Yes ... if anyone was a true friend and loyal citizen and committed Christian, it was Lloyd Criss Jr. He and I go back about 60 years. I was a member of the State Board of Education in the early ‘60s, and Lloyd and our banker friend Walter Hall were encouraging me to run for county judge of Galveston County.
That was 1966; Lloyd became one of my campaign chairmen in that election. He helped me with the many organized labor unions he had close contacts with and the campaign was successful. Lloyd’s brother, Don Criss, also helped me in that election.
And then in 1978, Lloyd ran for state representative and I helped him. He was a successful state representative, and I spent a lot of time in his capitol office in Austin asking him to pass legislation to help Galveston County. I bothered him so much that he was glad when the legislative session was over. But Lloyd passed many bills to help Galveston County. He was effective for 12 years as a state representative and I, and other officials, were deeply appreciative of the superb work he did for the county.
Lloyd was also a fellow Episcopal church member with me, although he liked to attend church at 8 a.m. and I usually went to church at 10 a.m. He was a committed Christian, and we shared many Christian views together. Lloyd also wrote many Christian viewpoints in The Galveston County Daily News and other publications. They were right on target and he was always, always in line with the Bible. He lived his faith.
And Lloyd wrote a book, “Rough & Tumble: Texas Political Combat” mainly about his time in the Texas Legislature, but he devoted a whole chapter to my 1966 campaign for county judge. I was honored he wrote about my election. He was clearly a true friend.
And his talented daughter Susan followed in his footsteps, running for district judge and serving with skill and dedication for several terms. The whole Criss family are extraordinary people, and I’m honored to be friends with all of them. They all followed in Lloyd’s footsteps as Christians and great citizens of our country.
We have lost a superb official, and I lost a true friend in Lloyd Criss Jr.