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Sen. Fraser announces retirement

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by Jo Clifton

On Tuesday, Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bend) joined the list of legislators not returning to the legislature in 2017. Fraser, who was first elected to the Texas House in 1988, joined the Senate in 1996. He is the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee chair — a powerful position. He is also a member of the State Affairs, Transportation and Nominations committees. Fraser announced his decision not to seek re-election in a letter to colleagues and friends in his district as well as to the press. Fraser represents part of Travis County as well as Abilene, Belton, Fredericksburg, Killeen, Kerrville, Marble Falls and Temple. He has not been known as a friend of Austin Energy, at least recently. During the session that just ended, he filed a bill that would have given major customers of Austin’s electric utility a chance to leave Austin Energy and buy their electricity on the open market. That move was widely seen as a way to help Austin Energy’s largest customers, whose contracts with AE expired at the end of May. The legislation was a major reason why City Council approved a six-month extension of contracts with the two biggest customers, Samsung and Freescale Semiconductor, and a special tariff for Cypress Semiconductor. That cost Austin Energy about $4 million, according to an Austin Energy spokesman. In the letter he released Tuesday, Fraser did not mention Austin Energy but said his proudest accomplishment was “passing legislation requiring photo identification to vote, ensuring the integrity of the ballot box in protecting our most sacred privilege.”

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