I’m just guessing here, but Mike Krusee seems like the logical choice to succeed Ric Williamson as chair of the Texas Transportation Commission. Krusee was the original sponsor of the mammoth transportation bill in 2003, and he is a true believer in the need for toll roads and in the Trans-Texas Corridor. He knows the issues inside out. He’s not seeking reelection. The main competition is commissioner Ted Houghton, of El Paso, but Houghton doesn’t have the political savvy to handle that job. Commissioner Ned Holmes of Houston could handle the job, but he is so closely identified with the Port of Houston that rival ports in South Texas, which are seeking toll road connections to the proposed Interstate 69 would raise objections to his appointment. (Houston business leaders, of whom Holmes is one, generally prefer toll roads to be built by the Harris County Toll Road Authority.) Another possible roadblock is that Williamson was from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The other four commissioners are from Lubbock, Houston, San Antonio, and El Paso. Krusee is from suburban Austin. If he were named to replace Williamson, the Metroplex would be without a representative on the commission. That would cause a big stink. Perry will have no new appointments, other than the chairmanship, until December 2009, when the terms of the Lubbock and San Antonio commissioners will expire. So Krusee’s path to the chairmanship is by no means unobstructed.
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