FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2007
AUSTIN -- Today Robert Nichols took the oath of office to become the senator for Senate District 3.
"I'm excited to make it official," Nichols said. "My staff and I are ready to hit the ground running."
Nichols won the four-way Republican primary for District 3 in March without a run-off and did not face an opponent in the general election. He replaces former Senator Todd Staples who made a successful bid for Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
Today also began the first day of the 80th Legislative Session. Texas legislators meet in odd-numbered years for 140 days to address the legislative business of the state. Nichols laid out the following as some of his top priorities:
- Providing additional property-tax relief to overburdened homeowners
- Protecting private property rights
- Increasing penalties for convicted child predators
- Addressing Texas' growing transportation needs
- Promoting fair and responsible use of Texas' natural resources, particularly water
"Representing the people of District 3 is an honor," said Nichols. "As senator I pledge to advocate for the unique needs of our district."
As a small businessman, Nichols built four successful manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. Patents, and created over 900 jobs for East Texas families. As Mayor of Jacksonville, Nichols streamlined government by improving services and eliminating waste.
Impressed by his proven ability to increase efficiency without threatening quality, then-Governor George W. Bush recruited Nichols to serve on the Texas Transportation Commission in 1997. While fulfilling his six-year Bush term on the Transportation Commission, Nichols earned a reputation as a committed independent problem solver, helping to triple the number of roadway construction projects built each year without raising taxes. Recognizing his effectiveness, Governor Rick Perry reappointed Nichols to a second term in 2003.
Nichols currently continues serving his community as a board member for Lon Morris College. He also works with doctors and hospital administrators to improve healthcare as a board member of both the East Texas Medical Center and the Nan Travis Hospital Foundation. Nichols also acted as Chairman of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation for seven years and served two terms on the Jacksonville City Council.
Recognized twice as Jacksonville Citizen of the Year, Nichols was also named Jacksonville Businessman of the Year, the U.S. Small Business Administration Small-Business Person of the Year, and he was awarded the Governor's Industrial Expansion Citation by Governor William P. Clements.
Working his way through college by selling fireworks and ironing clothes for other students, Nichols earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Lamar University in 1968. Nichols married his high school sweetheart, Donna, 31 years ago and the two are parents to three children: Brittney, Joshua and Collynn'rae. The Nichols are members of the First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville.