Elton Bomer

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Elton L. Bomer
101st Secretary of State of Texas
In office
January 11, 1999 – December 31, 2000
GovernorGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byAlberto Gonzales
Succeeded byHenry R. Cuellar
Texas State Representative from Anderson County (District 11)
In office
Preceded byBill Hollowell
Succeeded byCliff Johnson
In office
Preceded byRichard Swift
Succeeded byTodd Staples
Personal details
Born (1935-07-30) July 30, 1935 (age 84)
Political partyDemocratic
Virginia Maxine Roco Bomer
(m. 1964; died 2001)

Hazel Roark Allen
ChildrenTwo children, including
Clifford Bomer and his two children Caitlin and Caleb
ResidenceMontalba, Anderson County
Texas, USA
Alma materUniversity of Houston
Elton Bomer is a director of the East Texas National Bank in Palestine, Texas, and his son, Clifford Bomer, is the new bank president (appointed 2011).

Elton L. Bomer (born July 30, 1935) is an insurance executive and a retired American politician from Montalba near Palestine, the seat of Anderson County in eastern Texas.

Political life[edit]

From 1981 to 1985, and again from 1991 to 1995, Bomer was a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives from Palestine, the seat of Anderson County in East Texas.[1]

In 1994, Bomer managed a visit to Palestine for the Republican gubernatorial candidate, George W. Bush gubernatorial campaign at the request of Bomer's friend and Bush's campaign strategist Karl Rove. In his memoir entitled Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight, Rove describes Bomer as a "hard-working, thoughtful Democrat [who was] not fond of Ann Richards [Bush's unsuccessful gubernatorial opponent] because he thought that she was not willing to get her hands dirty on tough issues."[2] Rove recalls that years later Bomer told him that he had read about Bush's intention if elected governor to "reform education, juvenile justice, . . . and tort laws."[2]

Bomer left the House in 1995 though he had been reelected in 1994 when Bush offered him the appointment as state insurance commissioner. In 1999, Bush named Bomer as Texas Secretary of State, an appointed office which handles state election matters and public documents and whose occupants over the years included even Stephen F. Austin. Bomer remained Secretary of State until Bush left office in December 2000. Bush's gubernatorial successor, his fellow Republican Rick Perry, invited another Democrat to become Bomer's successor as secretary of state, then State Representative Henry R. Cuellar of Laredo in South Texas, who in 2004 was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he remains.[3] Bomer's successor in House District 11 was Todd Staples, the first Republican to hold the seat in the 20th century. In 2006, after a stint in the Texas Senate, Staples was elected state agriculture commissioner, a position to which he was easily reelected in 2010.

In 1999, as Bush was preparing to seek 2000 Republican presidential nomination, Bomer assisted him with the purchase of the Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas. According to Bomer, "image" was not a consideration in the acquisition of the property in McLennan County. "One thing I can tell you for sure: there were no public relations considerations when he bought that ranch. He purchased it as a great weekend getaway, a place to go on vacation, a place where he could do some fishing."[4] Bomer conceded that while the Crawford ranch has PR value: "It portrays to the people of the country who [GWB] really is, and that is someone who is close to the land and loves the outdoors sincerely. . . . I think people like to know that he's a regular fellow, not a stuffy aristocrat that wants to stay behind closed doors in air conditioning."[4]

In 2003, Bomer gave the maximum $2,000 per person allowed to the Bush-Cheney 2004 reelection campaign.[5]

Business and personal life[edit]

Bomer graduated from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.[6]

From 2004 to 2006, Bomer was a business and government affairs consultant in the Austin office of the Gardere Wynne Sewall law firm. In 2006, Bomer was named president of four insurance companies, American Reserve, Liberty Bankers, Mid-Continent Preferred, and Winnfield Life. The companies are linked through the Dallas-based Heritage Guaranty Holdings Group.[3] In 2011, Bomer was still president of two of the four companies, the Winnfield and Mid-Continent Preferred life insurance companies.[6]

Bomer monument at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas

On June 5, 1964, Bomer married the former Virginia Maxine Roco, known as Ginny Bomer (November 10, 1925–December 1, 2001).[7] Mrs. Bomer was a Houston native, a drum major at John H. Reagan High School, and a teen solo performer in the Jimmy Dorsey band. She had also modeled for the Neiman Marcus department store in Houston before she became an office administrator for an insurance company.[8] She is buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, where he too will be interred upon his death, a prerogative of state legislators and their spouses.[9]

On May 1, 2011, Clifford "Cliff" Bomer, formerly of Athens, Texas, one of two children of Elton and Virginia Bomer, was named the president of the East Texas National Bank in Palestine. Clifford Bomer is a graduate of Texas A&M University.[10] Elton Bomer is a director of the bank.[6]


  1. ^ "Elton Bomer". lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2010), p. 87. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Whatever Happened to Elton Bomer?". capitolannex.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "W's Ranch". sherrigreen.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. ^ "Elton Bomer - $2,000 in Political Contributions for 2004". campaignmoney.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "Executive Profile and Biography". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  7. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  8. ^ "Virginia Maxine Roco Bomer". cemetery.state.tx.us. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Bomer monument, Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  10. ^ "Bomer new chief at local bank". Palestine, Texas, Herald, May 1, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
Political offices
Preceded by
Alberto Gonzales
Secretary of State of Texas

Elton L. Bomer

Succeeded by
Henry R. Cuellar
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Hollowell
Texas State Representative from Anderson County (District 11)

Elton L. Bomer

Succeeded by
Cliff Johnson
Preceded by
Richard Swift
Texas State Representative from Anderson County (District 11)

Elton L. Bomer

Succeeded by
Todd Staples