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Pitts, House's Chief Budget Writer, Announces Retirement

House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, announced Thursday he will not seek another term in the Texas House.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.

State Rep. Jim Pitts, a Waxahachie Republican who has served as the chief budget writer for the Texas House for most of the last decade, announced Thursday that he won't seek re-election.

"My goal has been to give my all for those I represent," Pitts said in a statement. "I have done so, now it's time to come home."

Pitts, a lawyer who also runs a title company, was first elected to the House in 1992 and has served as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee five times since 2003. He routinely received praise from colleagues for managing to craft a two-year state budget that was able to draw the support of members of both parties. 

"It is my hope that the traditions of bipartisanship and collegiality that I have always tried to adhere to will continue to live on in the Texas Legislature," Pitts said.

During this year's legislative session and subsequent special sessions, Pitts was also an outspoken critic of the University of Texas System Regents and led the charge in efforts to unseat Regent Wallace Hall.

Pitts' House district includes Ellis County and part of Henderson County.

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