State Senate Candidates
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What Counties they represent and their District number
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About the Texas State Senate
The Texas State Legislature consists of an upper chamber which is the Senate the lower chamber the Texas House of Representatives, which together form the legislative branch of the Texas State government. It works alongside the governor of Texas to create laws and establish a state budget. It’s Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
Members of the Texas State Senate serve four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. One-half of the Senate membership is elected every two years in even-numbered years, with the exception that all 31 Senate seats are up for election for the first legislature following the decennial census in order to reflect the newly redrawn districts. After the initial election, the Senate is divided by lot into two classes, with one class having a re-election after two years and the other having a re-election after four years. Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January).
A U.S. Citizen, 26 years old before the general election, A five-year resident of Texas before the general election, A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election
7,200 a year, $221 per day, set by the ethics commission
Average pension is $17,526 per year. It can go up to $125,000 depending on years of service.
Texas Senate Candidates by District
Counties: Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Harrison, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, and Wood
Primary Winner District 2 Prince S. Gaidolor A globally recognized business professional, PMP, & former top aide to honorable Senator Royce West, Giadolor has the ability to represent Senate district 2 in the Texas Senate. Giadolor vows to bring tangible legislative results to his constituents.
Counties: Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall, Van Zandt
Primary Winner District 3 Steve Russell Minister, He attended Panola College in Carthage before finishing his degree at Stephen F. Austin State University before earning a masters degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Russell lived in Longview for five years before his 31-year career in insurance took him to Abilene. He taught in several East Texas public schools and four years in an Abilene ISD middle school exclusively for at-risk students. He returned to Northeast Texas in 2008 and began formation of "Empowering Texas Youth," a non-profit that educated mentors in ways to help children and youth avoid destructive behaviors and become caring, successful adults. Russell serves as executive director of the program. Russell's commitment to public education drove him to political involvement due to the widespread failure of Texas public schools. He will work toward educating students for like instead of "teaching to the test." He believes that recent Texas budget cuts in education are a direct attack on children and the future of the state and that the inadequate incentives and rewards for professional educators do not attract and retain the best minds for classroom teachers.
Counties: Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler
Primary Winner District 4 Misty Bishop Paralegal/Author, born in Bryan, Texas. Misty has a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice and minor in Speech Communication, and Masters in Public Administration with honors from Texas Southern University. She also has a paralegal/legal assistant certificate from Southwestern Professional Institute. She’s currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Administration & Public Policy and a law degree to specialize in transactional, taxation, mergers & acquisitions law as well as sports & entertainment, and labor & employment law in the near future.
Counties: Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Montgomery
Counties: Bastrop, Brazos, Freestone, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, San Jacinto, Walker, and Williamson
Primary Winner District 6 Carol Alvarado (IN) Consultant, BA degree in Political Science from the University of Houston, Master of Business Administration. In 2008, she was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and served 5 terms representing District 145. She served as Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations. Carol’s primary legislative focus has been on economic development, public health and public education. She has championed legislation aimed at strengthening our state’s workforce, regulating the use of e-cigarettes for children, and criminal justice reform. Carol is an advocate for women’s health and reproductive rights and has passed legislation to assist victims of sexual abuse. As a member of the Houston City Council from 2002-2008, Carol led the effort to make restaurants smoke free, stopped the shipping of more hazardous chemicals through our neighborhoods, and had air quality monitors installed in neighborhoods near chemical plants. County: Harris Source: https://senate.texas.gov/member.php?d=6
County: Harris, Montgomery
Primary Winner District 8 Jonathan Cocks Certified Public Accountant In addition to having a traditional local accounting practice, I work with employee benefit plans throughout the United States involved in critical litigation or face other potential existential issues. I am a member of Fairview’s Community Resource Group aka as the CRG and previously served as a member of the Town’s original Special Events Committee. I have been treasurer of Oakwood Estates since 2012 and serve on their board. My volunteer activities include serving of the boards or steering committee of the LifePath Foundation, Collin County Community Advocacy, the Fairview Rotary Club and Change the World Allen. I am active in Ryan’s Boy Scout Troop. I am also a member of the Texas Association of Business’ Education, Transportation and Water policy committee.
Counties:Collin, Hunt, Rains
Primary Winner District 10 Beverly Powell(IN) Retired Real Estate Developer, her Bachelor of Science degree at her parent's alma mater, Texas Wesleyan, graduating cum laude. Also Master of Business Administration. Beverly’s belief in the power of higher education and her passion for Texas Wesleyan’s commitment to non-traditional students earned her a position on the school’s Board of Trustees. As the immediate past Chair of the Texas Wesleyan Board, Beverly remains committed to creating opportunities for Texans of all ages to further their education and job skills.Beverly has years of experience and success in real estate and residential development. She has been instrumental in creating investment and job opportunities in Burleson’s historic business district. Her hard work and strategic thinking were essential in the revitalization of businesses and achieving economic growth. Her commitment to cultivating local development and her commitment to the community led the Fort Worth Business Press to name her one of the “Great Women of Texas” in 2014.
Counties: Brown, Callahan, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Shackelford, Stephens, Tarrant
Counties: Brazoria, Harris, and Galveston
Primary Winner District 12 Francine Ly Court Coordinator, first generation Asian (Teochew) American, born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and grew up in Dallas, Texas. I am a grassroots activist serving the Texas AAPI community. I obtained my AA from Eastfield Community College, then went to El Centro College and graduated from its paralegal program, later obtained my BA in Legal Studies from Purdue University Global-Davenport (formerly Kaplan University-Davenport). I am a paralegal/legal assistant and certified court manager, working as court coordinator, for Judge Dale Tillery, of the 134th District Court of Dallas County.My mission is to listen, learn from, and represent the good people of Senate District 12 with Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability.
Counties: Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Wise
Primary Winner District 13 Borris Miles (IN) Insurance Agency Owner, Former Texas House Rep (4 terms) Miles earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminal Science from Sam Houston State University. Former police officer for the Houston ISD Police Department and began an independent insurance agency out of his home. His company, the Borris L. Miles Insurance Agency, has grown to write more than $56 million in policies and is the largest black-owned insurance agency in the state. Miles focuses on supporting other minority owned businesses, and has renovated nearby city blocks. He is active with the Urban League, the United Negro College Fund, and several other charities. Miles also found both the North Forest Scholarship and an endowment to fight sickle cell anemia.
Counties: Ft. Bend and Harris
Primary Winner District 14 Sarah Eckhardt (IN) Attorney, B.F.A. from New York University, LBJ School Master of Public Affairs, going on to receive her J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Previously served two terms as Travis County Judge, where she represented 1.3 million county residents. Senator Eckhardt worked for eight years as an Assistant Travis County Attorney. She also served for eight years as a prosecutor with the Travis County District Attorney's Office. Sarah has a long list of pubic service organizations she is serving on.
Primary Winner District 15 John Whitmire (IN) B.A. in political science from the University of Houston, Bates College of Law at the University of Houston. Attorney of counsel at Locke, Liddell and Sapp. Prior to his election to the state senate, Whitmire was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1973 to 1982. With over 38 years of service in the Texas Senate, Senator Whitmire ranks first in seniority and is the "Dean of the Texas Senate."
Primary Winner District 16 Nathan Johnson (IN) Attorney, Johnson graduated magna cum laude with a degree in physics from the University of Arizona, and earned his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He practices law in the Trial Practice Group at the law firm of Thompson & Knight. He has also composed music for the classical concert stage and scored the hit television series Dragon Ball Z.
Primary Winner District 17 Titus Benton Nonprofit Founder/Executive, a former pastor, and currently the Chief Operating Officer of an anti-human trafficking organization, public service has always been what Titus Benton's life was about. His political work is fueled by the same motivation. A desire to love his neighbor by helping shape a more inclusive, equitable, just society is what launched Benton from the political bench and into the arena.Titus believes healthcare is a human right, and all should have access. He envisions a reality where economic justice isn't an exception anymore -- all people have a chance to earn a dignifying wage and provide for their well being. Titus rejects hyper-partisan behavior, particularly the practice of gerrymandering which dilutes the individual vote to serve Republican advantage in Texas.
