Jim Turner (politician)

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Jim Turner
Jim Turner.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Leader Nancy Pelosi
Preceded by Committee established
Succeeded by Bennie Thompson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Charles Wilson
Succeeded by Ted Poe
Member of the Texas Senate from District 5 (Crockett)
In office
Preceded by Kent Caperton
Succeeded by Steve Ogden
Member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 15 (Crockett)
In office
Preceded by Emmett H. Whitehead
Succeeded by Mike McKinne
Personal details
Born (1946-02-06) February 6, 1946 (age 71)
Fort Lewis, Washington
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ginny Turner

James Turner (born February 6, 1946), American politician, was the Democratic representative for the Texas 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 until 2005.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Turner was born in Fort Lewis, Washington, but grew up in Crockett, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in business, and simultaneously earned an MBA and a J.D., all from the University of Texas at Austin. Following graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army, serving 8 years (active and reserve), attaining the rank of Captain. His legal career in Texas included his own law practice in his hometown of Crockett and his partnership in the Austin office of Hughes & Luce LLP.

State politics[edit]

Prior to being elected to Congress, Turner held several state and local offices. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 to 1984, mayor of Crockett, Texas from 1989 to 1991, and a member of the Texas Senate from 1991 to 1996. He succeeded Kent Caperton of Bryan in the Senate. Caperton did not seek reelection in 1990, and Turner defeated the Republican Lou Zaeske, also of Bryan, head of the Texas English-only movement. For two years, Turner was an Executive Assistant to Texas Governor Mark Wells White.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

After 2nd district congressman Charlie Wilson, who was known for his role in funding the resistance to Afghanistan's Communist government, decided not to run for a thirteenth term, Turner won the Democratic nomination to succeed him and was handily elected in November 1996. He was reelected three times with no substantive opposition. Congressman Turner was a member of the Armed Services Committee, and was the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. A fiscally conservative Democrat, Turner co-chaired the Blue Dog Coalition and was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

In 2003, Turner was one of the targets of a highly controversial redistricting engineered by Tom DeLay. The Texas Legislature dismantled his district, which covered a large portion of East Texas stretching from Lufkin to the suburbs of Houston, and split its territory among three districts. The largest portion was shifted to the 8th District, represented by Republican Kevin Brady, who had been elected the same year as Turner. While Turner had represented more of the new 8th than Brady, most of the 8th's vote was cast in heavily Republican Montgomery County, which has as many people as the rest of the district combined. His home in Crockett was thrown into the Fort Worth/Arlington-based 6th district, an even more Republican area represented by ten-term incumbent Joe Barton. Believing he had no realistic chance of staying in Congress, Turner decided not to run for a fifth term in 2004.

Post-political career[edit]

He was briefly mentioned as a candidate for governor of Texas or the United States Senate seat of Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2006.

In 2005, Turner joined the Washington office of Arnold & Porter, LLP where he is currently a partner in the Public Policy and Legislative Practice Group.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife, Ginny, were married in 1970. They have two children, John Turner and Susan Turner Nold, who are both attorneys in Texas.

Election history[edit]


Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 5[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jim Turner (Incumbent) 82,541 55.99 -44.01
Republican Jerry T. Thornton 64,875 44.01 +44.01
Majority 17,666 11.98 -88.02
Turnout 147,416 +9.30
Democratic hold


Texas general election, 1992: Senate District 5[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jim Turner (Incumbent) 134,875 100.00
Majority 134,875 100.00
Turnout 134,875
Democratic hold


  1. ^ "Jim Turner". Arnold & Porter LP. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "1994 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  3. ^ "1992 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Emmett H. Whitehead
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 15 (Crockett)

Succeeded by
Mike McKinne
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Kent Caperton
Texas State Senator
from District 5 (Crockett)

Succeeded by
Steve Ogden
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Ted Poe