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Ancira Strategic Partners was originally founded in April 2016 as Ancira Legislative Consulting, a full-service government relations, public affairs, and political strategy firm representing clients in all areas of Texas public policy. Founder Jesse Ancira Jr. is a longtime Texas Government insider who took his decades of experience in various state leadership positions and leveraged that knowledge for the benefit of private sector clients. Ancira Strategic Partners utilizes the skills and relationships of our experienced team of consultants to provide quality representation of our clients. Our team has a proven track record of providing comprehensive solutions and expertise while interacting with every level of Texas government. We understand the intricacies of government and maximize the results, from legislative advocacy to procurement and professional services. Ancira Strategic Partners stands ready to shape policy goals and create opportunities for our partners and their issues. 

Ancira Strategies Team

Founder & Principal  •

Jesse is the founder of Ancira Strategic Partners (Ancira),  formerly Ancira Strategies, a legislative advocacy firm that represents municipal, public education and fortune 500 clientes  before the Texas legislature.

Jesse is a former Mayor (Taylor, Texas) and is a past president of the Taylor ISD Board of Trustees.

Jesse has over 25 years of experience in Texas state government and the Texas legislative process, including service with the Speaker's Office, Comptroller’s Office, the Texas State Auditor's Office and as a legislative staffer.  As Chief of Staff , he advised the Speaker on policy development, legislative strategy, and legislator relations. He served as the Speaker’s liaison with the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, State Auditor’s Office, and Sunset Commission. Prior to appointment as Chief of Staff, he served Speaker Straus as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor on tax policy, economic development, open records, and ethics matters.

During his tenure at the Comptroller’s Office, Jesse served as Associate Deputy Comptroller, General Counsel, Director of Tax Administration, and Legislative Director. In these roles, he advised the Comptroller and the executive team on fiscal policy, legal, tax administration, legislative, and open records issues. Jesse also managed the Comptroller's Criminal Investigations Division and served as the agency’s Ethics Advisor.

Jesse is a former Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also served as tax counsel for DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, where he advised clients on tax and economic development issues.

Co-Principal & Attorney  •

Colby is an attorney and lobbyist who has primarily focused on government law, including elections, real estate, purchasing, construction, constitutional issues and employment. He also has experience as bond and disclosure counsel, and he has worked on Chapter 313 of the Texas tax code which oversees economic incentive agreements on behalf of school districts. Colby has a wide breadth of experience in the legislative process representing numerous clients on issues relating to education, taxation, healthcare, construction, public finance, economic development and elections.

Colby is also widely recognized as a public speaker in the education field and is highly sought after across the state for various education related groups and initiatives. The son and grandson of Texas school superintendents, Nichols began his career as an aide to former Texas State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and also worked at the Region VI Education Service Center, where he assisted school districts with grant writing, school improvement and data analysis.

Partner & Attorney  •

Carolyn Saegert has more than 20 years of legislative, agency, and legal experience, with an emphasis on state tax policy.  Carolyn possesses an insider's view of the legislative process.  She has held notable positions in the Senate and House leading to significant and lasting relationships with leadership and members of both parties.  Additionally, Carolyn also has experience in the private sector representing corporations and state trade associations in matters including taxation, financial services, data security, and property and various business interests.  

Carolyn has on two occasions served as Fiscal and Tax Counsel for the Lieutenant Governor.  During the 2019 legislative session, Carolyn provided guidance and strategy on all revenue related initiatives and legislation including significant work on the budget and school finance.  In that capacity Carolyn worked closely with the leadership of both chambers of the legislature, the Governor’s office, and state agencies.   

Carolyn began her legislative career in 2000 as Director for the House Committee on Ways and Means.  She held that position under Chairmen of both political parties for five legislative sessions.  With this experience, Carolyn has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience of the House rules and committee process and how to use those for the benefit of her clients.

In addition to her work with the legislature, Carolyn has practiced corporate law, regulatory advocacy and compliance, and PAC compliance spending several years with a state trade association where she worked in various capacities additional to her government relations duties. She also practiced criminal law in state and federal court, in addition to an appellate practice with the Office of the Attorney General.  She is licensed to practice in the State of Texas and has practiced in all Federal Districts in Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Partner  •

Joe Valenzuela has nearly 30 years of experience in the legislative arena, including more than eighteen years as a legislative consultant.  Joe lobbies and provides clients strategic counsel on legislative and regulatory issues in the marketplace and in policy debates. Joe served as chief of staff for two members of the Texas Legislature, including a chairman and, most recently, Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio.  His bipartisan experience allows him to cross party lines and effectively represent a variety of clients on a variety of issues, including but not limited to; criminal justice issues, water conservation, municipal issues, excise taxes, insurance, telecommunications, and worker's compensation. Joe has also served as a legislative consultant for other firms where he represented clients of the firm before the Texas Legislature and state agencies.  In those positions, he worked with former parliamentarians of the Texas House and Senate and expanded his institutional knowledge of legislative procedure and precedents.

Consultant  •

Ursula is a fiscal policy and budget expert with 25 years of experience with the Texas legislature.  She served on the staff of the Legislative Budget Board from 1993 to 2018, including six years as the agency’s Director.  During her tenure Ms. Parks worked as a budget analyst, a budget team manager, an assistant director, and the agency's deputy director prior to being appointed Director in 2012.  

Ursula has been directly involved in the development of budget and policy recommendations for state agencies and institutions within all state government functions.  She is an expert not only in big-picture state fiscal policy but also in the details of developing, implementing, and monitoring state appropriations and budget riders.

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