Veterinarian Dr. Mike Jones has launched his political campaign to challenge incumbent Sid Miller for the District 59 statehouse seat.

The official filing deadline is Nov. 3. Miller recently announced his plans to run for re-election. The district includes Somervell, Erath, Comanche, Mills, Hamilton and Coryell counties.

Jones has been a veterinarian in Glen Rose since 1984. He graduated from Tarleton State University and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1979 from Texas A&M University.

His agricultural career took him through the encephalitis outbreaks in Texas horses in 1971, brucellosis eradication in Texas battle and an avian influenza outbreak in Pennsylvania in 1983.

Jones also is a vet of another kind — he is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served on active duty from 1979 to 1984 and in the reserves from 2006 to 2008.

“I worked at a biological laboratory for the Army before bioterrorism was a word used in public,” Jones said. “The protection of Texas agriculture is paramount to our state and national security, and economy.”

He has been a college instructor, a member of the Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, a trustee on the Glen Rose ISD board and a member of the Glen Rose Economic Development Commission.

Jones said his top legislative concerns are the Texas agricultural industry, bioterrorism and Texas cattle, border security, school finance reform, tax reform and fair taxation and term limits. He also supports the Second Amendment and state's rights and is “pro-life” on the abortion issue.

“Our financial stability in the state must be addressed,” Jones said. “It's no longer acceptable to kick it down the road.”

After a decade of the so-called “Robin Hood” public school finance plan, legislators still cannot figure out an equitable plan, he added. Glen Rose ISD is among the district designated

As a result, school districts “are left in August trying to figure out their budget,” he said. “Texas needs to look at its method of taxation and collection for school finance. Our current school education system needs strong support.”

On the issues of taxes, Jones said he believed Texas could lead the nation in sales tax reform and streamlining the collection system. That would save each small business thousands of dollars each year, he said, “reducing the size of the sales tax office in Austin AND without a loss of revenue to the state.

“I have a plan,” Jones added.

Jones also said he supported the principles of the original 1995 Contract with America — fiscal responsibility, smaller government and term limits.

“Career politicians cannot seem to keep government out of our pockets,” Jones said, “and they don't seem willing to re-enter the private sector. Send them home.”

Jones has three children. Philip Jones graduated from Glen Rose in 1998, and now lives with his wife, Nickey, in Lewisville. Matt Jones graduated in 2002 and lives in Morgan with his wife, Tiffany. His daughter, Hope, is 8 years old.