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John Carter (Texas politician)

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John Carter
Official portrait, 2013
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 31st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded byConstituency established
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
LeaderJohn Boehner
Preceded byJohn Doolittle
Succeeded byVirginia Foxx
Personal details
John Rice Carter

(1941-11-06) November 6, 1941 (age 82)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Erika Carter
(m. 1968)
Residence(s)Round Rock, Texas, U.S.
EducationTexas Tech University (BA)
University of Texas at Austin (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

John Rice Carter (born November 6, 1941) is the U.S. representative serving Texas's 31st congressional district since 2003. He is a Republican.[1] The district includes the northern suburbs of Austin, as well as Fort Cavazos.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Carter was born in Houston, but has spent most of his life in central Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University[2] with a degree in history in 1964, and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 1969.[1][3]

After graduating from law school, Carter served as the first general counsel to the Texas House of Representatives' Agriculture Committee.[4] He later began a private law practice in Round Rock.

In 1981, Carter was appointed as judge of the 277th District Court of Williamson County.[1] He was elected to the post a year later, the first Republican elected to a countywide position in the county. He was reelected four times.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Carter retired from the bench in 2001 to run for Congress in the newly created 31st District. After finishing second in the Republican primary, he defeated Peter Wareing in the runoff, which was tantamount to election in what was then a heavily Republican district.[5]

For his first term, 2003–05, Carter represented a district that stretched from the suburbs of Austin to far western Houston, and included College Station, home of Texas A&M University. From the 2003 Texas redistricting until 2013, Carter represented a district stretching from the fringes of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex through more rural portions of Central Texas. Redistricting after the 2010 census, which first affected the 2013–15 term, reduced the 31st to Bell and Williamson counties. The 31st now includes Fort Hood, home of the U.S. Army's 3rd Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Cavalry Division.

In 2016, Carter was reelected with 166,060 votes (58.4%) over Democratic nominee Mike Clark and Libertarian Scott Ballard, who received 103,852 (34.5%) and 14,676 (5.2%), respectively.[6]

In 2018, Carter defeated Democratic nominee MJ Hegar with 144,680 votes (50.6%) to her 136,362 (47.7%). It was the smallest victory margin of his career.[7]


Carter was the sponsor of the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2004.[8]

In the 110th Congress, Carter sponsored and co-sponsored a number of bills, including the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, the Terrorist Death Penalty Act of 2008, and a bill condemning the vandalism of the Vietnam War Memorial on the National Mall.[9]

On June 12, 2009, Carter co-sponsored H.R. 1503, which would require the production of a birth certificate from presidential candidates. The bill was introduced as a result of conspiracy theories that claimed that President Barack Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen.[10]

On September 15, 2009, in an opinion piece published in The Hill, Carter called the 111th Congress a "house of hypocrisy" after the House of Representatives voted to rebuke Representative Joe Wilson for an outburst but would not go after Representative and House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel, who had been the subject of numerous ethical problems involving taxes and property.[11] Carter is also a proponent of the "Rangel Rule," where IRS penalties and interest would be eliminated if one paid back taxes, similar to the treatment Rangel, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Senator (and onetime Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee) Tom Daschle received after their tax problems were publicized.[12]

Carter introduced a "Privileged Resolution" that would have forced Rangel's resignation as chair of the Ways and Means Committee after he declined to resign voluntarily,[13] citing the inaction of the House Democratic Caucus and the ongoing investigations as reasons. The resolution failed largely along party lines, with two Democrats and six Republicans breaking ranks.[14][15][16]

Carter amended his financial disclosure forms in October 2009 to list nearly $300,000 in capital gains from the sale of ExxonMobil stock in 2006 and 2007. Though he listed the sale of the assets, he did not list the actual amount of capital gains, on which he did pay taxes.[17]

On November 16, 2009, Carter introduced legislation to give combatant casualty status to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, similar to those who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.[18]

In 2015, Carter cosponsored a resolution to amend the US constitution to ban same-sex marriage.[19]

On May 16, 2018, Carter was named the new chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Appropriations after Charlie Dent retired. He had previously chaired the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations.[20]

Carter co-sponsored H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act of 2018, which failed to pass the House.[21]

On December 18, 2019, Carter voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. Of the 195 Republicans who voted, all voted against both impeachment articles.

