Frank L. Madla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Frank Lloyd Madla, Jr. (January 23, 1937 — November 24, 2006), was for thirty-three years a Democratic member of both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate from the south side of San Antonio. Madla died in a house fire in the early morning hours on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in 2006.[1]

Political career[edit]

Madla was initially elected to the lower house of the Texas legislature in a San Antonio-based district in 1972. He served for twenty years in the House until he was elected to the District 24, later District 19, state Senate seat, which is geographically large and stretches from San Antonio to as far west as El Paso. (In Texas, state Senate districts are geographically and demographically larger than United States House of Representatives districts.)

In 1985, Texas Monthly, in its biennial feature on the best and worst Texas legislators named Madla to the "Honorable Mention" category, as one of the top twenty legislators for that session.[2]

Among the nearly seven hundred legislative bills which Madla supported that came to fruition was the establishment of the Toyota plant on San Antonio's Far South Side. The first San Antonio-made Toyota Tundra rolled off the assembly line only days before Madla's death. Madla also worked for years to establish a Texas A&M University branch campus, also on the city's South Side. In 2005, the legislature passed a bill that Madla wrote which authorized the creation of the campus. In the special 2006 legislative session dedicated to educational finance matters, Madla persuaded his colleagues to approve $40 million in tuition revenue bonds for the development of the new campus, which is scheduled to be completed in 2009. During the 2005 Legislative session, Madla originally opposed House Joint Resolution 6, which bans same-sex marriage and put Texas's Defense of Marriage laws to a vote, but he changed his mind and voted for it. It became part of the Texas Constitution.

2006 Democratic primary[edit]

Madla had maintained his Senate seat without opposition until successfully challenged in the Democratic primary held in March 2006 by the District 118 state representative, Carlos I. "Charlie" Uresti. The challenger claimed that Madla was too closely tied to the Republican leadership in the Senate and had voted in 2003 to remove 180,000 youngsters from the Children's Health Insurance Program. Madla referred to Uresti's charge as a "procedural matter." There were also questions about Madla's more than $1.1 million in campaign contributions, some from lobbyists. State Senator Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso campaigned for Uresti, breaking a Senate tradition of not campaigning against a colleague.[3] Uresti, a San Antonio attorney, prevailed with 56.5 percent of the vote to Madla's 43.5 percent.[4]

Carla Vela, the then Bexar County Democratic Party chairman, said that issues were less important in the Madla-Uresti race than an ongoing intraparty power struggle involving the political families who control the Southside section of San Antonio.[5]

Shortly after his primary defeat, Madla announced that he would resign his Senate seat early, effective May 31, 2006.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Madla was born in just outside of San Antonio in Helotes to Frank L. Madla, Sr., and the former Epigmenia Alcala.[7] Madla attended St. Mary's University and graduated with a B.A. in Government in 1959, and in 1963, an M.A. in Government.[8] Madla was married in 1961, and he and wife Rosemary[9] had a son, Frank L. Madla, III.[10] Madla was remarried in 1977 to the former Helen Cruz (born June 2, 1954),[11] and had a daughter, Marci Morgan Madla.[12]

Madla was a junior high school teacher for ten years before he entered politics. At various times he worked as an insurance and real estate broker, and an instructor at University of the Incarnate Word.[13]

Death[edit]

Madla, along with Mary Cruz, his 81-year-old mother-in-law, and Aleena, his five-year-old granddaughter, died in a house fire. Madla had been asleep in his home upstairs and had tried to escape through the bedroom window. Burglar bars on the windows trapped him, and he succumbed to smoke and flames. His granddaughter was initially thought to have survived, but was declared without brain function and died after being removed from life support a day later. Madla's wife Helen survived the blaze but was hospitalized for a time afterward.[14] Madla's home had no smoke detectors.

U.S. President George W. Bush issued his condolences to the Madla family and promised to pray for Helen Madla's full recovery: "Frank was a dedicated public servant who devoted more than three decades of his life to serving his state and all its people in the Texas House and Senate."[15]

Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff in Madla's honor on November 30, the day of Madla’s funeral, and 1 December, the date of his interment in the Texas State Cemetery. Perry issued this tribute: "Frank Madla was a dear friend and a dedicated public servant who was an exemplary representative for South and West Texas. Frank was a mentor to me when I came in to the legislature. He had a heart of gold and was a true Texas patriot. He and his wife, Helen, were two of Anita's [First Lady Anita Thigpen Perry] and my favorites. His death is a tragic loss to the community, to his friends and to his family. Anita and I offer our prayers on behalf of his wife Helen for her continued recovery."[16]

Legacy[edit]

