J. M. Lozano

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Jose Manuel "J. M." Lozano, Jr.
Texas State Representative from District 43 (Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, and San Patricio counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office
2011
Preceded by Tara Rios Ybarra
Personal details
Born 1980
Guadalajara, Mexico
Nationality Mexican-American
Political party Republican (2012)
Spouse(s) Avelina "Abby" Rodriguez Lozano
Children Three children
Residence Kingsville, Kleberg County
Texas, USA
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Restaurateur
Religion Southern Baptist

Jose Manuel Lozano, Jr., known as J. M. Lozano (born 1980), is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 43, based about Kingsville in Kleberg County, Texas. First elected handily as a Democrat in 2010, Lozano controversially switched parties in 2012 and won his second term, narrowly, in a reconfigured district as a Republican.[1]

Background[edit]

A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Lozano became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1986, when he was six years of age. His father, J. M. Lozano, Sr., entered the country with a Mexican medical degree. Lozano was reared in Premont in Jim Wells County, where he graduated from Premont High School. He received a bachelor's degree in government in 2003 from the University of Texas, where he was affiliated with Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and interned in the Austin of State Senator Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi. After his UT studies, Lozano worked in McAllen in the office of liberal Democratic U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa. He left that post to pursue his Master of Business Administration degree from the Roman Catholic-affiliated University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He is a restaurant owner in both Kingsville and in Alice. His Wingstop restaurants, headquartered in Dallas, are based on a nostalgic aviation theme. Lozano resides in Kingsville with his wife, the former Avelina "Abby" Rodriguez, and their three children, two of whom are named Penelope and J. M., III.[1][2]

Political life[edit]

J.M. Lozano has been elected twice to represent District 43 in the Texas House of Representatives – first as a Democrat in 2010 and then as Republican in 2012.

Elections[edit]

In the 2010 Democratic primary for House District 43, Lozano unseated the incumbent representative, Tara Rios Ybarra, 8,858 (56.9 percent) to 6,708 (43.1 percent).[3] Then in the general election, he defeated Libertarian Party nominee, Richard W. Shuey, 12,351 (77.9 percent) to 3,503 (22.1 percent).[4]

Though no Republican had contested the District 43 seat in 2010, Lozano faced a strong Republican challenger in the 2012 runoff election in the heavily revised district, which picked up Bee, Jim Wells, and San Patricio counties but forfeited the more Democratic Brooks, Cameron, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, and Willacy counties. Lozano still won the Republican House nomination, 3,252 (54.1 percent) to 2,754 (45.9 percent) against Bill T. Willson, II.[5] Then in the general election, Lozano barely held his seat against Democrat Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles (born 1970), an attorney and former District 35 House member from Alice, Texas. Lozano polled, 24,074 votes (51.5 percent) to Toureilles's 22,629 (48.5 percent).[6]

His opponent in the general election on November 4, 2014 is the Democrat Kim Gonzalez.

Political Positions[edit]

As a freshman legislator, Lozano, still a Democrat, joined with Ryan Guillen, a Rio Grande City Democrat, and Dan Branch, a Dallas Republican, to pass legislation to establish a statewide transfer compact to facilitate student transfers within institutions of public higher education.[7]

According to his website Lozano opposes abortion and supports policies favorable to small business and the oil and natural gas industry. Furthermore, he is in favor of voter IDs displaying a photo on every registration card.[8] However, as a Democratic legislator two years earlier he voted twice against the introduction of voter identification requirements.[9]

Controversies[edit]

Party switch in 2012[edit]

After originally filing to run as a Democrat in November 2011,[10] in March 2012, Lozano abandoned the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party. He named three reasons for the party switch: his conservative voting record, his district looking more Republican after a heavy revision, as well as prospective financial support by, among others, the Hispanic Republicans of Texas political action committee.[11] Lozano said that he was inspired to switch after meeting with George P. Bush, the creator of the political action committee, Hispanic Republicans of Texas and the grandson of former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush.[12]

Between 2008 and its gerrymandering in 2012, House District 43 was a strong Democratic district.[13] 63 percent of the district’s adult population have Hispanic origins and 35 percent are Anglo.[11]

After Lozano switched parties contributions to his campaign budget sharply increased. Compared to his 2010 race as a Democrat the 2012 budget jumped up by 71 percent, from $551,801 to $945,257. In that year, the biggest contributors to his campaign were corporate PACs including Texans For Lawsuit Reform ($214,281).[14]

Then Texas Democratic State Party Chairman Boyd Richie of Young County, termed Lozano's party switch "unprincipled and cowardly. ... The instant things got tough, Lozano jumped ship and joined a party that has betrayed his constituents. Lozano is joining the party that decimated the schools in his district and gutted financial aid for students, all because he thinks it’ll help him stay in office."[11]

Ethics Violations[edit]

The Texas Ethics Commission fined J. M. Lozano three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013, for failing to meet the deadline for disclosing whether he had financial connections to lobbyists or special interests .[15][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State Rep. Jose Manuel Lozano, District 43 (R-Kingsville)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "J. M. Lozano". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2010 Democratic primary election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 General election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "2012 Republican runoff election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Rep. Lozano Makes Inter-Collegiate Transfers Easier for Students, May 10, 2011". house.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Issues". J. M. Lozano. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Jose Lozano's Voting Records, September 27, 2014". votesmart.org. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Democrat Lozano files for state House 43rd District, December 01, 2011". Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Julian Aguilar, "Rep. J.M. Lozano Confirms Plans to Switch to GOP, March 5, 2012". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Julian Aguilar, "Lozano Makes GOP Switch Official, Calls Dems Bullies, March 8, 2012". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Melissa del Bosque, "Portrait of a Party-Switcher, May 14, 2012". The Texas Observer. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "J. M. Lozano's Campaign Contribution Profile on Follow The Money". National Institute on Money in State Politics. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Texas Ethics Commission Meeting Minutes, April 21, 2010" (PDF). The State of Texas. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Texas Ethics Commission Meeting Minutes, February 23, 2011" (PDF). The State of Texas. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Texas Ethics Commission Meeting Minutes, October 30, 2013" (PDF). The State of Texas. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
Preceded by
Tara Rios Ybarra
Texas State Representative from District 43 (Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, and San Patricio counties)

Jose Manuel "J. M." Lozano, Jr.
2011–

Succeeded by
Incumbent