By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
Bob Hunter announced last week he would not seek re-election for his seat as Texas State Representative for the 71st District when his term ends in January 2007.
Hunter said he had every intention of filing for re-election at the end of this year; however, after doctors discovered he had prostate cancer during a routine checkup in September, Hunter, senior vice president emeritus of the university, said he decided instead to devote more time to his family and the university.
During the next 40 days, Hunter will undergo radiology treatment at Hendrick Medical Center, and after that, he will help the development team of the university’s Centennial Campaign to raise funds for the university.
“President [Royce] Money had been asking me to consider helping him personally with the development team of our Centennial Campaign,” Hunter said. “This will enable me to have even more time to help him. I’m very excited about the fact that I can be of help.”
Money said in an e-mail that Hunter’s work on the Centennial Campaign will be greatly appreciated.
“Many of the traditions we’re celebrating this year were started by Bob, and it will be nice to have him apply his energy and passion to our Centennial,” Money said.
Hunter said he decided to announce his retirement now, so that other candidates can consider running for the office. Candidates can begin filing for election in December. Local media reported Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university and former mayor of Abilene, said he has been approached about and is considering running for the office.
But Hunter will complete the final 15 months of his term, and he said he still has plans for his final year in the State House of Representatives.
He said he hopes to continue working toward a solution for public school financing, something the House has been unable to resolve in several special sessions.
He also looks forward to serving the people of West Texas-his favorite part of the job.
Hunter, who was elected in August 1986, will have served as a representative more than 20 years when his term ends in January 2007. Looking back on his time representing the people of West Texas, Hunter said the work he is most proud of includes helping institute the Tuition Equalization Grant for students, bringing economic development to this area and helping begin a Bible study group for representatives, which continues to meet every week they are in Austin.
And although Hunter has enjoyed serving the people of West Texas, he said he now looks forward to spending more time at the university.
“It will give me more of an opportunity to interact with students and faculty on campus, which I’ve missed over the years,” Hunter said. “And of course I look forward to having an open office in my Zellner office.”