Madla grave at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas

In January 2006, the former Royalgate Elementary School in the South San Antonio Independent School District was renamed Frank Madla Elementary School. Madla described the renaming as the “single best honor” to him ever.[17]

VIA Metropolitan Transit named its Madla Transit Center in his honor. It is located on San Antonio's South Side at the intersection of I-35 and Zarzamora Street.[18]

Election history[edit]

Election history of Madla from 1992.[19]

Most recent election[edit]

2006[edit]

Democratic Party Primary Election, 2006: Senate District 19[20]
Candidate Votes % ±%
Frank L. Madla (Incumbent) 18,936 43.48
Carlos I. Uresti 24,610 56.51
Turnout 12,025

Previous elections[edit]

2002[edit]

Texas general election, 2002: Senate District 19[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank L. Madla (Incumbent) 76,590 100.00 0.00
Majority 76,590 100.00 +37.89
Turnout 76,590 +37.89
Democratic hold

1998[edit]

Texas general election, 1998: Senate District 19[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank L. Madla (Incumbent) 55,544 100.00 0.00
Majority 55,544 100.00 -8.07
Turnout 55,544 -8.07
Democratic hold

1994[edit]

Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 19[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank L. Madla (Incumbent)[24] 60,422 100.00
Majority 60,422 100.00
Turnout 60,422
Democratic hold

1992[edit]

Texas general election, 1992: Senate District 24[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank L. Madla 110,534 100.00
Majority 110,534 100.00
Turnout 110,534
Democratic hold

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ward, Mike (2006-11-24). "Madla killed in fire at his San Antonio home". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2006-11-24. [dead link]
  2. ^ Burka, Paul; Alison Cook (July 1985). "The Ten Best and (Groan) The Ten Worst Legislators" (subscription required). Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  3. ^ Jefferson, Greg; Laura E. Jesse (8 March 2006). "Uresti dethrones Madla". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  4. ^ "2006 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  5. ^ "Morgan Smith, "Primary Races Tend to Be Bloody," November 3, 2009". texastribune.org. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ Fikac, Peggy (18 April 2006). "Madla to quit state Senate post in May". San Antonio Express-News. p. 7A. 
  7. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1937-01-23). "Birth Certificate for Francisco Eloy Madla" (Third party index of birth records for Bexar County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Senator Frank L. Madla: District 19" (Official biography from 76th Legislature). Texas Senate. Archived from the original on 2000-04-12. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  9. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1975-08-06). "Divorce Record No. 75943" (Third party index of divorce records for Bexar County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17. [dead link]
  10. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1965-05-23). "Birth Certificate for Frank Lloyd Madla, III" (Third party index of birth records for Bexar County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17. [dead link]
  11. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1977-06-16). "Marriage Record No. 55135, Frank L. Madla to Helen G. Cruz" (Third party index of marriage records for Bexar County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17. [dead link]
  12. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1984-09-11). "Birth Certificate for Marci Morgan Madla" (Third party index of birth records for Bexar County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2006-12-17. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Senator Frank L. Madla: District 19" (Official biography from 76th Legislature). Texas Senate. Archived from the original on 2000-04-12. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  14. ^ Camp, Katy (2006-11-25). "Frank Madla's Granddaughter Passes Away". WOAI. Retrieved 2006-11-25. [dead link]
  15. ^ "President Bush's Statement on Deaths of Former Texas State Senator Frank Madla, His Mother-in-Law and Granddaughter" (Press release). George W. Bush. 2006-11-26. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  16. ^ "Gov. Perry Orders Flags at Half-Staff In Memory of Former Senator Frank Madla" (Press release). Rick Perry. 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  17. ^ Martinez, Michelle M. (2006-01-20). "Grade school renamed for Madla". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2006-12-18. [dead link]
  18. ^ "VIA Metropolitan Transit - Communications". 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  19. ^ Uncontested primary elections are not shown.
  20. ^ "2006 Democratic Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  21. ^ "2002 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  22. ^ "1998 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  23. ^ "1994 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  24. ^ Madla was the District 24 incumbent prior to the 1994 Senate redistricting.
  25. ^ "1992 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
New district
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 57-A (San Antonio)

1973–1983
Succeeded by
Obsolete district
Preceded by
Inactive district
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 117 (San Antonio)

1983–1993
Succeeded by
John Longoria
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Temple Dickson
Texas State Senator
from District 24 (San Antonio)

1993–1995
Succeeded by
Bill Sims
Preceded by
Gregory Luna
Texas State Senator
from District 19 (San Antonio)

1995–2006
Succeeded by
Carlos I. Uresti
Preceded by
Florence Shapiro
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
30 May 2005–17 April 2006
Succeeded by
Royce West