Chairman's Circle Profile : Representative Jim Keffer

"A True Texas Taxpayer Watchdog", State Representative Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) is a conservative family man, small business owner and a lifelong Texas Republican. He is pro-life and pro-property owner/gun owner rights.

Prior to running for the Texas legislature, Jim served as Republican County Chairman for Eastland County. In 1997, he became the first Republican to ever represent District 60 and has won overwhelming reelections ever since. In his first session, Jim co-authored and passed the "Texas Taxpayer Appraisal Bill of Rights" which created the first-ever cap on property tax appraisals and enabled portability of senior citizen property tax freezes.

It is estimated that Representative Keffer's tax-cutting legislation has saved Texas families and businesses BILLIONS of Tax dollars and he is credited with having helped pass and author the three largest tax cuts in Texas history (1997, 1999 and 2007). In addition to Jim's tax cutting reforms, he has also authored and helped pass landmark conservative legislation signed into law by both Republican Governor George W Bush and Rick Perry.

Jim currently serves as Chairman of the Texas House Committee on Energy Resources. He also serves on the House Calendars Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, Redistricting Committee and Texas House Republican Caucus. A legislative leader in past sessions, Representative Keffer has previously served as Chairman of other House committees including: Ways and Means, Economic Development, and the House Select Committee on Property Tax Relief.

Jim and his wife, Leslie, first met at a church summer camp in East Texas. This year, they will be celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary and have 3 grown sons and a granddaughter. Representative Keffer is a graduate of Texas Tech University and is president of a family owned and operated iron foundry business with plants in Eastland and Albany, Texas. As president of EBAA Iron Sales, Inc., Keffer is one of the largest employers in his community. Jim has also given generously with his time in the community. He has served as Deacon and Sunday School Teacher in the first Baptist Church of Eastland, Past President of the Eastland Little League and is active with economic development through his local Chamber of Commerce and in the Texas Association of Business.

Representative Keffer has received numerous awards including: the Texas Association of Business "Champion of Free Enterprise Award", the Texas Medical Association's "Texas Medicine’s Best Legislator Award", the Texas Industrial Vocational Association's "Outstanding Leader Award"; the Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers Association of Texas "Golden Flame Award", the Texas Academy of Family Physician's "Patient Advocacy Award" and he was recognized as a "Star for Rural Texas" by Texas Farm Bureau. Additionally, he was named one of the five best members of the legislature by the news service Gallery Watch.

In 2010, Jim also helped organize the "RPT's Debt Busters" fundraising program which helped collect approximately$300,000 to get the RPT out of debt and into the black.

RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri thanked him saying, "Early in my chairmanship, Representative Jim Keffer stopped by the RPT headquarters to discuss the state of the party and offer his assistance. When I explained to him the financial distress the party was in, owing approximately three-quarters of a million dollars, Jim made it his personal mission to help the RPT retire its debt. Jim and his political consultants, Election Group LLC, headed by Bryan Eppstein, devised a plan to create a committee of House members to commit to raising a substantial portion of money to retire the debt. As a result of Representative Keffer's efforts, Republican legislators collectively contributed approximately $300,000 to the party. It was very important to Representative Keffer that the party practiced what it preached and not deficit spend or carry long term debt. I will always be grateful, as should the party, for the tremendous help Representative Keffer gave the RPT in its hour of need. Representative Keffer has continued his involvement with the party, constantly offering advice and making himself available for RPT functions. Most recently, he was part of a legislative panel at our SREC meeting which updated the grassroots on the legislative session. On behalf of the RPT, I would like to thank Representative Jim Keffer for his ongoing support!"