James White (Texas politician)

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James E. White
Texas State Representative from District 12 (then Angelina, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Tyler counties; now Brazos, McLennan, Falls, Limestone, and Robertson)
In office
January 2011 – January 2013
Preceded by Jim McReynolds
Succeeded by Kyle Kacal
Texas State Representative from District 19 (Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties)
Assumed office
January 2013
Preceded by Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton
Personal details
Born (1964-07-16) July 16, 1964 (age 50)
Houston, Texas, USA
Nationality African-American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Widowed
Residence Hillister, Tyler County, Texas
Alma mater (1) Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University

(2) University of Houston

Occupation Educator; Rancher
Religion Baptist Church

James E. White (born July 16, 1964) is an African-American Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 19, which encompasses Polk, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, and Tyler counties. He was first elected in District 12 in 2010, which then included Angelina, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Tyler counties. He resides in Hillister in Tyler County.[1]


Born and reared in Houston, Texas, White attended public school and graduated in 1982 from Lamar High School. In 986, White procured a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Military Science from the historically black Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University in Prairie View, Texas. From 1986 until 1992, he served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer in the infantry. Thereafter, he taught in the public school system in the Houston area and was a guest columnist for Headway Magazine.[2]

Later, White became a teacher at Woodville High School in Woodville, the county seat of Tyler County. He also owns a cattle ranch. He is a member of the Hillister Baptist Church.[2]

In 2000, he obtained a Master of Education degree from Prairie View. In 2010 and 2012, respectively, he received a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.[2]

White is a member of the American Foreign Legion, the Masonic lodge, the National Rifle Association, the historically black fraternity Omega Psi Phi, the Farm Bureau, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a board member of the Texas Federation of Republican Outreach.[2]

White is a widower.

Political life[edit]

White was born in a critical month of black history, two weeks after U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and on the day after the Republican Party nominated Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona to oppose Johnson in the 1964 presidential election. As a U.S. senator, Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act but later said that he had erred in doing so. Black voters swung solidly behind Johnson and have since remained attached to the Democratic Party in overwhelming numbers.[3] White's Republican affiliation hence contrasts with the large majority of his race, both nationally and in Texas.

Running in House District 12 in 2010, White unseated the Democratic incumbent, Jim McReynolds, 20,958 (57.6 percent) to 15,405 (42.4 percent).[4]Switched to District 19 in 2012, White unseated in the Republican primary the 10-year incumbent Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton of Lumberton in Hardin County. White polled 10,190 votes (54.5 percent) to Hamilton's 8,503 (45.5 percent).[5]White then ran without Democrat opposition in the general election held on November 6, 2012.[6]

In the 2013 legislative session, White voted to ban abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure was approved 96-49. He co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers.[7] Texas Right to Life rated him 78 percent favorable in 2013 and 74 percent in 2011.[8]

White opposed the taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. He supported legislation to provide marshals for school security. He voted against the bill to require immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House nevertheless approved, 71-61. He co-sponsored the law to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. White opposed the measure to prohibit texting while driving. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against an "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. He voted to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms and in support of another law allowing college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. He voted against term limits for certain officials.[7]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated White 93 percent favorable. Young Conservatives of Texas ranked him 80 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, assigned White a score of 91 percent in 2013 and 100 percent in 2011. The Texas Association of Business gave him an 87 percent score in 2013. He ranked 53 percent from the Texas League of Conservation Voters and 92 percent from the National Rifle Association.[8]


  1. ^ map of White's district
  2. ^ a b c d "Representative James White's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Sean J. Savage, JFK, LBJ, and the Democratic Party. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2004, pp. 220-222; ISBN=0-7914-6169-6. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 General election returns (House District 12)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Republican primary election, May 29, 2012 (House District 19)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 19)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "James White's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "James White's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. 


Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim McReynolds
Texas State Representative from District 12 (then Angelina, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Tyler counties; now Brazos, McLennan, Falls, Limestone, and Robertson)

James E. White

Succeeded by
Kyle Kacal
Preceded by
Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton
Texas State Representative from District 19 (Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties)

James E. White

Succeeded by