Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp, right, was handpicked by Gov. Greg Abbott, left, to be the state’s storm recovery czar. The two were once neighbors.

AUSTIN – As a boy he weathered several nasty hurricanes that blew through his hometown on the Texas coast, including Carla and Beulah, but for John Sharp’s family, federal disaster assistance was not an option in the 1960s.

In fact, until recently, he had never had contact with or knew much about the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other than reading about the miscues that brought it notoriety during Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.

That changed when he got a late-night call from Gov. Greg Abbott’s political guru, Dave Carney, alerting him that the governor would soon call to ask him to become Texas’ new recovery czar.

“Do I get to keep the job I have now?” Sharp said he asked the governor.

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