Counties: Brazoria, Colorado, Ft. Bend, Harris, Jackson, Matagoda, Waller, and Wharton
Primary Winner District 18 Josh Tutt Computer Maintenance Tech, Vineyard co-owner.Texas A&M University with a degree in Computer Science, and a minor in Psychology. I’ve worked locally in the Brazos Valley area in the Information Technology industry for over 7 years. For my whole life, I’ve kept busy trying to make the world around me a better place. I learned reverence for nature as an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, learned leadership as a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, and learned compassion as a volunteer trainer with the Student Counseling HelpLine (Texas A&M’s crisis prevention hotline). Currently, I serve as the Vice President of Pride Community Center, which services the Brazos Valley region and allows me to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups. In my professional life, I’ve organized community blood drives, Employee Resource Groups, coordinated charity drives, and lead volunteer events at the local food bank. My community matters to me, and I will continue to give back however I can.
Counties: Aransas, Austin, Burleson, Calhoun, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Ft. Bend, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Lavaca, Lee, Montgomery, Refugio, Waller, and Washington
Primary Winner District 19 Roland Gutierrerz (IN) Attorney, Former SA City Council, He earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law. He is the Founder and President of the Gutierrez Law Firm, specializing in immigration law.
Counties: Atascosa, Bexar, Brewster, Crockett, Edwards, Frio, Guadalupe, Kinney, Maverick, Real,Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, and Zavala
Primary Winner District 20 Juan Hinojosa- (IN) Attorney, House of Representatives 1981-1990, Senator 2002-present. B-U of Texas Pan American, J.D. from Georgetown University. In High School he was the football team's quarterback, and after graduation he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. After service he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Texas-Pan American, where he graduated with honors, and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. After returning to South Texas, Hinojosa served as staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Nueces County and later as an Assistant Attorney General for the Texas Attorney General. Since 1980, Hinojosa has operated a private practice in Hidalgo County representing clients in both civil and criminal matters.
Counties: Brooks, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, and Nueces
Primary Winner District 21 Judith Zaffirini-(IN) Zaffirini has Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. She also studied at Laredo Community College and the University of Houston. She is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator, and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator. She has worked as a teacher in higher education for over 13 years. She has been honored by the South Texas Press Association for her work in journalism. She owns her own business, Zaffirini Communications. Zaffirini has been recognized for her near perfect attendance in session. She served as vice-chair of the Texas Democratic Party from 1984-1986, prior to making a (successful) run for the Democratic Party nomination for state Senate in 1986. Her legendary work ethic is reflected in her 100 percent voting record, having cast 67,923 consecutive votes, and her perfect attendance in the Texas Senate since 1987, except for breaking quorum deliberately to prevent an untimely re-redistricting that the U.S. Supreme Court (2006) ruled violated the Voting Rights Act and disenfranchised voters in SD 21. She has sponsored and passed 1,262 bills and 38 substantive resolutions. Showing her bipartisan effectiveness, in the 2021 Republican-dominated Texas Legislature she passed 106 bills, passing more bills than any other legislator for the fourth consecutive legislative session. What's more, she has passed more bills than any other legislator in the history of the State of Texas.
Counties: Bexar, Caldwell, Dimmit, Duval, Guadalupe, Hays, Jim Hogg, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, Starr, Travis, Webb, Wilson, and Zapata
Official Website: https://senate.texas.gov/member.php?d=21
Campaign Website: https://www.judithzaffirini.c
Counties: Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, McLennan, Somerville, and Tarrant
Primary Winner District 23 Royce West (IN) Attorney,University of Texas at Arlington, B.A., M.A.; University of Houston, J.D.Senator West has been named by Texas Monthly as one of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics, been selected for the magazine's biennial “Ten Best Legislators in Texas” list, and has twice been named as an “Honorable Mention.” Senator West has also received mention on the Associated Press' “Movers and Shakers” list, as well as the Texas Insider's "Best Legislators" list. Senator West served on the World Travel & Tourism Council Dallas Host Committee for the 2016 Global Summit. Senator West has been appointed to serve on the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families.
Counties: Dallas, Tarrant
Primary Winner District 24 Kathy Jones-Hospod Software Engineering Manager, I have 40 years of experience as an engineer. The majority of my experience was making sure our telecom infrastructure was reliable for not only Texans but nationwide, including 911. I know what it takes to build infrastructure. I bring a perspective to the Texas Legislature that combines engineering, business, leadership, and I especially bring to the table a woman’s and mother’s perspective.
Counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Gillespie, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Llano, Medina, Sutton, and Williamson
Primary Winner District 25 Robert Walsh Software Engineer I think having someone with an active job in software development would bring and add a needed perspective on tech especially in a biennial legislature that needs to move quickly to solve new problems. I think having someone who has actually had budgetary say-so and hire-and-fire authority is really important in addressing the current status of the government as unable to address problems in any sort of reasonable manner. I was talking with a friend, a very conservative Republican, also an oil and gas executive, about climate change, and what possible positions he would consider to be desirable if thinking about voting for a Democrat. We came to an agreement about working towards bigger state incentives and grants towards energy efficient homes, offices, and schools. People need to be met where they are at, and feel like they are a valuable part of the discussion. I will run my campaign with an eye towards all voters.
Bexar, Blanco, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, and Travis
Primary Winner District 26 Jose Menendez (IN) BA-SMU, Commerical Marketing Exec., VP of Stewart Title Guaranty, Director Mulitcultureal Market. Prior to the Senate he represented the 124th District in the Texas House of Representatives between 2000 and 2015. During his term in office, Menéndez passed over 200 bills that benefited children, seniors, veterans, and San Antonio families. One of the bills, David's Law, empowers students, parents, schools, and law enforcement to combat and prevent cyberbullying. Senator Menéndez is also a strong advocate for job growth, community and business development. Along with his successful legislation, Senator Menéndez has secured millions of dollars for advancements in education, healthcare, parks, and additional funding developments, including $17 million for the Alamo Colleges.
Primary Winner Run Off Candidate District 27 Sara Stapleton-Barrera Attorney, Antioch College where she became a music scholar and later went to Texas Southern University, where she earned her Juris Doctor. Stapleton Barrera is a former teacher, a former attendant of children and adults with special needs, and was the first intern accepted to the Trial Lawyers College.
During Stapleton Barrera’s career, she has resolved constitutional violations and defended the indigent in the most rural areas of Texas as a lawyer with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. She is the founder of South Texans for Term Limits and has assisted three major municipalities in South Texas adopt term limits since her run in 2020 against Senator Eddie Lucio, where she was endorsed heavily by state-wide education, human rights, and environmental groups.
Counties: Bee, Cameron, Hildalgo, Kenedy, Kleberg, and Nueces
Primary Winner Run Off Candidate District 27 Morgan Lamantia Attorney, Morgan LaMantia is part of the next generation of leadership in the family business that supports over 1,200 jobs across Texas and beyond. Morgan heads up data analytics and serves as In-House Counsel, carrying on the legacy of her grandfather, Joe LaMantia, of building opportunities through hard work and giving back to the community. That's why Morgan started a health care initiative to give their employees free access to a doctor and health education to manage chronic diseases like diabetes. And when PPE supplies were scarce in the early stages of the pandemic, Morgan worked the supply chain to ensure all employees had the safety equipment they needed to keep themselves and their families safe. Not your typical politician — she believes in getting things done. Morgan earned her business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of St. Mary's University School of Law.
Counties: Bee, Cameron, Hildalgo, Kenedy, Kleberg, and Nueces
Baylor, Childress, Coleman, Collingsworth, Concho, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Donley, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Gray, Hale, Hardeman, Haskell, Hockley, Jones, Kent, King, Knox, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Mills, Motley, Nolan, Runnels, San Saba, Stonewall, Taylor,Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Wheeler, Wichita, and Wilbarger
Primary Winner District 29 Cesar Blanco (IN)- Navy Veteran, B-UT El Paso, Worked for Congress members before being elected to District 29. In the Texas House, César has delivered as a strong champion for El Paso by leading initiatives to improve access to healthcare, strengthen our workforce, local economy, and border communities while also improving the quality of life and increasing economic opportunities for all Texans. He has also led efforts to expand mental health resources for veterans, rein in rising prescription drug prices, increase oversight over border security, and deliver historic public school funding.For his record of fighting for veterans’ education opportunities and border communities, Texas Monthly named him one of the best legislators in Texas.
Counties: Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Peco, Presidio, Reeves
Counties: Archer, Clay, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Wichita, and Young
Counties: Andrews, Armstrong, Bailey, Borden, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Cochran, Coke, Crane, Dallam, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Howard, Hutchinson, Irion, Lipscomb, Loving, Martin, Midland, Mitchell, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Reagan, Roberts, Schleicher, Scurry, Sherman, Sterling, Swisher, U-ton, Ward, Winkler, and Yoakum