VIDEO: Incumbent Rep. Matt Schaefer defends seat from Ogle

Published on Wednesday, 5 March 2014 09:07 - Written by

BY ADAM RUSSELL, arussell@tylerpaper.com

Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer easily fended off challenger Skip Ogle in a hotly contested race for the GOP nomination in Texas House District 6.

Schaefer received 9,888 votes, or 61.1 percent, compared to 6,304 votes, or 38.9 percent, for Ogle, according to final results Tuesday.

Schaefer, 37, an attorney, developer, Naval Reserve lieutenant commander and former East Texas Regional Director for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, defeated longtime District 6 Rep. Leo Berman in the 2012 Republican primary.

Schaefer said legislators moved forward on a few key issues, including education, roads and water, but much work remains if Texas is to stay an attractive state to business and individuals and a bastion for free enterprise and personal liberty. Some political observers viewed Schaefer’s early opposition to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus as detrimental to his ability to operate inside the Capitol Building and had negative effects on local bills Schaefer carried, including legislation to bring a pharmacy school to The University of Texas at Tyler.

Ultimately, the bill was carried by fellow freshman Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, and became law. Clardy credited the entire East Texas legislative delegation, including Schaefer.

Schaefer said he was an important voice for the bill among reticent, staunch conservatives and that critics were “looking for failure in the midst of success.”

Ogle, 47, a longtime lobbyist and businessman, with more than a decade of experience representing companies, such as Southwestern Bell and Suddenlink, and local entities, such as The University of Texas at Tyler, and in Austin. He entered the race to “lobby for the community” and pledged to focus his efforts on improving the quality of life in his district, East Texas and the state.

Schaefer said he wants to focus on common sense governing and improving Texas’ ability to create jobs, educate and provide core services for Texans.

No Democrat filed as a candidate in District 6. Schaefer will face Libertarian candidate Joel Gardner in the November general election.