|Kenneth Paul "Ken" King|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 88th district
|Preceded by||Jim Landtroop (formerly District 85)|
December 28, 1971 |
Canadian, Hemphill County
|Spouse(s)||Rhonda Renell King|
|Occupation||Oil and natural gas businessman|
|Religion||United Methodist Church|
A businessman engaged in the oil and natural gas industry, King resides with his wife, Rhonda Renell King, in his native Canadian, Texas, the county seat of Hemphill County. The son of Karl L. and Paulette King, he is United Methodist.
On July 31, 2012, King defeated in a runoff election incumbent one-term Republican Jim Landtroop, an insurance agent from Plainview. King received 7,541 votes (54 percent) to Landtroop's 6,426 ballots (46 percent). The runoff was required because of the unsuccessful candidacy of a third candidate, former State Representative Gary Walker. The 2011 legislative redistricting removed Landtroop's Hale County from his District 85 in the South Plains and placed him in otherwise all new territory in the reconfigured District 88, previously represented by Republican Warren Chisum of Pampa.
In his campaign against Landtroop, King had the financial backing ($100,000) of Salem Abraham, a futures trader and a former president of the Canadian Independent School District. King himself vacated the presidency of the school board upon election to the House. A commodities trader, Abraham is the grandson of former State Representative Malouf Abraham, Sr., of Canadian, a Republican who served in the state House from 1967 to 1971. Abraham is an heir to his grandfather's oil and natural gas fortune and is a local philanthropist in Canadian.
In the heated King-Landtroop campaign, Abraham attended a meeting in Levelland in Hockley County, at which Governor Rick Perry endorsed Landtroop. When Abraham questioned Landtroop's campaign tactics against King, he was asked to leave the premises. Michael Quinn Sullivan, a conservative activist and founder of the group Empower Texans, who supported Landtroop, questioned the high rate of educational spending by the Canadian School Board. In 2010-2011, the board spent nearly $38,000 per pupil, with $7,000 directly in the classroom, and it increased property taxes by five cents per $100 in assessed value in 2011.
Abraham subsequently sued Daniel Greer and the group Fix The Facts Foundation, also known as AgendaWise, for libel regarding the legislative campaign. Greer had reported that Abraham was "forcibly removed" from the Levelland meeting by the Texas Department of Public Safety, rather than being merely asked to leave, as he did. Abraham's case was first thrown out in 2013 on the grounds that Abraham had not proved malice on the part of the defendants. But the dismissal was overturned in July 2014 and remanded to the trial court by the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Amarillo. The circuit court said that Abraham's complaint is unrelated to his being a public figure. Greer had not mentioned Abraham's school board tenure in Greer's version of the events at the meeting in Levelland.
Representative King serves on the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence and Public Education committees. He was elected to his second term in office on November 4, 2014, with a margin of 91.2 percent over a Libertarian opponent.
- "State Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Texas Secretary of State official election results, July 31, 2012". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Race for Chisum's House Seat Heating Up, August 24, 2011". legislativequeery.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Salem Abraham v. Daniel Greer and Fix The Facts Foundation d/b/a AgendaWise: Appeal from 31st District Court of Hemphill County". law.justia.com. July 25, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Michael Quinn Sullivan (July 25, 2012). "Ken the Tax Man". Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- "General election returns, November 4, 2014". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
|Texas House of Representatives|
|Texas State Representative from District 88 (Panhandle and South Plains)
Kenneth Paul "Ken" King
Incumbent in reconfigured district