Susan King (Texas politician)

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Susan Lewis King
Texas State Representative from District 71 (Taylor, Jones, and Nolan counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 9, 2007
Preceded by Robert Dean Hunter
Personal details
Born (1952-02-02)February 2, 1952
Houston, Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Austin King
Children Three children
Residence Abilene, Taylor County, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Nurse; rancher; businesswoman
Religion Presbyterian

Susan Lewis King (born February 2, 1952),[1]is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 71 based in Abilene in Taylor County, Texas, and neighboring Jones and Nolan counties.[2]King is her party nominee for a fifth term in the general election scheduled for November 4, 2014.[1]

Background[edit]

A native of Houston, King received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a surgical nurse, co-owner, and co-director of Elm Place Ambulatory Surgical Center in Abilene. She formerly was a co-director of surgery at The Texas Heart Institute, Texas Children's Hospital, and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. She owns the Windy Bluff Ranch in Abilene.[1]

King is heavily involved in community affairs in her district, an advisor to the Junior League and a board member of the Abilene Ballet Theatre, Abilene Community Theatre, the Abilene Philharmonic, and the Abilene Preservation League. She is affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta, the Texas Farm Bureau, the Parent Teacher Association, and the chambers of commerce in Abilene and Sweetwater. She has been a volunteer nurse for the Boy Scouts of America. A member of the National Rifle Association, she is a graduate of the Jeff Cooper Handgun School.[1]

Representative King is an elder, Bible study, and Sunday school teacher at the First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene. King and her husband, Austin King, have three children.[1]

Political life[edit]

From 1998 until her election to the state House, King was a trustee, a nonpartisan position, of the Abilene Independent School District.[1]

In 2006, the Republican state Representative Robert Dean Hunter of Abilene, vice-president emeritus of Abilene Christian University, stepped down after more than ten years in his legislative position. He had first won a special election in 1986 held three months before the return of Republican Bill Clements to the Texas governorship. Hunter was the first Republican to have represented Taylor County in the legislature since Reconstruction.[3][4]

King and three other Republicans hence ran in the primary election to choose a successor to Hunter. Kevin M. Christian (born c. 1977) of Abilene, with 3,953 votes (37.7 percent), led the balloting, with King in second place at 3,008 (28.7 percent), only 80 votes ahead of the third-place contender, James Robert "Rob" Beckham (born c. 1964) of Abilene, who polled 2,918 votes (27.8 percent). In fourth place was John Young with 600 votes (5.7 percent).[5]In the runoff election the following month, King defeated Christian by 105 votes, 5,178 (50.51 percent) to 5,073 (49.48 percent).[6]In the general election on November 7, 2006, King defeated a Democrat, Melvin E. "Mel" Hailey (born c. 1948) of Abilene, and a Libertarian, Vanessa Nicole Harris (born c. 1978). She polled 18,026 votes (57.7 percent); Hailey, 12,547 (40.1 percent), and Harris, 687 votes (2.2 percent).[7]

King faced only weak Libertarian opponents in the general elections of 2008 and 2010 and had no opposition in 2012 in either her primary or in the general election. In the Republican primary held on March 4, 2014, she handily defeated the Mexican native Issac Matthew Castro (born 1956), an attorney from Hamlin in Jones County who is a former trustee of the Hamlin Independent School District and was formerly affiliated with the Texas Republican County Chairmen's Association. Castro earlier ran for the state House in 2008 in District 85.[8] King polled 10,267 (67.3 percent); Castro, 4,989 (32.7 percent).[9]

Representative King is a member of the House committees on (1) Appropriations, (2) Administration, and (3) Public Health.[1]

Legislative positions[edit]

In 2013, King supported the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. She also voted for companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers.[10] 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.[11] King did not vote on two abortion restriction measures in 2011, one of which forbids state funding of agencies which perform abortions; the other of which requires a woman procuring an abortion to undergo first a sonogram. Supporters of the ultrasound legislation claim that a woman could change her mind about an abortion once she witnesses the development of the unborn child.[10]Despite the two high-profile pro-life bills, the Texas Right to Life Committee rated King only 20 percent favorable in 2013; yet it gave her 60 percent in 2011, when she did not vote on the two key anti-abortion bills in that session.[12]

King supported the bill to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. She supported legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. She co-sponsored the successful bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. She also co-sponsored the bill to prohibit texting while driving, which passed the House, 97-45. She voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. She backed the "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61.[10]

King backed the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. She co-sponsored legislation to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. She supported legislation to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. She backed the redistricting bills for the state House, the state Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. King voted for term limits for certain state officials.[10]

In 2011, King voted against a measure to reduce funding for state agencies. She voted to establish eligibility standards for indigent health care. She voted against the institution of corporal punishment in public schools. She voted to prohibit smoking in public places. She supported the sales tax on the Internet, which passed the House, 125-20. She voted to require public colleges and universities to establish student center to meet traditional family values. King supported picture identification for voters casting a ballot,[10]a measure which finally took effect in October 2013.[13]

Interest group ratings[edit]

King's ratings from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, have fluctuated from 58 percent favorable in 2013, 29 percent in 2011, 40 percent in 2009, and 76 percent in 2007. The Young Conservatives of Texas gave her a lifetime score of 61 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated her 64 percent; the Sierra Club, 50 percent in 2011. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated her 46 percent favorable in 2013 and 38 percent in 2011, low ratings for a Republican lawmaker. However, the Texas Association of Business in 2013 gave her a cumulative rating of 86 percent. The National Rifle Association rated her 92 percent in 2012 and "A" in both 2010 and 2008. In 2009, the Libertarian Party scored King 38 percent favorable on issues of economic freedom and personal liberties.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Susan King's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Susan King". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robert D. "Bob" Hunter". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Republican lands in House as Senate race goes to runoff: Republican Robert Hunter won with 50.8 percent of the vote ...", Austin American Statesman, August 10, 1986
  5. ^ "Republican primary election returns (House District 71), March 2006". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Republican runoff election returns (House District 71), April 2006". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "General election returns (House District 71), November 7, 2006". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Isaac Castro's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Republican primary election returns (House District 71), March 4, 2014". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Susan King's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fernandez, M. (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Susan Lewis King's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Texas Voter ID Officially Takes Effect, October 21, 2013". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Dean Hunter
Texas State Representative from District 71 (Taylor, Jones, and Nolan counties)

Susan Lewis King
2007–

Succeeded by
Incumbent