|David Henry Dewhurst|
|Dewhurst in 2009|
|41st Lieutenant Governor of Texas|
January 21, 2003
|Preceded by||Bill Ratliff|
|26th Commissioner of the General Land Office|
|Governor||George W. Bush (1999-2000)
Rick Perry (2000-2003)
|Preceded by||Garry Mauro|
|Succeeded by||Jerry E. Patterson|
August 18, 1945 |
|Spouse(s)||(1) Tammy Jo Dewhurst (married 1995, divorced 2000)
|Alma mater||University of Arizona|
|Website||Official Web Site|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
David Henry Dewhurst (born August 18, 1945) is the 41st and current Lieutenant Governor of Texas, serving under Governor Rick Perry since January 21, 2003. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the Texas Land Commissioner from 1999 to 2003. Dewhurst was a candidate in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, but he lost his party's runoff election to former Solicitor General Ted Cruz. He also announced re-election plans for an unprecedented fourth four-year term in the 2014 elections, where Dewhurst will likely face challengers in the Republican primary from Land Commissioner Jerry E. Patterson and Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples.
David’s father, David Dewhurst, Jr., flew 85 missions during World War II as a B-26 bomber pilot, and led the last D-Day bombing on Normandy's Utah Beach. After returning to home to Texas, David's dad was killed in a car accident when David was only three. Following her husband’s death, David’s mother went to work as a secretary to support her family. She instilled in her sons the values of faith, integrity and hard work, and David took those values to heart, working his way through high school and college. A basketball standout at Lamar High School in Houston, the 6'5" Dewhurst enrolled at the University of Arizona, joining the Wildcats basketball team.
After graduating, Dewhurst entered the U.S. Air Force, where he served as an Intelligence Officer. After his time in the Air Force, he served as a Clandestine Services Case Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency overseas. In the 1990s, David served on the U.S. Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community. Years later, he was appointed Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force Committee on Homeland Security in the wake of 9/11, where he helped structure Texas' defense against terrorism.
After leaving the CIA, David returned to Houston and built his own business from the ground up. Initially successful, David and his company were hit hard by the 1980s oil and real estate bust. Though David was beaten up, he never gave up. Soon, his company, Falcon Seaboard, was a thriving energy and investments firm.
Interested in conservative government, David became the Finance Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, and helped elect many candidates to office. Dewhurst's first elected office was as Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. On Day One, he cut the size of the agency by over 15%, and returned state dollars each budget cycle. Four years later, Dewhurst became only the second Republican to be elected Lt. Governor since Reconstruction. As Lt. Governor, Dewhurst championed and helped pass fiscally and socially conservative laws. Dewhurst helped pass the largest tax cut in state history, reduce taxes and fees 51 times for over $14 billion in savings, and balance five state budgets without raising taxes.
David lives in Houston with wife Tricia and their young daughter, Carolyn. A rancher, team roper, and cutting horse participant, Dewhurst was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009. Dewhurst is a member of the Second Baptist Church in Houston.
Dewhurst was elected as Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas in 1998, when the 16-year incumbent, Garry Mauro, waged an unsuccessful campaign for governor against George W. Bush. A self-described "George Bush Republican," he defeated Democratic State Representative Richard Raymond, then of Benavides and thereafter of Laredo. Dewhurst received 2,072,604 votes (57.42 percent) to Raymond's 1,438,378 ballots (39.85 percent). A Libertarian polled the remaining 2.72 percent.
Dewhurst was elected Lieutenant Governor in November 2002, when he defeated former Democratic Comptroller John Sharp of Victoria. He succeeded Bill Ratliff. (Ratliff did not contest the lieutenant governor's position in the primary, opting instead for re-election to his state senate seat.) Dewhurst polled 2,341,875 votes (51.77 percent) to Sharp's 2,082,281 (46.03 percent). (Two minor candidates polled the remaining 2.19 percent.) In that campaign, Dewhurst stressed his interest in public education and opposition to school vouchers.
Dewhurst was easily renominated for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary held on March 7, 2006. He defeated Tom Kelly, the same candidate whom he bested for the nomination in 2002. In the November 7, 2006, general election, Dewhurst overwhelmed Democrat Maria Luisa Alvarado, a veterans issues research analyst and the winner of her April 11 runoff primary. He received 2,512,197 votes (58.2 percent) to Alvarado's 1,616,945 (37.4 percent). Libertarian Judy A. Baker polled another 188,956 votes (4.4 percent).
