John Kuempel

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John Langston Kuempel
Texas State Representative from District 44 (Guadalupe, Gonzales, and Wilson counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 15, 2010
Preceded by Edmund Kuempel
Personal details
Born (1970-05-11) May 11, 1970 (age 44)
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michelle Kuempel (married 1999)
Children Will and Sam Kuempel
Parents Edmund and Roberta "Birdie" Blumberg Kuempel
Residence Seguin
Guadalupe County
Texas, USA
Alma mater Seguin High School

University of Texas

Occupation Salesman
Religion Lutheran

John Langston Kuempel (born May 11, 1970) is a salesman for Commercial Metals Company in Seguin, Texas, and a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 44.

Kuempel, a former football player, is a graduate of Seguin High School and the University of Texas. He and his wife, Michelle, a former city librarian, have twin sons, Will and Sam Kuempel (born ca. 2004). Kuempel coaches his sons' Little League baseball team. The family is active in the Faith Lutheran Church in Seguin. He is a member of Rotary International, the Texas Farm Bureau, the National Rifle Association, and the capital campaign committee of the Guadalupe Valley Medical Center.[1][2]

Political life[edit]

Kuempel's father, Edmund Kuempel, had held the seat in the heavily GOP district since the retirement in 1983 of prior Representative Bennie Bock (who was also a Republican), and had won reelection to the House in 2010 without opposition. However, two days after his 2010 re-election, on November 4 Edmund Kuempel died, thus requiring a December 14, 2010 special election to full the position.

Kuempel was the only candidate in the field openly committed to the retention of Joe Straus of San Antonio as Texas House Speaker. Edmund Kuempel had also been a Straus backer in 2009, when Straus deposed the more conservative former Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland.[3] Kuempel even secured the backing of Houston Astros baseball great Nolan Ryan, who is relocating into District 44.[4]

Kuempel and eight other opponents faced off in a jungle primary; Kuempel won the special election with 66 percent of the vote thus avoiding a runoff.[5] The second place candidate, with 10 percent of the ballots, was another Republican, Gary Inmon, a school board member from Schertz. Others in the field were two candidates defeated earlier by the Democrat Henry Cuellar of District 28 in the United States House of Representatives, Ron Avery (born 1947), a retired architect from Seguin who ran in 2006, and Jim Fish (born 1957), a small business owner from Cibolo, who ran for Congress in 2008. Avery and Fish filed as Republicans for the special legislative election, but Avery had previously been a Constitution Party candidate for Congress.[6] Still another candidate, Robin Walker, had lost in the March 2, 2010, Republican primary to the elder Kuempel.[7]

At the time of Kuempel's House election, two Democratic representatives, Aaron Pena of Edinburg and Allan Ritter of Nederland, switched affiliation to the Republican Party. Their defections increased the Republican total to one hundred members, thus giving the GOP a supermajority in the Texas House.[8]

Kuempel's victory brings the number of Republicans in the Texas House to a record 101 members in January 2011, Democrats holding the remaining 49 of the 150 total seats in the body.[9]

Campaign issues[edit]

Kuempel cited conservative issues in his campaign, including:

  • Lower taxes and limited government
  • Balancing the state budget by cutting wasteful spending
  • Requiring valid Texas photo identification to vote
  • Blocking implementation of the health-care plan signed in March 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama
  • Stronger border security measures; namely, citizenship background checks on jail inmates, banning "sanctuary city" policies, tougher penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, and opposition to amnesty for those in the United States illegally
  • Restricting abortion rights at the state level
  • Defense of Second Amendment rights
  • Requiring eminent domain reform to protect private property owners from government confiscation of their holdings
  • Protecting states' rights from intrusion by the U.S. government.
  • Quality public education
  • Protection of local water sources[10]

Texas State Republican Chairman Steve Munisteri of Houston described Kuempel's victory as "a strong testament to the legacy and patriotism of the entire Kuempel family."[11] Munisteri also cited political consultant Keats Norfleet of the Eppstein Group for its "overseeing a quick and efficient campaign organization."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Edmund Kuempel passes away", Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, Seguin, Texas, November 8, 2010, p. 1
  2. ^ "About John Kuempel". johnkuempel.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Paul Burka, "Huge Lead for John Kuempel"". Texas Monthly, December 14, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Ryan endorses Kuempel", Dallas Morning News, December 2, 2010
  5. ^ "Daniel Elizondo, "Kuempel elected to succeed father in District 44". Gonzales, Texas, Inquirer, December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Candidates for State Representative, District 44 Special Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ "John Kuempel wins late father's seat, December 14, 2010". statesman.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Two Democrats' defections give Republicans supermajority in Texas House, December 14, 2010". ramparts360.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ "John Kuempel coasts to victory in special Texas House election". trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Kuempel for State Representative: Issues". johnkuempel.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Congratulations to Rep.-Elect John Kuempel on His Special Election Victory, December 16, 2010". texasgopvote.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edmund Kuempel
Texas State Representative from District 44 (Guadalupe, Gonzales, and Wilson counties)
2010–
Succeeded by
Incumbent