Callison says he’s stepping down as CEO of his firm at the end of the year and will be succeeded by shareholder Phil Appenzeller, currently chief operating officer and head of the business litigation section.
“There was no way for me to effectively do what I need to do as CEO and run a campaign and run for office,” says Callison, who says his fourth two-year term as CEO ends at the end of the year.
Appenzeller did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Callison says he decided to run for the Texas House of Representatives after incumbent Rep. Van Taylor announced earlier this year he would seek the Republican nomination for Ken Paxton’s state senate seat, which also covers Collin County. Paxton is seeking the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general.
Callison notes that Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement in July that he would not seek re-election set off a “domino effect” that paved the way for Taylor’s seat coming open.
“Just after thinking about it myself and with the encouragement of my wife and several close friends, I really felt like it was opportunity to go to Austin and really make a difference,” he says.
Callison says he’s done some advocacy work on a volunteer basis in Austin for several groups including the Baylor Regional Medical Center of Plano and real estate groups NAIOP and The Real Estate Council.
About a month ago, Callison says, he went to the firm’s management committee to inform them he was thinking about running for office.
“I expressed the idea to them and received their very firm commitment and support,” he says.
He notes that he didn’t make up his mind to run until a couple days ago.
Callison says that even before he began to think seriously about running for office, he had decided he would not seek another term as CEO of the 115-lawyer firm.
“It was time for me to step down and hand the reins to someone else,” Callison says.
If elected as state representative, Callison says his goal is to “really go down there and serve as a conservative, commonsense voice.”
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys