Danny Pelton, 53, said he has long considered running for public office - and now he is taking the plunge. 

The Erath County resident who sells medical equipment and owns a uniform shop in Granbury with his wife, Kathy, is running for state representative for district 59, currently held by Sid Miller.

"We need people in the business world to step up and apply common sense," Pelton said.

He said he has no idea if Miller, who is considering a run for congress, will seek another term.

"I was disappointed to see that (Miller) says that a congressional district was drawn for him," he said. "But I'm not running because of that. I'm running because I am ready to serve."

Pelton is a native Texan who grew up in Amarillo and moved to Erath County 15 years ago.

He will run as a Republican and said he will spread a "conservative message" during what he said will be a vigorous campaign.

"One of the things I would like to see most is more support of small businesses," he said. "The state has done plenty to give tax breaks to large businesses, but we need to help smaller ones."

One of the things Pelton said he is most upset about is recent cuts to the state's mental health budget.

"They cut $20 million from that budget and it is affecting sheriff's departments across the state," he said. "I have talked to numerous sheriffs who say the cuts have put a strain on their jails because they are forced to keep inmates who need to be in mental health facilities."

Pelton said he will spend the next several months traveling the district and learning more about voters' concerns.

"I have never run for office before and I do not plan to make a career out of it," he said. "I think people should serve in Austin and then return home and get back to their jobs."