|AUSTIN, May 29 - Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, who announced Wednesday she will not run for re-election, has won praise for her many years of public service.
“Susan Combs has played a key role in cultivating the strength of the Texas economy, and has been a trusted and capable steward of the public accounts for many years,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “A major proponent of openness in government, she leaves behind a legacy of transparency, and a state that’s more responsive, more accessible and more accountable to the public. Anita joins me in wishing Susan the best in the future.”
Combs, a former prosecutor, state representative and agriculture commissioner announced Wednesday she would not seek re-election or higher office and will retire when her term expires in 2015. It had been thought Combs would run for lieutenant governor in 2014.
In a statement, Combs, aged 68, said she wants to spend more time on her ranching business in West Texas. She became the first female Agriculture Commissioner in Texas when elected in 1998. She was first elected Comptroller in 2006. “It is with a deep sense of gratitude for the past, coupled with excitement for the future, that I announce today I will not be seeking elective office in 2014,” Combs said in a statement. She said she wanted to make her intentions clear as soon as possible to help prospective statewide candidates.
“We are all so privileged to live in the great state of Texas, and the rest of the country has much to learn from our successes,” Combs said. “I have been very fortunate to have served the citizens of this state in elected office for what will be 20 years when my present term as Comptroller ends. I want to thank each and every one of my friends, colleagues, supporters, and fellow Texans for the generosity of spirit and the warmth and affection you have shown me and my family over the years.”
Combs hinted she will continue to champion private property rights. “In the summer of 1994, I marched up Congress Avenue with hundreds of Texans in support of private property rights—and I’m not done marching,” Combs said.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was among the statewide officials in Texas to pay tribute to Combs. “Texans have benefited from Susan’s strong leadership at nearly all levels of government. A true trailblazer as the first female Agriculture Commissioner of Texas, Susan’s legacy of advocating for greater transparency in government and helping foster our state’s business-friendly environment will undoubtedly be felt for decades to come. Sandy and I thank Susan for her service and friendship,” Cornyn said.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst agreed. “I applaud Comptroller Susan Combs for a lifetime of public service, and wish her well in her future endeavors. As a prosecutor, state representative, statewide elected official, mother and a devoted wife, Susan has approached every facet of her life with character and integrity. As she moves forward in the next chapter, she does so with my undying respect and friendship. The State of Texas is indebted to her for a career of selfless service that has delivered results for all Texans. ”
House Speaker Joe Straus offered these thoughts on Combs: “I commend Comptroller Susan Combs for her years of service to our state and for her commitment to fiscal discipline, government transparency and the health of our children. Julie and I wish Susan and her family well as they enter the next chapter of their lives.”
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said: “The State of Texas has been lucky to have Susan serving as one of its leaders for so many years. Whether it was fighting to increase transparency in state and local spending, helping create a more business friendly climate in Texas, or being a pioneer on issues like childhood obesity and school nutrition, Susan has always had the best interest of Texans in mind. Susan’s leadership will be missed, and I thank her for years of dedicated service to the State of Texas.”