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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

On The Record: Lloyd Criss

For this installment of On The Record, I spoke with Lloyd Criss, Galveston County Democratic Party Chair and SDEC Committeeman from Senate District 11.

How did you get started in politics? Did you come to it in your youth or later on?

On my 21st birthday, my father accompanied me to the County Courthouse for two reasons: to meet our Democratic County Tax-Assessor Collector C. R. Johnson and to register me to vote. Also during that first year of eligibility to vote I joined the local Young Democrats Club and the County Democrats Club.

What was your personal progression to where you are today?

I was a Precinct Chair, and the President of the Young Democrats Club. Then I became the President of the Galveston County Democrats Club. I was elected as Chairman of the Galveston County Democratic Party. I served six terms as a State Representative, and four terms as Chair of the Texas House Labor Committee. At one point I organized with Representative Bob Bush, Sherman, the Democratic Caucus in the Texas House of Representatives. After serving I was elected as the County Chair again in 2005, 2006. In 2006 I was elected as a member of the SDEC.

What would you say are the primary issues concerning the state?

The only real issue that really matters is the return of the Democratic Party to power in our state government. Without that accomplishment, our concerns over other state issues are irrelevant.

Do you have any ambition for higher office? Do you have plans to run for any other party office, or possibly even public office?

No! No!

Who are some of your political heroes?

My heroes on a state political basis are former State Sen. A. R. “Babe” Schwartz and former Gov. Ann Richards. National heroes are former Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your political life?

Without a doubt the single most defining moment in my political life was when my daughter Susan Criss gained election as Judge of the 212th District Court. She defeated an incumbent Republican Judge who had been appointed by George W. Bush. She has since been re-elected to two additional terms.

What are you looking forward to in the coming cycle?

I am looking forward in 2008 to the election of a Democratic President and more progress by the Democratic Party in Texas. Under Chair Boyd Richie, our state party moved forward in 2006 and I believe we will make further gains in 2008.

What would you say the political breakdown of your family is? Is it mostly Democratic or are you somewhat unique?

My family is Democratic, always has been and always will be.

What advice would you give to young people just getting into politics?

I would advise all young people getting into politics to work hard, listen and learn. Remember that what you do and accomplish politically has an impact on the lives of others.

What one thing would you say a political organization never has enough of?

I am not aware of any one thing that is lacking in every political organization. More often than not for Democrats, it is money. The one thing lacking in every Republican organization I have ever witnessed is conscience.

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