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)
Assumed office
Preceded by Tara Rios Ybarra
Personal details
Born 1980
Guadalajara, Mexico
Nationality Mexican-American
Political party Democrat-turned-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 Restauranteur
Religion Roman Catholicism

Jose Manuel Lozano, Jr., known as J. M. Lozano (born 1980), is a Democrat-turned-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 switched parties in 2012 and won his second term, narrowly, in a reconfigured district as a Republican.[1]


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]

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 the Libertarian Party nominee, Richard W. Shuey, 12,351 (77.9 percent) to 3,503 (22.1 percent).[4]

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.[5]

Two other Democratic lawmakers, Aaron Peña of Hidalgo County and Allan Ritter of Nederland, switched parties in December 2010. Lozano said that he was inspired to switch as well 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. George P. Bush, meanwhile, is one of two candidates for commissioner of the Texas General Land Office in the 2014 Republican primary election. Lozano, who opposes abortion and supports policies favorable to small business and the oil and natural gas industry, said that his views fall more in line with Republicans than Democrats. However, on two key issues, he stuck with the Democratic position. Lozano opposed the voter photo identification law, which took effect in 2014. He also opposed the move to abolish sanctuary cities in Texas. In such zones an immigrant is protected from arrest and deportation for being in the country illegally.[6]

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."[6]

Kenneth Flippin, Lozano's campaign manager in 2010, incorrectly predicted that the young legislator would fail to gain a second term after he switched parties in the district with a 63 percent Hispanic voter majority.[6] Though no Republican had contested the District 43 seat in 2010, Lozano faced a strong intraparty Republican challenger in the 2012 runoff election in the heavily revised district, which picked up Bee, Jim Wells, and San Patricio counties but forfeited 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) for fellow Republican Bill T. Willson, II.[7] Then in the general election, Lozano barely held his seat against another woman 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).[8]


  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. ^ "Rep. Lozano Makes Inter-Collegiate Transfers Easier for Students, May 10, 2011". house.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "2012 Republican runoff election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 43)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 19, 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.

Succeeded by