The Port Arthur News
Less than two weeks after State Rep. Allan Ritter said he would not seek another term, real estate developer Dade Phelan has announced his candidacy for the open District 21 seat.
Phelan, a Republican from Beaumont, is the first to announce he plans to seek the state representative post for the district that includes a portion of Jefferson County — Groves, Port Neches and Nederland — and all of Orange County.
“After hearing from friends and supporters asking me to consider running for this open seat, I have decided to declare myself a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives,” Phelan said in a press statement issued Tuesday.
The people of Southeast Texas, he said, want a conservative, effective leader with both the legislative knowledge and business experience to deliver results.
“With the retirement of two local, key state legislators, we need an individual who can hit the ground running,” Phelan said. “Southeast Texas has no time for a learning curve.”
Phelan, according to the press statement, served on the legislative staffs of Republican State Senator Tommy Williams and Republican Congressman Dick Armey prior to his career in real estate development.
He and his wife, Kim, have three children and are active community leaders.
Phelan is a two-time appointee by State Governor Rick Perry to the Lower Neches Valley Authority, and is the Authority’s current president.
He is also a a past board secretary to Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas, former board member to Southeast CASA, Golden Triangle CCA, St. Anne Church and the Jefferson Theatre.
Ritter, who has served as state representative for the past 16 years, announced on Oct. 4 he will not seek re-election after his term ends on Dec. 31, 2014.
The Republican State Representative’s announcement came a day after State Senator Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, announced he does not plan to return for the 2015 legislative session.