On January 6, 2021, Carter voted against certifying the results of the 2020 United States presidential election based on spurious allegations of voter fraud.[22]

Carter was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[23]

Carter voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[24][25]

2024 Republican primary[edit]

Carter was named as part of the Trump campaign's Texas leadership team in March.[26]

Committee assignments[edit]

Party leadership and caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Carter was reelected to his twelve term in Congress in 2022.

U.S. House, Texas' 31st Congressional District (General Election)
Year Winning candidate Party Pct Opponent Party Pct
2002 John Carter Republican 69.1% David Bagley Democratic 27.4%
2004 John Carter (inc.) Republican 64.8% Jon Porter Democratic 32.5%
2006 John Carter (inc.) Republican 58.5% Mary Beth Herrell Democratic 38.8%
2008 John Carter (inc.) Republican 60.3% Brian Ruiz Democratic 36.6%
2010 John Carter (inc.) Republican 82.5% Bill Oliver Libertarian 17.5%
2012 John Carter (inc.) Republican 61.3% Stephen Wyman Democratic 35%
2014 John Carter (inc.) Republican 64% Louie Minor Democratic 32%
2016 John Carter (inc.) Republican 58.4% Mike Clark Democratic 36.5%
2018 John Carter (inc.) Republican 50.6% Mary Jennings Hegar Democratic 47.7%
2020 John Carter (inc.) Republican 53.5% Donna Imam Democratic 44.3%
2022 John Carter (inc.) Republican 100% None

Personal life[edit]

Carter married his wife, Erika, in 1968. They have four children and six grandchildren.[30] Since 1971, they have lived in Round Rock, Texas.


  1. ^ a b c "The Arena: - Rep. John Carter Bio". www.politico.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  2. ^ Hensley, Doug (2015-05-13). "On the Hill, On the Rise". Texas Tech University System. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  3. ^ "John Carter - Candidate for U.S. President, Republican Nomination - Election 2012". WSJ.com. Archived from the original on 2018-11-20. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  4. ^ "John Carter - Candidate for U.S. President, Republican Nomination - Election 2012". WSJ.com. Archived from the original on 2018-11-20. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  5. ^ King, Michael (October 18, 2002). "Capitol Chronicle". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Texas Election Results: 31st House District". The New York Times. 28 January 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Bush signs lawto stiffenID theft penalties". MSNBC. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  9. ^ Marcum, Karissa (September 28, 2007). "Lawmakers condemn vandalism at Vietnam memorial". The Hill. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  10. ^ "H.R. 1503". The Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  11. ^ Carter, John (September 15, 2009). "Speaking of apologies: Hypocrisy clouds Democrats' demand for "You lie" apology". The Hill.
  12. ^ "GOP Congressman Intros 'Rangel Rule,' Eliminating IRS Late Fees". Fox News. January 28, 2009.
  13. ^ "New Rangel Financial Violations Demand Removal from Ways and Means Chairmanship". John Carter's House Page.
  14. ^ Allen, Jonathan (2009-10-07). "Rangel retains Ways and Means gavel". Politico. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  15. ^ Romm, Tony (2009-10-07). "Democrats rebuff Rangel resolution". The Hill. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  16. ^ Carter, John R. (2009-10-07). "H.Res.805 - 111th Congress (2009-2010): Raising a question of the privileges of the House". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  17. ^ Singer, Paul (2009-10-21). "Carter Refiling Disclosure Forms to List Exxon Profits". Roll Call. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  18. ^ "Legislation to Award Fort Hood Casualties Combatant Status Set for Introduction Tuesday". carter.house.gov. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  19. ^ Huelskamp, Tim (2015-02-12). "Cosponsors - H.J.Res.32 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Marriage Protection Amendment". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  20. ^ Payne, Matt (May 17, 2018). "Rep. Carter named chairman of Military Construction and Veterans Affairs". Kileen Daily Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  21. ^ Goodlatte, Bob (2018-06-21). "H.R.4760 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Securing America's Future Act of 2018". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  22. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (7 January 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  24. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (2023-10-25). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-10-30.
  25. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (2023-10-25). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2023-10-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ Metzger, Bryan; Saddiq, Omar (February 13, 2023). "Most Republicans are on the fence about Trump's 2024 re-election bid. Here are the few elected officials backing him so far". Business Insider. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  27. ^ "Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies". House Committee on Appropriations. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on 1 January 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  30. ^ "U.S. Representative John Carter: About Me". Congressman John Carter. Retrieved 2020-07-13.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 31st congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by Secretary of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by