Charles “Doc” Anderson, McLennan County’s representative in Texas House since 2004, announces retirement

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 3:57 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Charles “Doc” Anderson, who has represented Waco and McLennan County in the Texas House of Representatives since 2004, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election to an 11th term.

Anderson, 78, would have been up for re-election in the March 2024 Republican primary. His retirement announcement comes three days after McLennan County businessman Pat Curry announced plans to wage a Republican primary challenge against Anderson for the District 56 seat.

Anderson told KWTX Thursday that Curry’s announcement had no bearing on his decision to retire.

A retired veterinarian, Anderson serves as the chairman of the Texas Legislative Rural Caucus, vice chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock and serves on the House Committee on County Affairs.

“Representing the good people of House District 56 has been the highest honor which could have been bestowed upon me,” Anderson said in a statement. “It’s been a tremendous joy to serve in the Texas House of Representatives through 10 regular legislative sessions and countless special sessions. When my current term ends in January of 2025, I will have served 20 years in the Legislature. While I’m extremely proud of my record of service in the Texas House and love representing my McLennan County friends and neighbors, it’s time for a new chapter in my life and to seek new ways to serve my community, state and nation.”

Anderson ran unopposed in the 2022 Republican primary and defeated Waco attorney Erin Shank 70 percent to 30 percent in the general election.

“I congratulate Doc Anderson on the recent announcement of his retirement from the Texas House of Representatives. John and I hope that he and Lyn have many wonderful retirement years together and we wish them both the best of luck in all of their future endeavors,” said Shank.

Waco attorney Wes Lloyd, immediate past president of the McLennan County Republican Club, a former precinct chair and legal counsel to the local Republican Party, said Anderson has served McLennan County well.

“Doc has an underrated legacy and has weathered a lot of criticism over the years,” Lloyd said. “But he leaves a strong legacy of conservative leadership for District 56 and he earned the right to go out on his own terms. I think he’s got his priorities straight and I’m proud that he was my rep. and proud to call him a friend.”

Anderson noted in his statement that his wife, Sandy, died in 2015 after a 28-year battle with multiple myeloma.

“In late 2016, I married my second soulmate, Lyn, who has been at my side ever since,” Anderson said. “She, too, has served the people of District 56 with distinction and I thank her for all she has done and continues to do for me, McLennan County, and Texas.

“In our short seven years of marriage, I have served during four regular and seven special sessions of the Texas Legislature. Between the legislative sessions, committee hearings, interim studies, caucus meetings, in-district events, and traveling back and forth between Waco and Austin, there wasn’t much time left for two newlyweds. I’m looking forward to spending the next chapter of my life with Lyn, traveling, and getting to do some of the things serving in the Texas Legislature just wouldn’t allow,” he said.

Anderson, who Texas Monthly magazine has labeled “furniture” a number of times in its review of legislative efforts, lists on his web site securing new headquarters funding for Company F of the Texas Rangers in Waco, legislation concerning school bus safety belts and stiffer punishment for child predators through legislation known as “Jessica’s Law” as his major legislative highlights.

Also, Anderson lists his sponsorship of legislation banning the hallucinogen salvia divinorum and a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2011 to extend property tax exemptions to surviving spouses of veterans as other career highlights.

Anderson was named outstanding alumnus of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2014. Anderson said he will continue to actively serve the people of District 56 throughout the remainder of his current two-year term.

He said both his Capitol and District offices will continue to operate as normal for constituent services and support.

“While we have accomplished much over the years, there is still much to be done,” he said. “I expect the Texas Legislature to be called back into special session in October to address the issue of passing school choice. That, and my work as Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, serving as Chair of the Texas Legislative Rural Caucus and as Vice Chair of the Texas House Aerospace Caucus, plus my work as a board member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, will ensure that my next 16 months in office will be busy ones,” Anderson said.

Anderson said “it’s been quite a ride, but we still have a few miles to go.”

“When I do complete my legislative service in 2025, I know I will do so confident in the knowledge that I will have served District 56, McClennan County and the State of Texas honorably, ably, and always in the best interests of the people of House District 56 and Texas.”

Anderson concluded his statement with, “May God bless Texas,” his signature closing line.