David Swinford

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David Anthony Swinford
Texas State Representative from District 87 (currently Carson, Moore, Potter, and Sherman counties)
In office
1993 – August 31, 2010
Preceded by Rick Crawford
Succeeded by Four Price
Texas State Representative from District 88 (Carson, Dallam, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Roberts, Sherman, and Wheeler counties)
In office
Preceded by Richard A. Waterfield
Succeeded by Warren Chisum
Personal details
Born (1941-06-28) June 28, 1941 (age 75)
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Joyce McCoy Swinford

David C. Swinford

Melissa Rae Swinford of Dumas
Alma mater Texas Tech University
Occupation Agricultural consultant from Dumas, Moore County, Texas, USA

David Anthony Swinford (born June 28, 1941) is an agricultural consultant and lobbyist[1] who served as a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 until his resignation on August 31, 2010.[2] Swinford represented District 88 from 1991 to 1993 and then District 88, which included Carson, Moore, and Sherman, and Potter counties.

Swinford did not seek an eleventh term in the state House in the Republican primary election held on March 2, 2010. His successor, fellow Republican Walter Thomas Price, IV, known as Four Price, is an attorney from Amarillo. Before winning the general election held on November 2, 2010, Price had defeated an intraparty rival, Victor Leal, an Amarillo restaurateur and the former mayor of Muleshoe, the seat of Bailey County, Texas.[3]


Swinford was born to the late Oley Earl and Hazel Alene Swinford, formerly of Wichita Falls, Texas. His brother, Jerry Swinford (1936–2011), a former field representative for the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, was at the time of his death the president of the Lubbock Retired Fire Fighters' Association in Lubbock, Texas.[4] Swinford obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is married to the former Joyce McCoy (born 1943). They have a son, David C. Swinford (born 1965) of Lubbock, and a daughter, Melissa Rae Swinford (born 1967) of Dumas. Swinford has a nephew, Van Swinford of Dumas, the son of Jerry Swinford. Another brother, Sammy Allen Swinford, is deceased, as is Swinford's niece, Sheila Swinford Wright (1951–2008) of Lubbock, the daughter of Sammy Swinford.[5]

Political career[edit]

Swinford was first elected to the Texas House in 1990 to succeed fellow Republican Richard A. Waterfield, a rancher from Canadian in Hemphill County,[6] who ran unsuccessfully as his party's nominee for the United States House of Representatives, having been defeated by the incumbent Democrat Bill Sarpalius of Amarillo. As part of his first term, Swinford submitted a bill to create a new American state out of Texas Panhandle called "Old Texas." The bill was not considered by the House.[7]

In 1992, Swinford won his second state House election by having defeated the Democrat Bonnie Schomp, 17,897 (54.9 percent) to 14,720 (45.1 percent). The two candidates virtually tied in Potter County, but Swinford's home base in Moore County put him over the top. In 2002, Swinford defeated the Democrat Jesse Quackenbush, 17,086 (65.8 percent) to 8,872 (34.2 percent). He was unopposed in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2006.

Swinford chaired the House State Affairs Committee. Leo Berman, a Tyler Republican, complained publicly in May 2007 that Swinford had refused to consider any of a series of immigration restriction bills that he had offered. He claimed that illegal immigration costs Texas taxpayers $3.5 billion per year and creates havoc in hospital emergency rooms.[8]

Swinford previously headed the Texas House Agriculture & Livestock Committee. An advocate of rural development, Swinford was first elected to the Texas House in 1990. The Panhandle is a heavily Republican section of Texas: only one Democrat in the Texas House, Joseph P. Heflin of Crosbyton, represented West Texas in the chamber, and he was unseated in 2010 by the Republican Jim Landtroop.

Swinford resides in Dumas, the seat of Moore County, some fifty miles north of Amarillo, but his lobbying work also keeps him at the capital in Austin.


Though he was generally considered a conservative in the legislature through his support of right-to-life measures and home schooling — his grandchildren have been educated at home — Swinford announced in 2006 that he no longer supports the construction of a border fence to separate Texas from Mexico. Swinford went to the Rio Grande region to confer with local officials and observe conditions. He reported that the longstanding free flow of goods and services across the border would be hampered by a fence, which he otherwise claimed would not particularly enhance security.

Other conservatives, such as those in the interest group known as Americans for Prosperity, quarreled with Swinford in 2007, when he failed to get out of his State Affairs Committee House Bill 1753, which would have barred such groups as the Texas Association of Counties and the Texas Municipal League from lobbying the legislature with taxpayer dollars.

In 1999, Swinford received the Knapp-Porter Award, the highest honor given by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. The award was presented at Texas A&M University in College Station to honor Swinford for his support of the Extension Service, which handles the 4-H program, particularly popular in rural areas.


  1. ^ "Enrique Rangel, "Swinford works as lobbyist", March 28, 2011". amarillo.com. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ "David Swinford Biography" (PDF). Texas House of Representatives. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  3. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 2, 2010". sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jerry Swinford". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/072708/obi_310190962.shtml
  6. ^ "Legislative Reference Library: Richard Waterfield". lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved October 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Elliott, Claude. "Division of Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 8 March 2016. In 1991 state representative David Swinford submitted a House bill to make the Panhandle into something called the state of Old Texas. The bill was not considered. 
  8. ^ "Oh, my, Berman had quite a little tantrum, it seems". digdeepertexas.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dick Waterfield
Texas State Representative from District 88 (Carson, Dallam, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Roberts, Sherman, and Wheeler counties)

David Anthony Swinford

Succeeded by
Warren Chisum
Preceded by
Rick Crawford
Texas State Representative from District 87 (Carson, Moore, Potter, and Sherman counties)
Succeeded by
Four Price