Wharton County’s state representative will be seeking another term in office, filing for the post just weeks after an effort to derail his campaign was quashed.
If elected, it would be a fifth term for Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, who bills himself as the only practicing CPA in the State House.
“If I have the honor and privilege to return to the Texas House, I will continue to apply my skills to fight for meaningful property tax relief, as well as work to reduce unfunded liabilities in our public retirement systems,” Stephenson said. “As the next legislative session will be a redistricting year, it is important that we have experienced, knowledgeable, and conservative legislators in place.”
The representative for House District 85 serves the people of Wharton and Jackson counties as well as the southern portion of Fort Bend County.
Stephenson has already garnered an endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Rep. Stephenson worked hard to secure school finance and property tax reform for the people of Jackson, Wharton and Fort Bend counties, and I am proud to endorse him for re-election,” Abbott said. “I appreciate his tireless work to build a brighter future for our great state.”
Stephenson stepped into the national spotlight earlier this year as one of the X-Men – his term for the 10 rural Republican state representatives whose campaigns Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen attempted to stymie.
The effort failed when Empower Texans chief Michel Quinn Sullivan refused and later released an audio recording of the meeting where his help was requested.
Since then, Bonnen has announced he will not seek another term in office.
There’s still plenty of work to be done, Stephenson said.
Last legislative cycle, Stephenson championed a bill creating pesticide disposal funding for farmers which was approved.
He also created a plan he said would fix issues with the Texas State Teacher Retirement funding by taking out life insurance policies on members. The funds it generated, he said, would solve the funding woe without anyone actually having to die.
The answer, he said, lies in knowledge of accounting.
Last legislative term, Stephenson served on the Corrections Committee as well as the committee for Pensions, Investments & Financial Services.
During the previous session, he served as a member of Ways and Means, handling tax policy.