Bill Zedler

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William Wade "Bill" Zedler
Texas State Representative from District 96 (part of Tarrant County)
In office
January 14, 2003 – January 13, 2009
Preceded by Kim Brimer
Succeeded by Chris Turner
Assumed office
January 11, 2011
Preceded by Chris Turner
Personal details
Born (1943-08-19) August 19, 1943 (age 72)
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ellen Tuffly Zedler
Children Three children
Residence Arlington, Tarrant County
Alma mater Sam Houston State University
Occupation Retired medical consultant
Religion Non-denominational Christian

William Wade Zedler, known as Bill Zedler (born August 19, 1943),[1] is a retired medical consultant from Arlington, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 96, which encompasses a portion of Tarrant County in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He has served since 2003 except for the term from 2009 to 2011, when he was temporarily unseated by the Democrat Chris Turner.[2]

A board member of the bipartisan Texas Conservative Coalition, Zedler is considered one of the most conservative of current Texas legislators. He is unopposed for his sixth nonconsecutive term in the general election scheduled for November 4, 2014.[3]


Internet sources reveal little on Zedler prior to his obtaining his bachelor's and master's degrees in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In 1967, after leaving the university, he entered the United States Army and served as a first lieutenant in the Vietnam War, in which he earned the Army Commendation Medal.[4] lists him as a former resident of Riverside in Cook County, Illinois, and Kennedale and Mansfield, both in Tarrant County.[5]

After Zedler relocated to Arlington in the early 1980s, he worked as an administrator in the health-care industry. He is affiliated with Kiwanis International and the Chamber of Commerce.[3]

Zedler is the chairman of the board of elders at the Park Springs Bible Church in Arlington.[4] He and his wife, the former Ellen Tuffly (born c. 1949), have three grown children and six grandchildren.[3]

Political life[edit]

Zedler has long been active in the nuts and bolts of Republican campaign activities. A former precinct chairman, he worked in 1976 in the successful Texas campaign to nominate Ronald W. Reagan for U.S. President, though Reagan lost the party nomination nationally to incumbent Gerald R. Ford, Jr.,[3][6]who was then unseated by the Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Zedler first ran for the legislature in the 2000 Republican primary. He was defeated by the incumbent Kim Brimer, who received 5,472 votes (55 percent) to Bill Zedler's 4,461 (45 percent).[7]In 2002, when Brimer moved into the District 10 seat in the Texas Senate for a six-year stint, Zedler won the Republican nomination in House District 96. Living at the time in Burleson,[2] Zedler won 55.1 percent of the vote to defeat two intraparty rivals from Arlington, Daniel Thomas "Tom" Serna (born c. 1956) and Kellye Ann Reeves Swanda (born c. 1965).[8]

In the general election of 2002, Zedler defeated the Democrat Darrel Cox, 21,896 (60 percent) to 14,589 (40 percent).[9]I By virtually the same percent, Zedler defeated Cox again in 2004 but in a higher turnout election accompying the presidential contest. Zedler polled 40,224 (60.3) to Cox's 26,447 (39.7 percent).[10] In the 2006 general election, Zedler defeated another Democrat, Christopher D. Youngblood (born c. 1980) of Arlington, 19,520 (52.5 percent) to 16,483 (44.3 percent). Another 3.2 percent of the ballots cast went to the Libertarian Party nominee, Samuel S. Thomas.[11]

In 2008, Zedler was sidelined for one term, when the Democrat Chris Turner unseated him, 41,977 (51.3 percent) to 38,108 (46.6 percent). Libertarian Party candidate Todd Litteken held the remaining 2.1 percent of the vote.[12]Zedler rebounded in 2010, when he unseated Turner by a slightly higher percent than Turner had received in victory in 2008. Zedler polled 23,747 (52.4 percent) to Turner's 21,583 (47.6 percent).[13]Turner is now the District 101 representative.

In the 2012 general election, Zedler won again with 36,940 votes (80.5 percent), when no Democrat filed for representative. The remaining 8,931 votes (19.5 percent) went to the Libertarian Max William Koch, III, of Arlington.[14]

With the support of the Tea Party movement, Zedler won easy renomination in the low turnout Republican primary held on March 4, 2014, when he defeated intraparty rival, Michael Daniel "Mike" Leyman (born c. 1947) of Mansfield, Texas, 4,536 (62.9 percent) to 2,681 (37.1 percent).[6]

Zedler is a member of the House committees of (1) Defense and Veterans Affairs and (2) Public Health.[3]

Legislative positions[edit]

The pro-life Zedler is a member of the advisory board of the Arlington Pregnancy Center.[3] In 2013, he supported the ban on abortion in Texas after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. He co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers,[15] a law that the opponents claim could shut down many abortion facilities. 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 against Republican Greg Abbott.[16]Zedler also voted on two abortion restriction measures in 2011, one of which forbids state funding of agencies which perform abortions; the other 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.[15]The Texas Right to Life Committee rated Zedler 78 percent favorable in 2013, 89 percent in 2011, and 100 percent in 2005.[17]

Zedler voted against the legislation to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure nevertheless passed the House, 73-58. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He also co-sponsored the extension of the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses, which passed the House 117-24. He voted against the adoption of the biennial 2013 state budget. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation. Zedler voted against the "equal pay for women" measure, which nevertheless passed the House, 78-61.[15]

Zedler co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored related legislation to permit 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 in Texas. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House and Senate and the United States House of Representatives. He voted against term limits for certain state officials. He voted against the bill to prohibit texting while driving.[15]

In 2011, Zedler voted to reduce funding for state agencies. He voted to establish eligibility standards for indigent health care. He voted against the institution of corporal punishment in public schools, but the measure nevertheless passed the House, 80-64. He voted to prohibit smoking in public places. He opposed the sales tax on Internet transactions; the measure passed the House, 125-20. In the name of election integrity, he co-sponsored legislation in 2012 to forbid one individual from turning in multiple ballots. He also supported picture identification for voters casting a ballot,[15]a measure which finally took effect in October 2013.[18]

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 Zedler 95 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas, of which he is a board member, rated him an 86 percent lifetime score. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated him 50 percent; the Sierra Club, 15 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 100 percent in 2013. The Texas Association of Business gave him a cumulative score of 81 percent over his entire legislative career. The National Rifle Association scored Zedler 92 percent in 2013 and "A" ratings for all previous House sessions. The Libertarian Party in 2007 rated Zedler 90 percent favorable on economic issues but only 20 percent on personal liberties. In his first legislative session in 2003, he was rated 100 percent by the interest group, Texans for Lawsuit Reform.[17]


  1. ^ "Rep. Bill Zedler (R-TX 96th District)". Missouri Library Association. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Bill Zedler". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Bill Zedler's Biography". Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "State Rep. Bill Zedler, District 96 (R-Arlington)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "William Wade Zedler". Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Bill Zedler". Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "General election returns, 2000 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Republican primary election returns, 2002 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "General election returns, 2002 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ "General election returns, 2004 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "General election returns, November 7, 2006 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "General election returns, November 4, 2008 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  13. ^ "General election returns, November 2, 2010 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ "General election returns, November 6, 2012 (House District 96)". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Bill Zedler's Voting Records". Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ M. Fernandez (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Bill Zedler's Ratings and Endorsements". Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Texas Voter ID Officially Takes Effect, October 21, 2013". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kim Brimer
Texas State Representative from District 96 (part of Tarrant County)

William Wade "Bill" Zedler

Succeeded by
Chris Turner
Preceded by
Chris Turner (now in District 101)
Texas State Representative from District 96 (part of Tarrant County)

William Wade "Bill" Zedler

Succeeded by