Rep. John Smithee ready for next legislative session

Serving District 86 since 1985, Representative John Smithee is our most tenured lawmaker from this area.

He like the other legislators we've profiled, also views redistricting and the budget deficit as the top items that have to not only be addressed but resolved in the next session.

"We've got to pass a budget and we've got to at least make an attempt because if we don't...It's kicked into the Legislative Redistricting Board. So those are the two big issues, because they're Constitutional issues that we have to come to terms with during the course of the session."

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After a quarter of a century in Austin politics, he knows his way around, and knows there can be a point of contention when drawing boundary lines that extends beyond party lines.

"Republican's have one plan, Democrats have their own but it's also contentious from a member versus member standpoint, because anyway you divide the lines, there'll be about a dozen house members who simply are going to lose their seat, because of population shifts.