Delwin Jones

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Delwin L. Jones
Texas State Representative from Lubbock (assorted districts)
In office
1964–1972
Preceded by J. Collier Adams
Succeeded by Pete Laney
Texas State Representative from District 83 (Cochran, Gaines, Hockley, Lubbock, and Yoakum counties)
In office
1989–2011
Preceded by Ron Givens
Succeeded by Charles Lee Perry
Personal details
Born (1924-04-02) April 2, 1924 (age 90)
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Reta A. Jones (died 2014)
Residence Lubbock, Lubbock County
Texas
Alma mater Texas Tech University
Occupation Businessman

Farmer

Military service
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Battles/wars World War II

Delwin L. Jones (born April 2, 1924)[1] is an American state political figure from West Texas who prior to 2011 was the oldest member of the Texas House of Representatives, having[2] represented what became and what remains District 83, based in the area about Lubbock, Texas. Jones was originally elected as a Democrat in 1964, when that party held 149 of the 150 seats in the Texas House.[3] Jones was defeated for re-nomination in 1972 by cotton farmer Pete Laney of Hale Center, later the House Speaker. After a 12-year absence, Jones returned to the House in 1989 as a Republican.

Background[edit]

A Lubbock resident, Jones earned his living from farming and investments. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University. He married Reta A. Jones (July 16, 1923 - March 20, 2014),[4] shortly after the end of his service in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. The two met in Lubbock's only bowling alley at the time. Mrs. Jones was heavily involved in Habitat for Humanity in Lubbock.[5]

Political life[edit]

Jones's District 83 also included the outlying communities of Levelland, Denver City, Plains, Shallowater, Slaton, and Seminole, Texas. Jones drove through the district over the years in a 1995 Buick Le Sabre, passing out some 800,000 "Delwin Jones" emery boards to remind voters on pending elections. Jones often begins his day of politicking meeting voters in some cafe.[2]

At eighty-six, Jones was a candidate for renomination in the April 13, 2010, Republican runoff primary. He was defeated by Charles Perry, an accountant who ran a grass roots campaign with support of the Tea Party movement, also known as "Taxed Enough Already". Perry prevailed with 10,109 votes (57.8 percent) to Jones' 7,392 ballots (42.2 percent). Jones polled 291 more votes in the runoff than he had in the primary, but Perry's total increased by 3,633 ballots over his initial showing.[6]

In the March 2 primary, Jones, backed by the president of the Lubbock Educators Association interest group,[7] led the field with 7,103 ballots (37.7 percent) to Perry's 6,476 (34.4 percent). The third candidate, Zach Brady, with 5,240 votes (27.8 percent), held the key to victory in the Jones-Perry showdown.[8] Brady, a Lubbock attorney, raised more than $250,000 and carried the backing of business interest groups, but he was eliminated from the race by his third-place showing.[7]

Jones had expected to win another term in the legislature on the basis of his name identification and longevity, but he conceded an "undercurrent" of disgruntled taxpayers made the outcome of the race uncertain.[2]Charles Perry then ran unopposed for the House seat in the general election held on November 2, 2010.

In the Republican primary held on May 29, 2012, Jones, at the age of eighty-eight, failed in a bid to unseat Perry. In 2014, Jones entered the special election to fill the seat in the District 28 seat in Texas State Senate vacated by Robert L. Duncan, who became chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. In this race, he again faced Charles Perry as well as several other candidates, including two other Republicans, E. M. Garza and Jodey Arrington, and Democrat Greg Wortham. On August 31, 2014, Jones was listed in critical condition from an undisclosed illness. He was admitted to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock.[4]Perry won the election without the need for a runoff and thereby gains seniority over other new state senators who will be elected on November 4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Texas House District 83: Dewlwin Jones, R-Lubbock". texastribune.org. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Solons feeling the heat", Laredo Morning Times, April 12, 2010, p. 6A
  3. ^ The only Republican in the Texas House in 1965 was the late Frank Kell Cahoon, a Wichita Falls native who resides still in Midland. In 2012, the Democrats held only 48 of the 150 House seats.
  4. ^ a b Sarah Rafique (August 31, 2014). "SD 28 candidate Delwin Jones in critical condition: Jones served for 30 years in the Texas House of Representatives during two stints". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ R. S. Douglas (March 22, 2014). "Reta Jones, wife of former Tex Rep. Delwin, remembered for kindness, Habitat work: Donations to Habitat for Humanity are requested in lieu of flowers". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Texas Republican runoff primary returns, April 13, 2010". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved April 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Election 2010: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal". lubbockonline.com. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Texas Republican primary election returns, March 2, 2010". sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 


Preceded by
J. Collier Adams
Texas State Representative from Lubbock County (assorted districts)

Delwin L. Jones
1964–1973

Succeeded by
Pete Laney
Preceded by
Ron Givens
Texas State Representative from District 83 (Cochran, Gaines, Hockley, Lubbock, and Yoakum counties)

Delwin L. Jones
1989–2011

Succeeded by
Charles Lee Perry