Dear Neighbors,

My name is Gavin Bruney, and I want to be your new state representative.

In humbly seeking this privilege, I pledge to be a strong, fresh voice for the 175,000 folks residing in District 21. Critical issues confront us all. My paramount concern will be for the citizens of our district, which is primarily made up of Orange County, all of mid-Jefferson County, a portion of south county, Hamshire and a small slice of Beaumont.

Eligibility for this office requires being a District 21 reprensemtative for one year. I have called Port Arthur and Nederland my home for 29 years. My opponent moved inside the district boundary late last year.

We have all this summer to debate the issues. My positions will be made clear in print and at public forums. I also solicit your input.

My political leanings have always been determined by positions I deem to be in the best interests of hard-working middle class families and those on the fringe.. I thereby am proud to claim a lifelong affiliation with the Democratic Party.

For too long, political tactics of division and obstruction have created at uneven playing field.

--State coffers have missed out on huge amounts of federal health care assistance because of destsructive vendettas, and most folks have been victimized by tax schemes designed to favor the few at the top.

--Local school districts have had to scramble to avoid teacher layoff because of the slashing of education funds, and now have to appeal their case in court.

--Another fight will be against legislation favoring the insurance industry and the proposal to imposea windstorm"surtax" on Jefferson County residents.

--I will adamantly refuse any attempt to infringe on our area's water supply, and will be a strong advocate for protection of our precious natural resources and the air we breathe.

Many current politicians in Austin have the audacity to blame all our troubles on Washington. Secede, some cynically suggest. They may think it's funny. I find it offensive, especially to the countless thousands who have put their lives on the line for this grand nation.

My life experiences qualify me to be your state represenative.

My family values were formed in a close-knit Catholic Cajun home in Lake Charles. My dad died a young man, but instilled in me a love of the outdoors that I will always cherish. Mom's strong faith and perseverance inspired me to strive for success.

After graduation from LaGrange High School and McNeese State University, I was accepted into the Charity School of Nurse Anesthesia in New Orleans. Upon completion of training at Charity, I began my career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Mid-Jefferson County Hospital. I was at Mid-Jeff for 20 years, and have served at The Medical Center of Southeast Texas since its opening in 2005.

My wife, the former Catherine Hughes, is a lifelong resident of Nederland, and our family resides at 2507 Gary Avenue. Our sons, Alec and Andrew, are my favorite hunting and fishing buddies, and on occasion I've had the pleasure of being joined for a lake outing by our daughter, Emma.

Catherine, a wonderful mom, practices law in Nederland, and is the business manager for Ed Hughes Enterprises. Alex, 23, has a business finance degree from Lamar University and is employed by a local construction firm. Andrew, 19, recently entered the workforce in Houston, and Emma, ll, is a student at C.O. Wilson Middle School.

Assisting skilled surgeons for nearly three decades has given me a keen appreciation for our health care needs. How to deliver these services to all---the young and old, those with insurance and those on the margins---will be a concern I can speak to from a unique perspective.

I also have practical experience in dealing with the complex issues of public education, having served as a trustee for the Nederland ISD. I was chairman of the board's capital improvement committee, which made proposals leading to the eventual passage of some $28 million in bonds in 2012. The projects will result in significant energy savings and improved safety measures at each of the seven district campuses.

I have a passion for our the protection of our bountiful environment. This has led to committee assignments for Mid-South Ducks Unlimited and the south county Coastal Conservation Association. I belong to the SALT Club on Pleasue Island, the Triangle Tail Chasers fishing club and the Gulf Coast Redfish tour. As a member of the NRA, I support our 2nd Amendment rights.

I have also enjoyed coaching youth basketball, baseball and soccer, and have promoted junior golf programs.

Thanks for your interest in our future. I welcome your suggestions, and will strive to be worthy of your support at the polls this coming Fall.