Former state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, a Houston Republican who served two decades before losing a re-election bid three years ago, was hired Monday as executive director of the
Texas GOP.
“Talmadge Heflin has over 25 years of conservative leadership and experience as both a leader in the Texas Legislature and a businessman,” Republican Party Chairman Tina Benkiser said.
Heflin succeeds Jeff Fisher, a former Van Zandt County judge who will continue as an adviser to the party, Benkiser said.
Heflin was a state lawmaker from 1983 to 2004, including a stint as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
In November 2004, he lost by 16 votes to political newcomer Hubert Vo, a Democrat who became the first Vietnamese to serve in the Texas House. An election recount showed Vo’s victory margin over Heflin was 33 votes and Heflin challenged the results before
the House. While Heflin gained 17 votes in the investigation, he withdrew his challenge in February 2005 to avoid the possibility of a bitter partisan fight.
Later that year, he applied to become director of the Texas Lottery Commission but subsequently withdrew the application to try to regain his House seat. He lost the election last November, again to Vo, but this time by 10 percentage points, or about 2,000 votes.