Friday, February 03, 2006

Rap Up: Valerie Corte to Step In HD 122, Frank to Serve in Iraq

The story took awhile to unfold yesterday, but here are all the details from the Express-News.

State Rep. Frank Corte Jr., a Marine reservist, said Thursday he's shipping out to Iraq and will miss the special session Gov. Rick Perry is expected to call before June.

But his wife, Valerie Corte, won't.

The seven-term lawmaker said he'll appoint her to take his place until he returns.

Valerie Corte, 38, an assistant vice president in Frost National Bank's financial management unit, will face public office for the first time as legislators struggle to mend the state's school finance system.

The Texas Supreme Court gave lawmakers until June to make the overhaul, and Gov. Rick Perry has said he'll call the Legislature back into session in April or May.

"It's nothing more than another military wife stepping up to the plate and doing what has to be done to get the job done," Valerie Corte said.

Corte, 46, a colonel, said he'll leave for Iraq's Al Anbar province later this month and return in September. He'll serve with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group, which will help Iraqi officials craft policies on economic development, transportation, water and property rights.

A state constitutional amendment, approved by voters in 2003, gives power to lawmakers and appointed officials who are placed on active military duty to name their temporary replacement.

Besides the special session, Corte also will miss part of campaign season. He doesn't have a Republican challenger in the March 7 primary, but he'll face Democrat Larry Stallings in next November's election.

Stallings, who spent 30 years in the military, including 20 in the Army Medical Service Corps, said he won't make political hay out of Corte's absence.

"I would never try to create a public embarrassment about his being unable to participate in a debate because of his military service," Stallings said. "I wish him the best."


At 9:10 AM, Blogger COMM-D said...

Larry certainly understands what it's like to be deployed and wouldn't dream of being anything but supportive.

I'm sure there will be bigger impact on his family than there is on the campaign. Larry deployed twice when I was growing up so I feel for Frank and Valerie's children.

Fortunately, his assignment will be as a policy advisor, and not something dangerous in a combat zone; so I am sure he will be back with us soon, and hopefully in time for the November elections!


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