Texas House District 59
Meet Shelby Slawson:
Focusing long-time rural Texas advocacy on the statehouse
Rep.-elect Shelby Slawson grew up and lives in Stephenville, a center of Texas dairy farming and the heart of House District 59, which includes Erath, Comanche, McCulloch, Mills, Hamilton, Coryell, San Saba and Somervell counties. As a self-described “rural Texas advocate,” she has an impressive track record of experience that will enable her to effectively represent her district and all of rural Texas in a Legislature dominated by urban representatives.
Welcome to the Texas House! What motivated you to run for the Texas Legislature?
As a born and raised Central Texan, I am blessed to live, run a business and raise a family in the best part of the greatest state in the nation. Ensuring our children inherit a Texas from us that is strong and prosperous and free requires conservative, pro-business, liberty-minded servants from our cities and counties to the statehouse and beyond. It was time for bold, new conservative energy in House District 59, and I am deeply honored by the opportunity to serve our people.
On your campaign website, you describe yourself as a “rural Texas advocate.” Tell our dairy farmer members about that. Do you also have an agriculture background?
I grew up in Stephenville – the “Cowboy Capital of the World” – and some of my favorite childhood memories are from weekends spent on my grandparents’ Lipan farm playing with the goats, fishing in the tank and inventing ways to entertain ourselves in pastures and over pipe fences. During my teens and young adulthood, we saw many area dairies sell and/or move away, a disappointing economic shift away from our historically ag-rich small communities. In the past few decades, I’ve been a frequent member in public and private entities focused on important community issues such as strengthening our rural schools, enhancing local opportunities through economic development, minimizing tax burdens (including successfully fighting and stopping a massive new tax district), planning for infrastructure needs, and protecting land from inappropriate and costly annexation.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Texas, and why?
The biggest challenge presently facing Texas is balancing the state budget in the wake of a pandemic that has caused a significant deficit and ensuring that we are focused on the essential functions of government without creating undue tax and regulatory burdens on our businesses, producers and property taxpayers. Texas is exceptional and will absolutely rebound and come back even stronger than before, but we must fully reopen the Lone Star State. Rural Texans are resilient, smart, strong and the daily embodiment of personal responsibility – we are ready to #OpenTexas!
What are your legislative priorities for your district this session, and why?
The priorities for this district in the 87th Legislature are to balance the budget in a manner that does not create additional property tax burdens (and instead moves us more to a consumption-based system), ensures our law enforcement agencies are adequately funded (we back the blue in rural Texas!), defends our Second Amendment protections, protects our rural schools, and emphasizes free-market solutions for our families, businesses and producers to rebound, grow and thrive.
Learn more about Rep.-elect Shelby Slawson
Slawson is a native Texan, raised in House District 59 by parents who modeled hard work and fiscal restraint under tight budgets.
She grew up working jobs in fast food, retail, nursing home care and waitressing to make her own ends meet. She went on to become a first-generation college graduate, earning her B.A. from The University of Texas at Dallas and her Juris Doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin.
Today, Slawson is an entrepreneur and executive in successful small businesses, alongside Joe Don, her husband of over 22 years. The Slawsons are proud parents and active members of First Baptist Church in Stephenville.
An attorney by training, Slawson is a rural Texas advocate by calling. She believes firmly in the power of volunteerism and the importance of community and political engagement, living that out through a long history of service in organizations that make a positive difference in the lives of her neighbors.
Recognized as a dynamic, effective and influential leader, Slawson is a frequent member in public and private entities addressing important community issues including economic development, taxation, land/facilities planning, annexation and education.