Why Does Texas Comptroller Susan Combs Support Sen. Glenn Hegar
by Bob Price on December 31, 2013 at 11:51 AM
One of the most important, but least followed, races in this coming primary is for the office of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Besides overseeing the collection of state sales and gross margins taxes, the Comptroller plays a critical role in the creation of Texas biennial budget. You see, it is the Comptrollers crystal ball that predicts revenue for the state and tells the legislature how much money they will be able to spend.
Earlier this year, Texas Comptoller Susam Combs announced she her endorsement of Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar to replace her in this race. Her endorsement carries a lot of weight in a crowded field of candidates that include, State Representative Harvey Hilderbrand, former State Rep. Raul Torres and former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina. Each candidate brings interesting backgrounds and perspectives to the race, but only one is supported by the person who knows best what it takes to do the job. That candidate is Glenn Hegar.
Following in an interview I conducted with Ms. Combs and Sen. Hegar where we talked about why she decided to make the endorsement and why Sen. Hegar decided to run for Comptroller.
TRASNSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW:
Bob Price - TexasGOPVote: Were in San Antonio, Texas today at the Texas Federation of Republican Womens State Convention with Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar and Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs. Welcome to Texas GOP Vote. Glad to have you here today.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Susan Combs: Thank you.
Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar: Great to be here Bob.
Bob Price: Glenn youre running to replace Susan Combs as comptroller of Texas. Not replace, but succeed her. And this morning we had some really exciting announcement for your campaign where Ms. Combs endorsed Glen Hagar for the office so tell us a little bit about your campaign and well talk to Ms. Combs.
Glenn Hegar: More than happy to. The campaign has gone great, traveling around the state of Texas. You know, those of use in the Senate, when you have 21 counties you think thats a big place, but Texas, 254 counties. Its a big state. But Texas, our economies going great, the campaign is going great, and Ill tell you, theres no better friend than Susan Combs and to have her help and support. Susan has done a tremendous job in my opinion, fighting for open government, for transparency, and its all in my honor and privilege to continue that legacy that Susan has fought so hard for over the last six and a half, seven, years.
Bob Price: Susan, youve been a great public servant for the people of the State of Texas and I want to thank you for that. Why Glenn Hegar to replace you?
Susan Combs: Well, as I said this morning that having had seven years on the job, I had some pretty strong views about who should fill that job. You want somebody that loves public service. You want somebody who is conservative. You want somebody that understands that business is the engine that drives the economy, and not government. Glen is a fighter. He has proved his ability to fight and to bring efficiency to the government, and I trust him. I trust him to be smart, to be thoughtful, to be careful, to be conservative, and its a big job and I believe hes going to fill my shoes admirably.
Bob Price: Well hes not quite as tall as you are but if he can maybe fill your shoes, then that would be great.
Susan Combs: Well, if you had somebody that really cares about Texas and understands that every single dime that the government spends is the individuals money, and when he was on the sunset commission and heading of the effort to look at all those agencies. That was absolutely prose of it. And I very much admire all of his work.
Bob Price: Now as you serve out your final months in office here in the State of Texas, what issues are facing Glenn when he takes that position.
Susan Combs: I think theres going to be a continuing debate going forward about how we deal with some of the infrastructure issues, roads, etc. Education is going to keep coming back up fueled by lawsuits but those are issues that hes admirably well suited to deal with and I think the fact that were going to be a growing state. Time Magazine is coming out with an article that says Texas is going to be what the United States is, and he has the opportunity in the role of comptroller to help shape policy, drive decisions through the information we provide the legislature as a well-known and well respected member of the House and The Senate. He is going to be well received, well regarded, and honestly well respected.
Bob Price: Now senator, Texas is blessed with an income from our oil and gas resources and we hope that will continue to increase. How do you manage that fluctuation of not knowing exactly what is going to be coming in for the state over this period of time?
