Ron Simmons (Texas politician)

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Ronald Ellis "Ron" Simmons
Texas State Representative from District 65 (southeastern Denton County)
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 8, 2013
Preceded by Burt Solomons
Personal details
Born (1960-09-21) September 21, 1960 (age 54)
Southern Arkansas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Diane Dickson Simmons
Children Justin Simmons

Daniel Simmons
Allie Beth Simmons

Residence Carrollton, Denton County, Texas
Alma mater Southern Arkansas University

Dallas Baptist University

Occupation Investment advisor
Religion Southern Baptist

Ronald Ellis Simmons, known as Ron Simmons (born September 21, 1960)[1] is an investment advisor from Carrollton, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 65 in suburban southeastern Denton County.[2]

First elected in 2012, Simmons is seeking a second two-year term in the general election scheduled for November 4, 2014; he will face the Democrat Alex Mendoza of Lewisville, Texas.[3]Mendoza ran unsuccessfully against Simmons in the 2012 general election as the nominee that year of the Green Party.[4]

Background[edit]

The son of public schoolteachers, Simmons was reared in southern Arkansas. His website biographies do not list his place of birth or the locations where he lived prior to enrolling at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in Columbia County. Simmons is married to the former Lisa Dickson, a native of El Dorado, Arkansas. After several years of marriage, the couple left Arkansas in 1985 and settled in Dallas, where he completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Dallas Baptist University. In 1991, Simmons founded Retirement Advisors of America.[5]

Retirement Advisors of America manages nearly $1.7 billion in assets for families across the country and provides jobs for thirty-five employees and fifteen independent contractors. In 2010, Simmons was named by D Magazine as one of the top financial advisors in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The trade publication Investment News has named Retirement Advisors of America among the top thirty financial advisors in the United States.[5]

Simmons and his wife, the former Lisa Diane Dickson (born c. 1960), have three children, Justin, Daniel, and Allie Beth.[6]Justin Simmons is a Dallas-area businessman; Daniel Simmons works with his father at RRA; Allie Beth Simmons has been a college student at the private Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.[5]

Simmons is a teacher in Bible Fellowship at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, of which he was a church director from 2007 to 2009. He is a former deacon at First Baptist Church of Dallas. He is a supporter of the Liberty Institute, which seeks to protect the sanctity of human life, religious liberty, and traditional marriage. He is a national board member of the Autism Society of America and a life member of the National Rifle Association.[5]

Political life[edit]

When long-term Republican Representative Burt Solomons of North Carrollton declined to seek a tenth term in 2012, Simmons, who had no previous political experience, entered the primary election to nominate a successor candidate. With 4,844 votes (61.6 percent), he handily defeated two intraparty rivals, David Edmund Loerwald (born c. 1956) of Carrollton, with 1,754 votes (22.3 percent), and Michael Hugh "Mike" Hennefer (born c. 1952) of Carrollton, a California native and an active figure in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,[7] with 1,260 votes (16 percent).[8]In the higher-turnout general election on November 6, 2012, Simmons won with 31,386 votes (59.1 percent) to 20,481 votes (38.6 percent) for the Democrat Gary E. Brown and Alex Mendoza's 1,224 votes (2.3 percent).[4]

Simmons serves on the House committees of (1) Homeland Security and Public Safety and (2) Elections.[6]

Legislative positions[edit]

A pro-life legislator, Simmons co-sponsored in 2013 the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. He also co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers,[9] a measure which opponents claim could lead to the closure of certain abortion clinics in Texas. These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the Texas State Senate by Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth, who in 2014 is the Democratic nominee for governor.[10] The Texas Right to Life Committee rated Simmons 80 percent favorable.[11]

Simmons opposed the bill to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He co-sponsored the successful bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. He voted against adoption of the biennial state budget. Simmons voted against the bill to prohibit texting while driving, which nevertheless passed the House, 97-45. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against the "equal pay for women" measure, which nevertheless passed the House, 78-61.[9]

Simmons co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored legislation to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He voted to reduce the time required for one to obtain a concealed-carry permit. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. Simmons voted against term limits for certain state officials.[9]

Interest group ratings[edit]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Simmons 92 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas scored him 82 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated him 50 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 86 percent; the Texas Association of Business, 80 percent. The National Rifle Association scored him 92 percent.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Ron Simmons (R)". Texas Directory. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ron Simmons". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Uncontested races, March 5, 2014". Denton Record-Chronicle. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "General election returns, November 6, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "State Rep. Ron Simmons District 65 (R-Carrollton)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Ron Simmons' Biography". votesmart.com. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Mike Hennefer". mikehennefer.com. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "Ron Simmons' Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ Fernandez, M. (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Ron Simmons' Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Burt Solomons
Texas State Representative from District 65 (southeastern Denton County)

Ronald Ellis "Ron" Simmons
2013–

Succeeded by
Incumbent