The Texas House of Representatives refers to the 150 member lower house of the Texas Legislature that converges at the Texas Capital in Austin (Maxwell, Earnest, and Adolfo 113). The members are elected from single-member districts distributed across the state. An average district consists of about 150,000 people. The house elections are held every two years during the first Tuesday that comes after the first Monday in November. The incumbent has no term limits
The Texas senate refers to the upper house of the 31 member state legislature that also converges at the Texas State Capitol in Austin (Maxwell, Earnest, and Adolfo 118). 19
Republicans presently dominate the house while the democrats are only 12. The members represent 31 single-member districts distributed across the state. Each district has a population of approximately 672,000.
This paper focuses on the profiles of the two incumbent office holders of the house of representative and the Texas senate around Texas’s 22nd congressional district as from the year 2010. The two are Representative Deshotel Joe and the senator Brian Birdwell respectively. The Texas District 22 refers to the area covering the south-central portion of the Houston – Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan. It includes the cities of La Marque and Rosenberg as well as parts of Pearland and Missouri City, in Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Brazoria counties.
Texas House Member Rep. Deshotel, Joe District 22
Joe’s long serving public career began when he was a member of the Beaumont city council and he was elected for the first time elected to the 76th state legislature in the year 1998. Joe was awarded with the Rising Star Award for his outstanding dedication and achievement while serving the 76th legislation session as a freshman. During the 77th legislative session, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus elected him Chairman. During the 78th legislative session, Joe served in the house appropriations committee, the budget-drafting arm of the house (Texas House Representatives 2012). During the same session, he also served as the Committee chairperson of budget oversight reporting to the House Elections Committee and the vice chair of local and consent calendars. During the 79th legislative session, Joe was appointed to serve in the House Committees on Transportation, Economic Development, and Redistricting. During the 80th session, Joe served as the Chairperson of the house Economic Development committee. During the 81st legislative session, he became chairperson of the House Business and Industry Committee to this day (Texas House Representative 2012).
Campaign fund raised
During the 2012 and 2010 elections, Joe won unopposed the seat for Texas’s 22 district house representative. He garnered 100% of the votes this year. Joe raised $127,802 in the 2010 campaigns from donations (FollowtheMoney, 2012). His top contributors are Centex Connection Fund ($2000), Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc ($2000), Trepac Texas Assoc of Realtor ($2500), Entergy ($3000) and Abbot laboratories ($5000).
Texas District’s 22 Senator Brian Birdwell
Brian Birdwell is a retired US army officer. He studied Criminal Justice at the Lamar University in Beaumont and graduated in the year 1984. He completed his masters of Public Administration at the University of Missouri in the year 1996. He furthered his studies at the graduate command and General Staff College in the year 2000. Birdwell is a republican hailing from the hometown of Granbury. He is a decorated military veteran and a conservative republican. As a distinguished Military graduate of the Lamar Army ROTC program, he was commissioned as an army officer of the US army where he served numerous training deployments and two operational deployments. He was awarded the bronze star for participating diligently in the desert storm operation of the 1990. By the year 1998, he was serving at the Central America as a joint operations officer for Joint Task force Aguila. During the September 11 attacks, he was one of the injured victims as his office was allocated in the second floor of the pentagon, yards away from the plane. He suffered third degree burns covering 60% of his body and to this day he has undergone 39 operations.
He retired from the army in the year 2004 and started the non-profit Fire Ministries that supports critical burn survivors. Through his ministries, Birdwell became a high profile figure and this boosted him to clinch the Texas State Senate position during the June 2010 special elections on a republican ticket (Maxwell, Earnest, and Adolfo 68). 5 months later, he became re-elected to serve the full 2 year term. He received critical acclaim during his first term from conservative organizations for fiscal responsibility. Birdwell serves as the vice chairperson of the Veteran affairs and the higher education committees. He is a member of the government organization and economic development committees. As from January 2012, he has served in the Interim Committee that studies human trafficking and the sunset advisory commission having been appointed by the Governor David Dewhurst. The senator is married to Mel for the past 25 years and they have a son named Matt who studies at the Texas Tech University.
Campaign funds raised
Birdwell first got elected to on a special election exercise to replace the unexpired term of Senator Kip Averitt on June 2010 and won unopposed 5 months later during the general elections of Nov 2, 2010. Similarly, Birdwell won this year’s election for Texas’ District 22 state senate office after defeating Tom Kilbride during the primaries. During the 2010 elections, he raised $468,039 from campaign donations (FollowtheMoney 2012). The top contributors are the Texas Association of Realtors ($10,000), Perry Doylene ($10,000), Lockwood Stephen ($25,000), Perry Bob ($30,000), and the Texans for Lawsuit Reform ($55,000).
Campaign contributions of the two candidates
According to data obtained from the followthemoney.org website, the Senate representative Brian Birdwell raised more cash during the previous election because he vied for a higher office that comes with more responsibility compared to that of Deshotel Birdwell. The former has wealthy individuals who are pushing for his re-election as seen in the contribution list compared to the latter. House rep Deshotel Joe relies on funding from institutions (Maxwell, Earnest, and Adolfo 133).
Account, creating a free myFollowTheMoney. "National Institute on Money in State Politics | Follow The Money." National Institute on Money in State Politics | Follow The Money. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.
Early, Joseph E. A Texas Baptist history sourcebook a companion to McBeth's Texas Baptists. Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Press, 2004. Print.
Maxwell, William Earl, Ernest Crain, and Adolfo Santos. Texas politics today. 2011-2012 ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
"Texas House of Representatives : Representative Deshotel, Joe." Texas House of Representatives. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.