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Llano County rancher running for state rep

Hatch Smith and Andrew Murr

Llano County rancher and businessman Hatch Smith (left) is running for the District 53 seat in the Texas House of Representatives. Current state Rep. Andrew Murr announced he will not be running for re-election in 2024. Courtesy photos

Hatch Smith, a Llano County rancher and businessman, is seeking the Republican nomination for Texas House District 53, which includes 16 counties stretching from the Hill Country to West Texas. District 53’s current representative, Andrew Murr, announced on Nov. 20 that he is not running for re-election after almost 10 years in office.

The Republican and Democratic primary elections are on March 5, 2024. The winning nominees from each party will battle it out in the Nov. 5 general election. Candidates have until Dec. 11, 2023, to file for the primaries. 

District 53 encompasses Bandera, Crane, Crockett, Edwards, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Pecos, Real, Schleicher, Sutton, and Upton counties. 

Smith filed for candidacy on Nov. 21. He is the owner of RedSmith Genetics, which specializes in breeding Brahman cattle, and manages D.P. Smith & Sons, a cow and calf operation. He was also appointed to the Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors in May

“I’m a problem solver,” reads an excerpt from Smith’s campaign website. “That’s what I do every day. So when I look at the very serious problems facing our state and nation, I feel as though I have a responsibility to roll up my sleeves and put my experience to work to find solutions.”

He cited illegal immigration as the No. 1 issue on his agenda.

Rep. Murr, based in Kimble County, will maintain the District 53 seat until January 2025. He first ran for election in 2014 and took office in January 2015. According to an official media release, he chose not to run again so he could spend more time with his family.

“By the end of my term, I will have spent a decade of my life diligently and thoughtfully representing every person in my district, including those who cannot vote and did not vote for me, and I humbly thank all of you for allowing me to serve,” he said. “The saddle is ready for the next person to ride point for us in Austin.”

Murr led the Texas House investigation into Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which ultimately led to the AG’s impeachment in May. Closer to home, he helped preserve the South Llano River when residents across the Highland Lakes expressed concern over an application from a landowner to build a private recreational dam across the waterway.

So far, two other candidates have filed for the District 53 seat: McCullough County Republican Wes Virdell and Medina County Democrat Joe P. Herrera. Herrera, if unchallenged, will face the winner of the Republican primary in the November 2024 election.

2 thoughts on “Llano County rancher running for state rep

  1. I hope you will have an equally informative article on Wes Virdell.

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