law.  She prepared to be a secondary social studies teacher at Texas Lutheran University.  Later, she received an M.S. degree in political science from the University of North Texas and graduated with honors from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas.

Legal Career

Ertel began her legal career as a corporate lawyer at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld law firm in Dallas, then became the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The Coca-Cola Bottling Group (Southwest), Inc., the fifth largest Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S., from 1985 until the company was sold to Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1998.  The franchises held by the company covered parts of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.  Ertel’s pro bono clients have ranged from Central American refugees to church and other nonprofit organizations.

Hill Country Home

With her husband, Rick, a corporate attorney, Ertel moved to Kerrville in 2006, continuing to provide legal services to their closely held corporate clients. In March 2009, the Ertels moved from Kerrville to their sustainable off-grid home near Mountain Home on the Johnson Fork of the Guadalupe River. Their home place demonstrates commitment to conservation through wildlife habitat restoration, rainwater harvesting, and solar power.

Community Leader

Today, Ertel is a volunteer advocate with Hill Country CASA, a member of the Hill Country Chorale and president of its corporate board, Secretary/Treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Mountain Home VFD, a volunteer mediator with Hill Country Dispute Resolution Center and a team captain for American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  She has been a leader in Democratic Party activities in the Hill Country since 2007.  She and her husband are members of St. James Lutheran Church in Harper.  They have two grown, married daughters who live in Austin, and two grandsons.

Kerr County Roots

Ertel’s roots in Kerr County are deep.  Her great-grandparents, Paul and Frieda Raaz, built their home on the Guadalupe River (near Nimitz Lake) in 1908.  Over 90 years ago, her grandfather, Werner A. Lochte, became a partner with John Leavell in founding Kerr County Abstract & Title Company, later operated by her late father, Darrell G. Lochte, who practiced law in Kerrville for 50 years.  Her late mother, Janis Lochte, provided a strong example of civic involvement through her work in PTA, Zion Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society and Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library.

Endorsements: N/A

Cash On Hand: $2,511.20

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