State Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, will not seek re-election, he announced in a tearful personal privilege speech on the House floor Wednesday night.
Eiland, who has served in the Legislature for two decades, said it has been hard being away from his wife and children, but that he would deeply miss being a member of the Texas House.
Eiland said he even liked serving in a session with an exceedingly large number of freshman legislators, though he joked that “some of them are crazy.”
The Galveston legislator and attorney was first elected to the Legislature in 1993. He won a sometimes tough campaign for re-election last year in which his work on windstorm insurance became an issue along with his residence in Austin. Eiland has a $3 million home in Austin. An early ad from his Republican opponent attacked Eiland as someone who got wealthy “as a trial lawyer suing Texas businesses" and for living in a city well outside the district.
In his closing remarks, Eiland asked his colleagues to remember not just the color purple — which some lawmakers have donned frequently this session in an effort to build bipartisanship — but the color brown.
“When we look at our public school system, the majority of the children in public school, over 50 percent, are Hispanic,” he said, adding that the state needs to help them succeed.