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Home News-Telegram News Gubernatorial candidate Schieffer makes brief campaign stop in Hopkins County

Gubernatorial candidate Schieffer makes brief campaign stop in Hopkins County

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Tom Schieffer was in Sulphur Springs Friday evening as part of a statewide tour kicking off his campaign to run for governor on the Democratic Party ticket in 2010. Schieffer was the guest of honor at a reception in the home of Patsy Bennett.

“We are delighted to have Ambassador Scheiffer here,” said Hopkins County Democratic Party Chairman Bill Brannon. “I feel like he’s highly qualified and I feel like it’s time for a new governor.”

Boyd L. Ritchie, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, also praised Schieffer, saying, “He’s working awfully hard. Right now, he’s going around the state, listening to what people have to say and getting his message out.”

According to his webisite, www.tomfortexas.com, the Fort Worth native was only 25 when he was elected in 1972 to his first of three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

As a lawyer and successful businessman in Fort Worth, Schieffer later became a partner in the investment group that bought the Texas Rangers baseball team. Schieffer headed the effort that built The Ballpark in Arlington, and served as president of the team until stepping down in 1999.

Schieffer, a lifelong Democrat, was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia in 2001 and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan in 2005. Schieffer was instrumental in securing Australia's military assistance in Afghanistan and Iraq following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In Japan, he was intimately involved in negotiating a far-reaching reorganization of that country's alliance with the U.S., and he actively campaigned to restore American beef imports to Japan after they were suspended over fears of "mad cow" disease.

While in Japan, Schieffer also was a major player in the negotiations surrounding the Six Party Talks, which centered on North Korea's attempts to become a nuclear weapons state. He was praised by Japanese and American human rights groups for keeping the issue of the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean intelligence agents before the Six Party negotiators.

Schieffer is the younger brother of longtime CBS newsman Bob Schieffer. He and Susan, his wife of 29 years, have one son, Paul, who is currently pursuing a career in the music industry.

Asked why he decided to run for governor, Schieffer said, “I think Texas is falling behind. I’m worried. If we don’t do something about it, we’re going to become a Third World state.”

Schieffer is particularly passionate about education.

“We can do a better job in education,” he explained. “I believe that we have to realize in the globalized world, an education has to start earlier and never end. We have to look at education as the basic building block of our prosperity. I worry today that kids, who are dropping out of school in some neighborhoods at the rate of 40, 50, 60 percent, are not going to have the chance to compete or find a job.”

Scheiffer says that education can never stop; it has to continue throughout a person’s life.

“One of the things that I think is very important is to have an educational system that people can plug back into,” he explained. “Because with all of the technologies, industries are born, they mature and they die. Unless people have the chance to plug back in and learn new skills, they’re not going to be able to find a new job.”




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