Dewhurst filed for Lt. Governor of Texas in the 2010 election. It was widely assumed that he would run for United States Senate if Kay Bailey Hutchison had resigned. He was his party's nominee for a third term as lieutenant governor and faced Democrat Linda Chavez-Thompson, Libertarian Scott Jameson, and Green Party Herb Gonzales, Jr. in the November 2, 2010, general election. He was re-elected to a third term on November 2, 2010, having polled 3,044,770 votes (61.80 percent) to the Democrat Linda Chavez-Thompson's 1,715,735 votes (34.82 percent) and took office on January 18, 2011 for a third four-year term, becoming the second Texas Lieutenant Governor to be elected to three four-year terms since Bill Hobby, who held the office for 18 years.
In 2003, Dewhurst assisted the Republican leadership, including then U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, and Governor Rick Perry, in passing a sweeping congressional redistricting bill that increased the number of Republican U.S. House seats in Texas from fifteen to twenty-one in the 2004 elections. The Republican seats dropped to nineteen in the 2006 elections under a modified court redistricting plan. Minority Democrats retain thirteen U.S. House seats from Texas. In his capacity as the presiding officer of the Texas Senate, Dewhurst, in the third consecutive special session called by the governor, allowed the suspension of the custom that two thirds of the body must vote to consider a bill.
Dewhurst's leadership on redistricting brought him into legal conflict with his former land commissioner opponent, Richard Raymond, the only elected official to have been a plaintiff in the 2006 U.S. Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of the redistricting plan. Dewhurst and Raymond have also sparred over education policy.
He is known by his "Texas Children First" initiative which is part of cracking down on child sexual predators in Texas and throughout the United States. The initiative includes extending statute of limitations on child sex crimes and leading the passage of Jessica's Law. David Dewhurst is also attempting to pass legislation that would allow for the death penalty to be imposed on second time violent child predators. This bill has received some controversy, as it has been asserted by some that the death penalty for anything other than murder is against the Constitution. No one has been executed in the US for a crime other than murder since 1964.[dead link]
Voter ID bill
Democrats used the Senate's rules to help defeat a voter identification bill, supported by Dewhurst and the Republican majorities, in 2009.
TSA inspection bill
Dewhurst has been accused by state senator Dan Patrick of helping to stop a bill that would have made the TSA's pat downs of airplane passengers a felony in Texas.
Condemnation of play
In March 2010, a student performance of the play Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally, in which Jesus and the disciples are portrayed as being gay, was canceled at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas following a condemnatory statement by Dewhurst. The university had received many complaints about the play's scheduled performance as a class project for a directing class, but in a letter posted on the university's website on March 11, President F. Dominic Dottavio, citing freedom of speech, declared that the play would be performed. The day before the performance, Dewhurst issued his statement saying, "No one should have the right to use government funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to the vast majority of Americans," and the performance was cancelled by the professor, who cited safety concerns. A subsequent statement by Dewhurst praised the university for canceling the performance, whereas the professor claimed to have acted on his own. Dewhurst's statement also claimed that whereas he is "a strong defender of free speech, we must also protect the rights and reasonable expectations of Texas taxpayers and how their money is used. A play that is completely contrary to the standards of decency and moral beliefs of the vast majority of Texans should not be performed using any state resources, especially by an institution of higher learning."  
2012 United States Senate race
On July 18, 2011, Dewhurst addressed his supporters in an online video on his campaign website, announcing his candidacy for the vacant U.S. Senate seat for the Republican nomination. His rivals included former Mayor of Dallas Tom Leppert, ESPN college football analyst Craig James and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, the eventual nominee.
After a year-long campaign for the Republican nomination, Dewhurst fell to Cruz in a run-off on July 31, 2012.
- "Lt. Gov. Dewhurst plans to wed Houston lawyer Bivins, February 27, 2009". chron.com. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- "Lt. Governor | Blog | David Files for Re-election". David Dewhurst. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- "Attorney General Greg Abbott to seek 3rd term; former Austin City Council member Raul Alvarez files for county commissioner". Statesman.com. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- Peggy Fikac (2010-03-03). "Former labor leader to face Dewhurst for lieutenant governor post". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- "Libertarian candidates for the November ballot". Retrieved 4 October 2010.[dead link]
- "Green Party of Texas". Retrieved 4 October 2010.[dead link]
- Embry, Jason (May 10, 2011). "Lawmakers dig in their heels as Legislature reaches critical juncture". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Hicks, Nolan (May 26, 2011). "Patrick blames Dewhurst for death of ‘anti-groping' bill". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Letter by F. Dominic Dottavio posted on Tarleton State website
- Play’s cancellation ‘right thing to do,’ Dewhurst says Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, Austin American-Statesman, March 27, 2010
- Tareleton professor cancels performance by Mitch Mitchell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 27, 2010
- The Gay-Jesus Place Reeve Hamilton The Texas Tribune, March 29, 2010
- Official Website of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas
- Dewhurst for U.S. Senate campaign Web site
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
|Lieutenant Governor of Texas
January 21, 2003–present
|Texas Land Commissioner
Jerry E. Patterson