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Sen. Kip Averitts $492,000 water bill

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The Ellis County Press

WACO – Sen. Kip Averitts withdrawal from his re-election race to represent Ellis Cou-nty and the rest of Senate District 22 has left gallons of que-stions.

Averitt, the 31-member state senate’s go-to guy for future Texas water needs and considered one of the most liberal-voting Republicans in Texas, cited health reasons last month when he announced he would be dropping out, leaving conservative challenger Darren Yancy, R-Burleson, as the only major candidate left to succeed Averitt.

Chris DeCluitt, a State Republican Executive Committee member, is busy in Waco with Averitt supporters to get Averitt re-nominated despite the fact our incumbent state senator dropped out (his name is still on the ballot, though.)

DeCluitt, who could be the appointed GOP nominee should Averitt win re-nomination and get the backing of a majority of county chairs, and Averitt political forces are the same; without the DeCl-uitt family’s help, Averitt would not have been elected to the state House in 1992.

Same for 2002 when Averitt, who faced Ellis County conservative Ed Harrison in the GOP primary, ran for higher office. It doesn’t help DeCluitts cause, either, that ACO RN is also helping churn out the vote for Averitt.

The Brazos River Authority, the body that manages the huge swath of river through McLennan Cou-nty, appointed DeCluitt to its board of directors as a presiding officer; Averitts leadership in the Senate has steered loads of cash to the governmental entity for water needs. The BRA has also been sued by upstream Texans for breach of contract and failure to meet contractual obligations to the Brazos Electric Co-Op, specifically on building a dam to generate electricity for those who live near Fort Worth.

According to court documents, the Brazos Electric Co-Op was tired of paying $492,000 in annual dues for a dam to be constructed at Possum Kingdom Lake, a project Averitt steered money for several legislative sessions ago.

The Ellis County Press sent Averitt, DeCluitt and McLennan County GOP Chairman Joe Hinton a list of questions about this lawsuit, the allegations contained in the Brazos Co-Op s court documents two weeks ago, asking them to respond. The silence on this $492,000 "water bill" is deafening.

Many answers pertaining to litigation and allegations of breach of contract between governing entities is usually met with "no comment," but no comment at all?

Silence is, as the adage goes, an indictment. For the public efforts to keep McLennan County’s role in Austin, this silent treatment is hard to figure out.

Yancy, meanwhile, declined to comment for this story but added he was focused on his race and keeping it positive.

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Nelson Propane

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