James White (Texas politician)

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James Earl White
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 19th district
Assumed office
January 8, 2013
Preceded byMike "Tuffy" Hamilton
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 12th district
In office
January 11, 2011 – January 8, 2013
Preceded byJim McReynolds
Succeeded byKyle Kacal
Personal details
Born (1964-07-16) July 16, 1964 (age 56)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceHillister, Texas
Alma materPrairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of Houston
OccupationEducator, rancher
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1986-1992
UnitInfantry Division

James Earl White (born July 16, 1964) is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 19, which encompasses Polk, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, and Tyler counties. He was first elected in District 12 in 2010, which then included Angelina, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Tyler counties.

He resides in Hillister in Tyler County.


Born and reared in Houston, Texas, White attended public school and graduated in 1982 from Lamar High School. In 1986, White procured a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Military Science from the historically black Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University in Prairie View, Texas. From 1986 until 1992, he served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer in the infantry. Thereafter, he taught in the public school system in the Houston area and was a guest columnist for Headway Magazine.[1]

Later, White became a teacher at Woodville High School in Woodville, the county seat of Tyler County. He also owns a cattle ranch. He is a member of the Hillister Baptist Church.[1]

In 2000, he obtained a Master of Education degree from Prairie View. In 2010 and 2012, respectively, he received a Master of Science and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.[1]

White is a member of the American Foreign Legion, the Masonic lodge, the National Rifle Association, the historically black fraternity Omega Psi Phi, the Farm Bureau, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He is a board member of the Texas Federation of Republican Outreach.[1]

Political life[edit]

Running in House District 12 in 2010, White unseated the Democratic incumbent, Jim McReynolds, 20,958 (57.6 percent) to 15,405 (42.4 percent).[2] Switched to District 19 in 2012, White unseated in the Republican primary the 10-year incumbent Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton of Lumberton in Hardin County. White polled 10,190 votes (54.5 percent) to Hamilton's 8,503 (45.5 percent).[3] White then ran without Democratic opposition in the general election held on November 6, 2012.[4]

In the 2013 legislative session, White voted to ban abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure was approved 96-49. He co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers.[5] In 2016, the Texas law was struck down as unconstitutional.[6] Texas Right to Life rated White 78 percent favorable in 2013 and 74 percent in 2011.[7]

White opposed the taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. He supported legislation to provide marshals for school security. He voted against the bill to require immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House nevertheless approved, 71-61. He co-sponsored the law to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. White opposed the measure to prohibit texting while driving. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against an "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. He voted to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms and in support of another law allowing college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. He voted against term limits for certain officials.[5]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated White 93 percent favorable. Young Conservatives of Texas ranked him 80 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, assigned White a score of 91 percent in 2013 and 100 percent in 2011. The Texas Association of Business gave him an 87 percent score in 2013. He ranked 53 percent from the Texas League of Conservation Voters and 92 percent from the National Rifle Association.[7]

In 2017, White introduced the Texas Hero Protection Act, which would impose fines and jail time upon those who remove monuments and buildings named for Texas war heroes, including those who fought for the Confederate States of America. The measure would also protect African-American monuments, such as those of Buffalo soldiers. Current law establishes no penalties for removal of monuments and does not designate a legal procedure by which to move or remove monuments.[8]

In the general election held on November 6, 2018, White overwhelmed his Democratic opponent, Sherry Williams, 49,926 (83.2 percent) to 10,070 (16.8 percent).[9]

Texas Monthly named White a Top Lawmaker in June 2019 for his work during Texas' 86th Legislative Session.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "Representative James White's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  2. ^ "2010 General election returns (House District 12)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Republican primary election, May 29, 2012 (House District 19)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 19)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "James White's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Vogue, Ariane de; Kopan, Tal; Berman, Dan (June 27, 2016). "Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion law". CNN. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "James White's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Sig Christenson, "Legislator targeting removals of monuments," San Antonio Express-News, April 2, 2017, p. 3.
  9. ^ "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Archived from the original on November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "2019: The Best and Worst Legislators". Texas Monthly. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2019-06-19.

External links[edit]


Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim McReynolds
Texas State Representative for District 12
(then Angelina, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Tyler counties; now Brazos, McLennan, Falls, Limestone, and Robertson)

Succeeded by
Kyle Kacal
Preceded by
Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton
Texas State Representative for District 19
(Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties)

Succeeded by