Angie Chen Button

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Angie Chen Button
Texas State Representative from District 112 (Dallas County)
Assumed office
January 13, 2009
Preceded by Fred Hill
Personal details
Born (1954-02-09) February 9, 1954 (age 61)
Taipei, Taiwan
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Darcy Glen Button
Children Dane Chen Button
Residence Garland, Dallas County
Texas, USA
Alma mater University of Texas at Dallas
Occupation Businesswoman
Religion Christian

Angie Chen Button (born February 9, 1954)[1] is a Certified Public Accountant and the marketing manager of Texas Instruments from Garland, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives. Since 2009, she has represented District 112 in Dallas County.[2]

In the Republican primary election held on March 4, 2014, Button scored her fourth nomination to the state House by defeating conservative challenger, Jared L. Patterson (born c. 1983), 4,536 votes (54 percent) to 3,861 (46 percent).[3] A supporter of the Tea Party movement, Patterson is a former member of the city council in Sachse in Dallas County. In 2012, he was the Mayor Pro Tem.[4]

Button is unopposed for her fourth term in the November 4 general election.[1]


Button was born into a seven-person family in Taipei, Taiwan (the Republic of China). The Chens lived in a 300-square foot, one-room hut without a bathroom or a kitchen. She came to the United States, where as a graduate student in Public Finance and Management Services at the University of Texas at Dallas, she met her future husband, Darcy Glen Button (c. 1955). For more than three decades, the couple has resided, first in Richardson, and now Garland. They have a grown son, Dane Chen Button (born c. 1985). Button describes her life as "the American dream, Texas style."[5]

Button has a long record of civic involvement. She is a former member of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board and is active in the Chamber of Commerce and the advisory board of The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future. She has been honored by the Young Women's Christian Association and Southern Methodist University. She holds the "Corporate Achievement Award" from the National Organization of Chinese Americans. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated Button 75 favorable percent in 2013 but 63 percent in 2011 and 85 percent in 2009, when it named her a "Taxpayers' Advocate." She received the "Champion of Free Enterprise Award" from the Texas Association of Business.[5]

She lists her religion as Christian, but no denomination is mentioned.[1]

Political life[edit]

In 2008, the incumbent Republican Representative Fred Hill did not seek reelection in District 112. With no previous political experience, Chen entered a highly competitive primary election. She led with 4,138 votes (37.9 percent) and was forced into a runoff with Randall "Randy" Dunning, a software engineer and a member of the Garland City Council known for his staunch advocacy of property rights,[6] who polled, 3,818 votes (35 percent). The balance of power was held by the third candidate, James E. Shepherd, who drew 2,955 votes (27.1 percent).[7] In the second round of balloting, Button prevailed, 3,103 votes (53.2 percent) to Dunning's 2,732 (46.8 percent).[8] In the general election on November 4, 2008, Button defeated the Democrat Sandra Phuong Vule, 30,998 (56.1 percent) to 21,919 (39.6 percent). Another 4.3 percent of the vote was cast for the Libertarian Party nominee, Philip M. White.[9]

No Democrat challenged Button in the general elections of either 2010 or 2012. Indeed she has been accused of occasionally contributing money to Democratic candidates, including some legislative colleagues.[10] In the 2014 primary campaign, Button's opponent, Jared Patterson, made an issue of high legislative spending and called for zero-based budgeting, which he had pursued on the Sachse City Council.[11] He criticized Button's failure to lead against illegal immigration; she in turn questioned the more conservative Republicans on the issue: "Please, show your respect and give an opportunity to the newcomers -- and I come here legally."[12]

Button is the vice chair of the House Technology Committee and serves on: (1) Ways and Means and (2) Calendars.[1]

Legislative voting records[edit]

The winner of the 2009 "White Knight Award" from the Texans for Life Coalition,[5] Button in 2013 supported the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. She also supported companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers,[13] a move which opponents said could lead to the closure of many abortion clinics in the state. These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the Texas State Senate by Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth, who in 2014 is the Democratic nominee for governor against the Republican Greg Abbott.[14] In 2011, Button supported two other anti-abortion measures. One forbids state funding of agencies which perform abortions. The other requires that a woman undergo a sonogram before procuring an abortion. This legislation is based on the view that a woman could change her mind about an abortion once she witnesses the development of the unborn child through the latest technology.[13] According to the Texas Right to Life Committee, Button was rated a 102 favorable in 2013[15] and a 104 favorable in 2011.[16]

Button voted against the establishment of the taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure cleared the House, 73-58. She co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. She sponsored the successful bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. Button voted for the adoption of the biennial state budgets in both 2013 and 2011. She voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation. She sponsored the law to forbid texting while driving. She voted against the "equal pay for women" law, which passed the House, 78-61, but was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.[13]

Button supported the bill to prohibit the state government from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. She co-sponsored but did not vote on final passage of the measure to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in buildings and vehicles in the name of campus security. She voted to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. She backed the redistricting bills for the state House and Senate and the United States House of Representatives. She voted against term limits for certain state officials.[13]

In 2011, Button voted to reduce funding for state agencies. She voted to levy a sales tax on Internet transactions to match existing laws for brick and mortar stores' the measure passed the House 125-20. Button voted to prohibit smoking in public places. She voted to establish eligibility for indigent health care. She voted against corporal punishment in public schools, but the bill passed the House, 80-64. She voted to establish student centers at public colleges and universities with emphasis on family and traditional values; the measure passed the House 110-24. To guarantee the integrity of the election process, she supported picture identification of voters casting a ballot.[13] The measure finally took effect in October 2013 and was used widely without incident in the primaries on March 4, 2014.[17] In 2013, Button backed related legislation to forbid a voter from turning in multiple ballots.[13]

Interest group ratings[edit]

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party and a 2014 primary supporter of Button's opponent, Jared Patterson,[18] rated Button 79 percent favorable in 2013 but only 40 percent in 2011. The Young Conservatives of Texas gave her a cumulative score in 2013 of 70 percent. The interest group, Texas League of Conservation Voters rated her 57 percent in 2013; the Sierra Club, 27 percent in 2011.[19] The National Rifle Association scored Button 92 percent in 2012 and letter-grade "A" in her previous terms. In 2009, the Libertarian Party rated Button 66 percent favorable in matters of economic rights and personal liberties.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d "Angie Chen Button's Biography". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Angie Chen Button". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014 (House District 112)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Jared's Biography". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "State Rep. Angie Chen Button District 112 (R-Richardson)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jesse Hyde, Popular Conservative Texas House Candidate Dunning Has Some Republicans Worried, March 27, 2008". Dallas Observer. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 2008 (House District 112)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Republican runoff election returns, April 2008 (House District 112)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ "General election returns, November 4, 2008 (House District 112)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ "District 112". Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Patterson enters into race for state representative, November 21, 2013". Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Eric Nicholson, State Rep. Angie Chen Button Also Wants the GOP to Tone Down the Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric, February 12, 2014". Dallas Observer. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Angie Chen Button's Voting Records". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  14. ^ M. Fernandez (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Texas Voter ID Officially Takes Effect, October 21, 2013". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Jared Patterson Endorsements". Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Angie Chen Button's Ratings and Endorsements". Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
Political offices
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fred Hill
Texas State Representative from District 112 (Dallas County)

Angie Chen Button

Succeeded by