By Chris Edwards
NACOGDOCHES – Tyler County’s own James E. White, the former state representative from Hillister, was awarded, last week, the “Silver Bucket Award” from the Texas Forest Country Partnership (TFCP).
White was given the award for his many years of service, representing the former District 19 in the lower chamber of the Texas Legislature at the organization’s summit last Monday in Nacogdoches.
White spoke to the crowds at the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center, where the event was held, and although he joked, initially, about the possibility of being long-winded, he kept his acceptance speech brief.
White called his years of serving in the House “an honor and a blessing,” and thanked his former constituents, and legislators who supported his work, such as Sen. Robert Nichols.
The Silver Bucket Award is given annually to individuals in the region serviced by the TFCP who work to create opportunities for economic development and viability. Nichols, who was White’s colleague in the Senate, is a former recipient, as was the late congressman Charlie Wilson.
White resigned from office following last year’s redistricting and an unsuccessful bid in the Republican primary to run for the state Commissioner of Agriculture office. Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) picked up Tyler and Polk counties.
White praised the current legislators and told the crowd they would continue to fight for their constituents.
The TFCP, which is formerly known as the Pineywoods Economic Partnership, was founded in 1960 as a non-profit economic development organization, according to its website.
The organization serves a 12-county area and is dedicated to enriching the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the region.
The counties serviced by TFCP include Tyler; Angelina; Houston; Jasper; Nacogdoches; Newton; Polk; Sabine; San Augustine; San Jacinto; Shelby and Trinity.
Ivanhoe Mayor Cathy Bennett, who previously served as TFCP secretary was recently named chairperson of the organization.