Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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March 3, 2010

Gooden upsets incumbent Brown

Brown loses bid for seventh term to relative newcomer Gooden of Terrell

Athens — Dist. 4 State Representative Betty Brown lost a bid for a seventh term to the Texas House of Representatives to newcomer Lance Gooden in the Republican primary Tuesday.

Results from Early Voting in the race predicted the loss for the incumbent. Gooden trailed Brown 1,281 to 1,370 in Henderson County, but led in Kaufman County 2,321 to 2,180.

Brown held a beat Gooden in the overall vote in Henderson County, 2,732 to 2,546. But Gooden clinched the nomination by maintaining a strong lead in the overall vote in Kaufman County, 7,333 to 6,995.

During his campaign, Gooden emphasized the need for change in the chamber and criticized Brown’s long tenure as a representative.

“We currently have someone who’s bought and paid for by the Austin lobby, and someone who has become ineffective. Betty’s been in office for 12 years, and its time for someone new to go down to Austin, and get the business done for the people of this district,” he said during a question and answer report published in the Athens Review. “I have the experience, the wherewithal and the determination to be the representative that the people of this district need.”

He is an insurance and risk management consultant, and is a graduate of Terrell High School.

Brown was first elected in 1998. During her campaign, she stressed the importance of her standing in the legislature. She said a freshman representative in the seat would hamper efforts to pass legislation.

“Right now, because of what has been happening on a federal level, standing up to the demands of the feds is one of the biggest ones. Whether its opposing a state income tax, or protecting our Texas sovereignty by supporting the tenth amendment, like I said earlier,” Brown said in the question and answer report. “Standing up to Obama’s takeover of health care — that’s just extremely important. It’s just a very critical time in our history. It requires people who’ve had some experience and seniority in the legislature. I also have a very good working relationship with our new speaker of the house, so I think I’m uniquely positioned to take on some of the challenges.”

In May of 2008, Brown beat back a second challenge by Wade Gent in the Republican primary election.

Brown served as Chairman of Budget Oversight for the Agriculture and Livestock Committee in past legislative sessions, a position which places her on the Appropriations Committee.

Neither candidate was available for comments by press time.

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