A band scholarship brought Kent Grusendorf from his hometown of Waco to Arlington State College in the early 1960s. He arrived with only $90 in his pocket and a French horn under his arm, but he soon settled in.
1965, he graduated from ASC (now UTA) with a bachelor's degree in business
administration. In time, Grusendorf made Arlington his permanent home
and became active in the local political scene. But he never expected
to run for elective office.
He has served as the representative for House District 94 since 1987. In this, the 77th legislative session, Grusendorf will continue to work on educational issues, particularly school accountability. But he sees redistricting as the big issue of the session. Along with the other nine members of the redistricting committee, Grusendorf will receive the final results of the 2000 federal census in March or April.
Then the group will begin the important, and potentially divisive, process of redrawing the lines for Texas' U.S. congressional districts, the state House and Senate districts, and the state Board of Education districts. "It can be very contentious because there is so much at stake," he said. Who gets elected to represent Texas-and from which party-depends greatly on how the lines are drawn. That kind of power and influence can spawn heated debate.
However, in general, Grusendorf sees Texas politics as a congenial, cooperative
venture. Still, the ever-conservative representative adds, "There is merit
to our Legislature meeting only every other year. The citizenry is at
less risk when the Legislature meets less often."