Rep. Gary VanDeaver, left, and Gov. Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed Rep. Gary VanDeaver, who is seeking re-election. 

NEW BOSTON — Rep. Gary VanDeaver has announced he will seek re-election to the Texas House, and he has received endorsement from Gov. Greg Abbott.

“I am proud to endorse Rep. Gary VanDeaver for re-election,” Abbott said in a press release. “Gary is a strong conservative leader who worked to rein in your property taxes and improve education for Texas students.”

VanDeaver said he is proud to have Abbott’s support.

“Representing my Northeast Texas home in the Texas House is an honor and a privilege,” he said in the press release. “I’m running for re-election to build on our accomplishments and continue fighting to keep our local communities, public schools and to strengthen our region’s economy so that future generations can live, raise a family and prosper here.”

VanDeaver represents District 1, which includes Bowie, Lamar, Franklin and Red River counties. He is a retired school superintendent and is serving his third term in the House. During his time in office, he has served on the Appropriations Committee as a state budget writer and the public education committee where he helped pass school finance reforms.

During the 86th legislative session, VanDeaver was heavily involved in education legislation, working on the teacher retirement system, school safety improvements and increased wages for teachers. He assisted with the passage of a property tax cut, investing state money to buy down public schools’ portion of property tax bills. VanDeaver also co-authored HJP 38, which became Proposition 4 on the November 2019 ballot — a proposition making it harder for lawmakers to enact an income tax, requiring support from two-thirds of the House and Senate and a majority of voters instead of a simple majority. The proposition passed with a 74% approval rate.

“As a retired teacher and superintendent, I know the importance of education to give every Texas daughter and son a solid foundation to succeed in life, and also to develop a strong workforce to propel the Texas economy as one of the greatest forces for economic progress in the world,” he said in the press release.

As VanDeaver prepares for re-election, he has hosted town hall forums across his district, hearing from constituents on issues from income tax policy to STAAR testing. He said his team is already at work putting together a legislative package for the 87th session. His goals for the next session include continued financial reforms, improving school safety while maintaining each district’s independence and flexibility, and improving access to mental health resources.

“Together, we have achieved great things, but there is more work to do,” he said. “I am eager to keep up the fight for our northeast Texas home.”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or

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