updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

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Abbott plans to visit East Texas

Networking 071620PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS Former Mayor Jimmie Cooley networked with JEDCO Director Eddie Hopkins, U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin, NAPC President Lonnie Grissom, TCIC President Gil Tubb, and Texas Rep. Dr. James White at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 to help schedule a visit to East Texas by Governor Greg Abbott. Pictured (L-R) are Grissom, White, Cooley, Babin, Tubb, and Hopkins.

By Michael G. Maness

WOODVILLE – Governor Greg Abbott is planning on coming to East Texas soon.

Former Woodville Mayor Jimmie Cooley and Texas Rep. James White were visiting Abbott at his mansion in Austin, and Abbott expressed to Cooley an interest in coming to East Texas. Cooley said she would have to “check with her boys.”

Abbott deferred to his scheduler who set a date with Cooley and White, then Covid-19 surged again, and that forced a rescheduling.

Cooley networked with Eddie Hopkins, executive director of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO), who hosted a meeting at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 with U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin (R-Woodville); Lonnie Grissom of the North American Procurement Company; Gil Tubb of the Tyler County Industrial Corporation; White and Cooley.

They discussed options and will be working on a date with Abbott’s office to come to Jasper in the near future. Hopkins said, “We need more partnership with each other for the betterment and growth of East Texas.”

Babin said, “Great to think regional. We need to meet together more often.”

The meeting of economic shakers in East Texas also discussed the new sawmill coming to Jasper County, timber and logging in the area, the redistricting of Texas, the I-14 highway that will go through Woodville and Jasper, Mobile Oil Credit Union in Woodville, and much more.

They also discussed the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe U.S. H.B. 759, and the need to get U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to support that bill. It will, if passed, clarify gaming laws and allow the tribe to continue to operate its gaming facility, Naskila Gaming.

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