Eric Opiela is a 5th generation Texan, rancher, and property rights advocate. He knows the issues affecting our farmers and ranchers aren’t isolated to our agricultural industry – they affect every Texan and much of the world. That’s why he’s running
Why am I running for this office? To make a difference with independent decisions while preserving our Texas values of God, country, family, the flag, and our independence. I am pro-Constitution and will STAND UP AGAINST the Obamanites.
Eric and his wife, Lara, split time between Karnes City and Austin with their two children, Natalie and Ryan.
J grew up on a ranch. J also commits his time and resources supporting his community of Uvalde with his wife Brooke and their three children.
Family: Wife: Debra
2 Children: Truett, Joseph.
Birth Date: 09/06/1955
Birthplace: DeLeon, TX
Home City: Stephenville, TX
Tommy and his wife Janet are the proud parents of 3 children and have 1 grandchild. They live in Kilgore.
For the past decade Eric has worked on behalf of landowners as a property rights attorney. After law school, he clerked for The Honorable Mary Ellen Coster Williams, on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.
J returned home to Uvalde and Winter Garden starting as a field harvest manager, working his way up through various sales and management positions; ultimately becoming principal owner and manager. J and his family also own over 3500 acres of farmland
Owner, Miller Christmas Stores, 1988-2000
Owner, Lone Oak Farms, 1983-2000
Owner, Miller Nursery and Tree Company, 1983-2000
Teacher, Vocational Agriculture, 1978-1983
Deacon/Sunday School Teacher, Green Creek Baptist Church
Self Employed Farmer/Landscape Contractor
Founder, Gregg Industrial Insulators, 1976-present
Postal Inspector, United States Postal Service, 1971-1974
In addition to being a working farmer and rancher, Merritt created hundreds of jobs as a small business owner.
Chairs the South Texans’ Property Rights Association’s Eminent Domain Committee. Eric served as the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Texas from 2008-2009, and currently is its Associate General Counsel. He was Chairman of the Karnes County
Member, Texas Rural Health and Economic Development Advisory Council
Past President and Director Texas Vegetable Association
PastDirector Texas Produce Association
Texas Representative, National Council of Ag Employers; Member, United Fresh-Government
Member, American Legislative Exchange Council, present
Member, Future Farmers of America Advisory Board, present
Member, Green Creek Baptist Church, present
Member, House Veterans and Military Affairs Coalition, present
Member, Leadership Stephenville
Member, Junior Achievement of East Texas
Member, Rail Working Group, National Conference of State Legislators
Member, Turn Around Kilgore
Member, Turn Around Longview.
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, 1996-present
First elected to the City Council in 2008, J was elected Mayor in 2012.
Representative, Texas State House of Representatives, 2000-present
Member, Stephenville Independent School District Board, 1999-2000.
Representative, Texas State House of Representatives, 1996-present
Chairman/Director, Gregg County Appraisal Board, 1986-1993.
Finance Chairperson for the First United Methodist Church.
Member, First Baptist Church
Eric graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Degree in Finance from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business in 1997.
BS, Vocational Agricultural Education, Tarleton State University, 1978
AA, Cisco Junior College, 1976.
BBA, Texas Christian University, 1970
Attended, Kilgore College.