Glenn Hegar: Thats a great question. Youve seen here in Texas, Im blessed to represent part of the group for Shell, Liv, and Katy there in the energy corridor and so weve seen first-hand both from the parts of the East and the Western parts of my senate district and you see the Permian Basin in Midland. Unbelievable whats going on here in Texas. The comptrollers office plays a lead role as the face, the chief financial officer, of the state of Texas. What is the vision for Texas? And also as you manage, what is the reasonable estimates that the legislature has? What is the dollars that they have to spend and how do you conservatively move them in a direction to be the most fiscally prudent as they can be with those dollars. And I think the most important thing is that you stay very engaged on a continual month to month, day to day basis. What are those numbers? Its dynamic. Its not just state wide. Its not just national, but its internationally driven. So the oil and gas industry is internationally driven, but were blessed here, and I think the most important thing is that you have a lot of smart people in the comptrollers office. You have very confident staff. They give you the right information so you can make the right decisions, but you continue to make sure that the legislature and the people of the state of Texas are continually updated on what are those revenue estimates as you have more refined numbers, you continue to put those out.
Bob Price: One of the things that impressed me recently, we were at the Texas Right to Life Banquet where they gave you an award for your service. Particularly for passing the bill that protects life here in Texas. They mentioned how meticulous you are. Really driving all the details and all the facts and that type of thing. I think thats a trait that we need in a comptroller. Where does that come from?
Glenn Hegar: Well its just really the way that Ive always grown up. You know from my familys businesses. Ive learned from my grandfather. Ive learned from my great-uncles. I was blessed to grow up in a family business to where I had a lot of individuals who taught me, one, what is a hard days work. That actually the money that we earn, we also have to pour back into the business and that you have to meticulously understand what is it that you have and how can you invest it, and how do you make smart decisions. That transcends over into my legislative experience that youve got to make sure that you know every single detail. That if there is a stone unturned, then that might be a trap that causes a significant problem. In the legislative process, and obviously as the chief financial officer for the state of Texas, if you leave a stone unturned, then that can cause a problem. I really believe that meticulous "lets not leave a stone unturned" nature that Ive grown up with then Ill bring those obvious set of skills with me to the comptrollers office.
Bob Price: Susan, what else do you have to say about the office and why Senator Hegar should take that position?
Susan Combs: Its a big office. It takes a breath of vision and energy. And it takes detail. You really have to have all three otherwise its a big office, its a big state, its a big responsibility. Glenn is meticulous and Glenn does have the vision and hes got the energy to do it. Hes got a wonderful family who have supported him and that helps a lot. You really have to have that support to keep going day in and day out. I trust him. Thats really important. This is a job that I have loved, that I thought was so important, and I wouldnt be endorsing him and supporting him to the degree that I am which is very very strong if I did not trust his instincts. Trust his adherence to conservative principles. Trust his understanding of the core. Beliefs are public, and Glenn is going to do an outstanding and fantastic job.
Bob Price: One thing that weve proven as Republicans in Texas this year is that we have a very deep bench. At this race, and several other races, weve got a lot of great candidates in these races, and I think your endorsement of Senator Hegar goes a long way towards helping the voters make a decision on who should be the next comptroller of Texas. I want to thank you for coming to Texas GOP Vote today, and Glenn is there anything else that you would like to say to the voters?
Glenn Hegar: I just want to say that I would love for you to learn more about the campaign and I want to earn everybodys respect and earn their vote individually. Susans support and help I think is very significant because she has been such a strong leader here in the State of Texas. As Ive told the crowd earlier, I think that here in Texas, we can all agree that there has been nobody stronger here in Texas. Ive mentioned earlier that she is what I would call a Margret Thatcher of our party here in Texas, and she has strongly stood up for whats right. She believes it in her heart and matching her energy level, Ive got a lot of energy, but Ill tell you. Thats tough, but Im going to bring it to the comptrollers office. I look forward to getting to know the voters of the state of Texas as I continue to travel, and earn their respect, and earn their vote to be the next comptroller of the great state of Texas.
Bob Price: I want to thank both of you for taking the time this morning. I know your schedules are very busy, and we want to encourage everyone in the audience to take a look at all of the campaigns that are running state wide in Texas. Weve got a lot of great candidates and we need get out to vote. Thank you very much for being here.
Glenn Hegar: Thanks Bob. Great to see you again. Thank you.