After 24 years in the Texas House, state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, will announce plans on Tuesday to enter the race to replace Comptroller Susan Combs.
Hilderbran is the fourth Republican to enter the race after state Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy, former state Rep. Raul Torres and former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina. No Democrats have announced plans to run for the seat.
Hilderbran officially kicked off his campaign in an event in his hometown of Kerrville, saying his recent work as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee had prepared him to be the state's chief financial officer and revenue estimator.
“We want to use this office in new ways to protect Texas taxpayers and improve the Texas economy,” Hilderbran said in an interview on Monday.
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Hilderbran also laid out the first three policy proposals he plans to highlight throughout his campaign. If elected, Hilderbran said he wants the comptroller’s office to do more to prevent the “abuse of Texas taxpayers” by the IRS. Citing controversies over the federal agency’s alleged targeting of political groups, Hilderbran said he would have the office serve as a resource to the state’s business owners and other residents who feel the IRS is treating them unfairly.
“I’ll get to the bottom of IRS abuse in Texas – whether it’s abusive audits, unnecessary delays with tax-exempt applications or any unlawful disclosure of personal information,” Hilderbran says in the written text of his campaign announcement speech.
Hilderbran’s other proposals include improving customer service in the comptroller office and addressing concerns that the state’s taxing entities are treating residents and businesses fairly when a tax refund is owed.
Hilderbran, a real estate broker and president of a business development and marketing firm, was first elected to the Texas House representing parts of Central and West Texas in 1988. He said that he knew last year that he likely wasn’t going to run for re-election.
“I feel good about my time,” Hilderbran said.
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