Senator Nichols named ‘Champion of Transparency’

Left to right: Jennifer Ricks (Lufkin Daily News), Jake Mienk (Palestine Herald Press), Lange Svehlak (CNHI Papers), Donnis Baggett (TPA Executive Vice President), Senator Robert Nichols, Rick Craig (Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel), Mike Hodges (TPA Executive Director)

This week, members of the Texas Press Association (TPA) named Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) a ‘Champion of Transparency’.

“I am grateful to TPA for this honor. I believe local newspapers are an essential form of communication all over Texas, but especially in East Texas,” said Senator Nichols. “I have and will continue to stand behind and support the needs of the newspapers within Senate District 3.”

Senator Nichols was honored for his work in ensuring there is transparency in government by providing Texans with access to governmental meetings and records. As well as ensuring public notices, which are required of governmental bodies, are made available in newspapers.

“The Texas Press Association is proud to name Sen. Robert Nichols a Champion of Transparency for 2017-18. He is a staunch defender of the public’s right to know about the activities and intentions our government,” said Donnis Baggett, Texas Press Association Executive Vice President. “His votes in the Texas Senate and his advocacy for citizens dealing with state agencies are impactful. Texas is well-served to have such an effective voice for transparency and accountability in the Legislature.”

First elected to the Texas Senate in 2007, Robert Nichols represents 19 counties including the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County.

In the Texas Senate, Nichols serves as Chairman for the Transportation Committee. He  also serves on the Senate Finance, Administration, and Business and Commerce Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and is serving his third term on the Sunset Advisory Commission.

The Texas Press Association is the voice of the state’s newspaper industry. The association promotes the welfare of Texas newspapers, encourages higher standards of journalism, and plays an important role in protecting the public’s right to know as an advocate of First Amendment liberties. TPA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest newspaper trade associations, representing more than 450 newspapers across the state.

Jake Mienk (Palestine Herald Press ) and Senator Robert Nichols
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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