Dan Branch

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Dan Branch
Dan Branch.JPG
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 108th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2003
Preceded by Kenn George
Personal details
Born (1958-03-05) March 5, 1958 (age 56)
Place of birth missing
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stacey Branch
Children Five children
Residence Dallas, Texas
Alma mater Douglas MacArthur High School (San Antonio)
Oklahoma Christian University
Southern Methodist University
Georgetown University
Website www.danbranch.com
@TexansforDan - Twitter
Dan Branch - Facebook
Dan Branch - Google Plus
Dan Branch - YouTube

Dan Branch (born March 5, 1958) is a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. First elected in 2002, as a Republican, Branch is currently in his sixth term[1] representing District 108, which includes Downtown, Uptown, Historic East Dallas, Greenland Hills, Lower Greenville, The Village, as well as the town of Highland Park and the city of University Park.[2]

On July 25, 2013, Branch officially announced his candidancy [3] for state attorney general in the 2014 Republican primary election. Branch finished second in the primary to State Senator Ken Paxton of McKinney, but because no candidate secured a majority vote, the two met in the May 27 runoff election, where Branch lost. The incumbent, Greg Abbott, is instead the Republican gubernatorial nominee to succeed the retiring Rick Perry. Paxton the primary field with 566,114 votes (44.4 percent); Branch followed with 426,595 votes (33.5 percent). Eliminated in the primary was Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman of Austin, who polled the remaining 281,064 (22.1 percent).[4] In the run off election, Branch only secured 265,963 votes (36.36 percent) to Paxton's 465,395 (63.63 percent).[4]

Biography[edit]

Education[edit]

Branch is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University School of Law (now the Dedman School of Law), where he served as an editor of the law review. He is an alumnus of the Institute on Comparative Political & Economic Systems at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and he holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Oklahoma Christian University, having graduated summa cum laude in 1980.[citation needed]

Legislative service[edit]

Branch won the seat in 2002, when the incumbent Republican Kenn George stepped down after two terms to run unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for Texas land commissioner, losing to Jerry E. Patterson, then a state senator from Houston. The 2002 race was Branch's first for state office and he has won every subsequent election in which he has run.[5]

Branch has served as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education since 2009 and serves on the Calendars, Elections and Redistricting Committees, as well as the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty. Branch also serves on the Legislative Budget Board. Prior to the 81st Session, he served three terms as the Chair of Budget and Oversight on House Public Education Committee and served as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.[citation needed]

In 2009, Rep. Dan Branch was selected by Texas House members from eleven north Texas counties to Co-Chair the Dallas Area Legislative Delegation (DALD), at the delegation's first meeting of the 81st session. Branch replaces retired member Rep. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) as the Republican co-chair.[6] He was re-elected in 2011 to serve as co-chair.[7]

During the 81st legislative session, Branch was the author of House Bill 51, also known as the "Tier One Universities" Bill. The bill announced that seven so-called emerging research universities would compete for extra funding in hopes of joining the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University as nationally recognized research institutions. Rice University, which is private, is also a top-tier school.[8] These seven schools include the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Houston and Texas Tech University. After signing HB 51 into law, Governor Rick Perry said "[House Bill 51] will go down in the history books as one that truly is improving education in our state."[9]

Campaign for Texas Attorney General[edit]

On July 8, 2013, Governor Rick Perry announced that he would not seek a fourth full term.[10] On July 14, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced his intention to run for Governor of Texas in the 2014 Texas gubernatorial election.

On July 25, 2013, Dan Branch officially announced his candidacy[11] in the 2014 election.

Shortly following the launch of his campaign, Branch received the endorsement of six of Attorney General Greg Abbott’s top lieutenants,[12] including former Solicitor General Jim Ho.[13] Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips and former Texas Supreme Court Justices Craig T. Enoch, Harriet O'Neill and Alberto Gonzales have endorsed Branch’s campaign for state attorney general.

A majority of the hOUSE Republican Caucus has endorsed Branch in his bid for attorney general.[14]Shortly after his announcement of candidacy for attorney general, Branch reported more than $4 million on hand,[15] a considerably larger amount that that of his two opponents.

Meanwhile, two Republicans, Morgan Daniel Meyer (born c. 1974) and Chart Hampton Westcott (born c. 1984), will meet in the May 27 runoff election to choose a nominee to succeed Branch in House District 108. Meyer, an attorney, led a three-candidate field with 5,795 votes (47.1 percent); Westcott trailed with 3,709 votes (30.2 percent). The third candidate, Court Christian Alley (born c. 1979), held the remaining 2,787 ballots (22.7 percent).[4]


Non-legislative career[edit]

In addition to his service in the Legislature, Branch is a corporate lawyer and shareholder of Winstead PC. He is a former judicial clerk to Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope and a former aide to the late U.S. Senator John Tower. Branch is a member of the bars of Texas, New York and the District of Columbia.[citation needed]


Community involvement[edit]

Branch visits with neighbors in the Munger Place Historic District of Old East Dallas.

Beyond his professional service, Branch is a member of the Mayor's Downtown Task Force in Dallas, a former president of The Dallas Assembly and a former Chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority, appointed by Governor George W. Bush. In addition, he is the chairman of SMU's John Tower Center for Political Studies, named for the late Texas U.S. Senator John G. Tower, and serves on numerous boards, including The Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C., the Boy Scouts of America/Circle Ten Council and the Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas.[citation needed]

On a regular basis, Branch visits elementary, middle, and high schools in his legislative district. In the fall of 2008, Branch joined Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa in leading "Operation Comeback", a statewide effort to stop 50,000 students a year from dropping out of high school.[16]

He sits on the board of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University.[17]

Family life[edit]

Branch and his wife, Stacey, have five children: Daniel, Spencer, Catherine, Charles and Sarah. They have lived and worked in Dallas for almost three decades.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kenn George
Texas State Representative from District 108 (Dallas County)
2003–
Succeeded by
Incumbent