Meet Reps. Bailes and Stucky: New legislators with agriculture ties
In our urbanized state, it’s increasingly rare to find legislators with an agriculture background – even out of 181 members. But two new members of the Texas House of Representatives – Reps. Ernest Bailes and Lynn Stucky – were both raised on farms.
TAD recently asked both men a few questions so our members could get to know these new Texas legislators.
What motivated you to run for the Texas Legislature?
Bailes: I saw the need for more down to earth, common sense business people to represent our rural needs in Texas. The seasonality of my business afforded me the opportunity to serve during the spring while the Legislature is in session. I feel that we needed more people who know what it’s like to make payroll on Friday and whose drive is community rather than politics.
Stucky: I have always believed it is important to be involved in the community and give back. Throughout my professional career, I have been involved in agriculture, education, business, medicine and real estate. My involvement and relationships built motivated me to run for the Texas House of Representatives.
What will be your #1 priority for the 85th legislative session, and why?
Bailes: To take care of the people back home and to help minimize the unintended consequences of legislation on a state level. I feel that I’m a pragmatic guy who tries to always look at the big picture. As a freshman, I feel it’s important to keep your mouth shut enough to listen and to know what you’re talking about when you do. I do appreciate the simple advice in regards to serving here in the Legislature, respect the body and respect the process.
Stucky: My number one priority this session is to serve House District 64 to the best of my ability. I came to Austin to be a representative of the people and not a politician, and the only way I can do that is to have constant contact with the local elected officials, businesses and constituents back home. It takes teamwork to get things done. Working with stakeholders to come to appropriate solutions on latitude of issues is what I plan on doing during the session.
How do you think your agriculture background will benefit you as a legislator?
Bailes: If I learned anything growing up, I learned how to work. We milked at 2 and 2, come rain or shine. I learned what it meant to be accountable for my actions, to shake a man’s hand and to look him in the eye. I learned to respect a person, regardless of their walk of life or whether they wear a suit to work or a pair of jeans. In production agriculture, we learn to be gracious of the good times, to take the bad times in stride, and to realize that the man upstairs will never deal a hand which is greater that we can take.
Stucky: I was raised on a farm in rural Kansas. My family continues to cultivate that land to this day, so it runs in my blood. For the last 34 years, I have been getting up at 5 a.m. to make house calls for large animals on farms and ranches before returning to my clinic to treat small animals. Needless to say, a background in agriculture and livestock has instilled in me a foundation of hard work. I learned how to treat people fairly, honestly and provide for family. I believe these life lessons will translate into my work as a state legislator as we tackle the state’s issues with hard work and honest brokering.”