Debbie Riddle

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Debbie Riddle
Texas House of Representatives
Incumbent
Assumed office
2003
Preceded by Paul J. Hilbert (R)
Constituency District 150 (Harris County)
Personal details
Born (1949-10-15) October 15, 1949 (age 64)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mike Riddle
Occupation Horse breeder
Religion Baptist
Website Debbie Riddle

Debbie Riddle (born October 15, 1949) is a horse breeder and Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, serving House District 150, which comprises much of northwest Harris County.

In the Republican primary election held on March 4, 2014, Riddle easily won re-nomination to a seventh term in the staate House. In a low-turnout contest, she polled 7,820 votes (74.9 percent) to her challenger Tony Noun's 2,617 (25.1 percent).[1]


Committees[edit]

  • Appropriations
  • Border & Intergovernmental Affairs

Significant legislation[edit]

In the Eightieth Texas Legislature, Representative Riddle authored House Bill 8, which was the Texas version of Jessica's Law. The bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 15, 2007 and will become effective on September 1, 2007.

In the same session, she also authored House Bill 1034, which added the words "one state under God," to the Texas State Pledge. [2]

Pit of hell speech[edit]

In a March 6, 2003 interview with the El Paso Times, Riddle was quoted as saying:

"Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it's cleverly disguised as having a tender heart. It's not a tender heart. It's ripping the heart out of this country." [2]

The quote came after a Border and International Affairs Committee meeting during the Seventy-eighth Texas Legislature, in which the state faced a budget deficit of $10 billion,[2] and was linked to a discussion Riddle had during the hearing regarding proposed health care cuts. The witness claimed that health care cuts would cause serious damage to border area hospitals, which Riddle countered with the claim that illegal immigrants were responsible for the financial strains.[2]

Riddle was further quoted as saying "In a perfect world, I think it would be wonderful to open our doors to any and all, young and old, for health care. But this isn't a perfect world. We have got to decide if we are going to just open our borders for any and all that come through for health care, education, and services."[2]

The comment was met almost instantly with both opposition and support from both ends of the political spectrum.

Texas Democrats claimed the statement was bigoted and "the product of an antipathy toward non-Anglo inhabitants of the state" and the Harris County Democratic Party called for her to resign from her position on the Border Affairs Committee.[3] The Mexican American Legislative Caucus stated that "Our constitutional mandate comes not from the pit of hell. It comes from our state's forefathers."[4]

At the same time, the Unidas Hispanic Women's Club and the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Harris County praised Riddle for the quote and honored her at a dinner at the conclusion of session. Reggie Gonzalez, chairman for the Republican Hispanic Outreach Committee of Harris County said in a press release: "The liberal opposition to Representative Riddle's comments offends me as a Hispanic citizen. Their opposition only strengthens this negative stereotype of Hispanic immigrants, by implying that they need a lower standard of accountability. This implication is detrimental to the cause of Mexican-Americans everywhere."[5]

House voting procedures[edit]

Riddle has defended the Texas House's unwritten policy to cast votes for absent and indisposed members on the basis that members of the legislature often do not get breaks to tend to any other business. She was shown on Austin's KEYE-TV voting for State Representative Edmund Kuempel. She has defended the House policy: "We have a lot of votes. We have a lot of amendments, and there's [sic] times when we don't break for lunch, and we don't break for dinner, we don't have bathroom breaks."[6]

Terror babies[edit]

Riddle made the claim on Anderson Cooper 360 that Middle Eastern women were coming to the United States to give birth and were then returning to their home countries to raise their babies as terrorists who also had US citizenship.[7]

Breastfeeding[edit]

Riddle voiced opposition to a bill protecting breastfeeding in public because she said women should be "modest".[8]

Personal life[edit]

Riddle lives in Tomball with her husband Mike, an attorney. In 2010, she self-published Taking Back Your Community, Your Country and Your Kids,[9] which she described as, "a practical roadmap for anyone who chooses to make a difference in their country and community."[10]

Election results[edit]

2008[edit]

Texas general election, 2008: House District 150[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Debbie Riddle (Incumbent) 43,896 64.37 -5.90
Democratic Brad Neal 22,843 33.50 +3.78
Libertarian Ken Petty 1,445 2.12 +2.12
Majority 21,053 30.87 -9.68

2006[edit]

Texas general election, 2006: House District 150[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Debbie Riddle (Incumbent) 22,585 70.27 -29.73
Democratic Dot Nelson-Turnier 9,554 29.72 +29.72
Majority 13,031 40.55 -59.45

2004[edit]

Texas general election, 2004: House District 150[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Debbie Riddle (Incumbent) 44,425 100.00 +0.00
Majority 44,425 100.00 +0.00

2002[edit]

Texas general election, 2002: House District 150[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Debbie Riddle 26,174 100.00 +0.00
Majority 26,174 100.00 +0.00

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Republican primary election returns". team1.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Legislators Question Border Health", El Paso Times; March 6, 2003
  3. ^ Harris County Democratic Party - Message From The Chair: April 2003
  4. ^ The Austin Chronicle: News: Naked City: Beyond City Limits
  5. ^ Texas House of Representatives
  6. ^ Riddle comments on House voting policy.
  7. ^ "Video: 'Little terrorists' born in the U.S.?". CNN. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Terror, Baby: Debbie Riddle Stocking Stuffer", Texas Observer, December 16, 2010
  10. ^ Taking Back Your Country, Official Website
  11. ^ "2008 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  12. ^ "2006 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  13. ^ "2004 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  14. ^ "2002 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2007-08-08.