Rep. Chris Turner named to leadership post in Austin

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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AUSTIN - Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, was named to the No. 2 spot in the House Democratic leadership on Tuesday, vowing to reverse the "harmful budget policies" of the Republican majority.

Turner, 40, a Grand Prairie public relations consultant, was unanimously elected as chairman of the Democratic House Caucus and will help shape Democratic policy in the Republican-led House.

"As a caucus, we will continue the fight for more funding for our public schools, increased access to affordable health care and ensuring that our elected officials play by the rules," Turner declared.

Democrats met on the same day that Gov. Rick Perry delivered his State-of-the-State address and elected a new slate of leaders for the 83rd legislative session.

Another DFW metroplex representative, Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, was chosen as the new Democratic leader, replacing Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, who chose not to seek another term.

Turner was initially elected to the 150-member House in 2008 and served a two-year term before being defeated in 2010.

He rebounded in the 2012 elections to become the first representative of a new Democratic-oriented district in eastern Tarrant County. The district, 101, was created by legislative redistricting and expanded Tarrant County's representation in the House from 10 to 11.

The 2012 elections gave Democrats a slight boost in voting power by eroding the super-majority that Republicans wielded in the last session. Now, there are 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. The Tarrant County delegation has eight Republicans and three Democrats.

Dave Montgomery is the Star-Telegram's Austin bureau chief, 512-739-4471

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