|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 92nd district
January 8, 2013 – January 12, 2021
|Preceded by||Todd Smith|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Cason|
Jonathan Spence Stickland
September 4, 1983
Plano, Texas, U.S.
|Residence||Bedford, Tarrant County|
|Alma mater||Tarrant County College|
Jonathan Spence Stickland (born September 4, 1983) is a Texas politician. From 2013 to 2021 he served as a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 92, which includes a portion of Tarrant County in suburban Fort Worth. He was re-elected in 2018. He did not seek re-election in 2020.
In 1988, Stickland's parents moved the family from his native Plano in Collin County to Hurst in Tarrant County, where he attended W. A. Porter Elementary School and Smithfield Middle School. He enrolled for his freshman year at Richland High School and then for two years at the newly opened Birdville High School of the Birdville Independent School District, both in North Richland Hills in Tarrant County. Stickland ended up leaving high school between his junior and senior year and obtained his G.E.D.
Elections and House committees
When the incumbent Republican Representative Todd Smith did not seek reelection in 2012, Stickland defeated Roger Fisher, 6,332 votes (60.2 percent) to 4,190 (39.8 percent) in the Republican primary election held on May 29, 2012. In the general election on November 6, 2012, in conjunction with the U.S. presidential race, Stickland faced no Democratic opponent and defeated the Libertarian Party nominee, Sean D. Fatzinger of Fort Worth, 37,084 votes (80.7 percent) to 8,884 (19.3 percent).
In the Republican primary election held on March 4, 2014, Stickland defeated challenger Andy Cargile, a retired principal and school district trustee, earning 7,612 votes (65 percent) to Cargile's 4,102 votes (35 percent).
Stickland is a member of the House committees of (1) County Affairs and (2) Special Purpose Districts.
An anti-abortion legislator, Stickland supported in 2013 the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96–49. He co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers, a law that the opponents claim could shut down many abortion clinics. These issues instigated a filibuster in the Texas State Senate by Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth. The Texas Right to Life Committee rated Stickland 78 percent favorable, presenting him with a "Former Fetus" wall plaque which was briefly displayed on the wall outside Stickland's office at the Capitol building.
Stickland voted against the legislation to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73–58. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He voted for the extension of the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses, which passed the House 117–24. He voted against the adoption of the biennial 2013 state budget. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation. Stickland voted against a bill relating to unlawful employment practices regarding discrimination in payment of compensation, which nevertheless passed the House, 78–61.
Stickland co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He also co-sponsored legislation to permit college and university officials to carry concealed weapons. He voted to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit in Texas. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House and Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Stickland voted for term limits for certain state officials. He voted for legislation to forbid one individual from turning in multiple ballots.
In 2015, the political newsletter Quorum Report published online posts made by Stickland given to them by his Republican primary opponent, Scott Fisher. On an fantasy football forum, Stickland made comments regarding marital rape and marijuana use. Stickland stated in a prepared statement that during college "I wasted much of life, said and did things I wish I hadn't." Strickland has supported cannabis decriminalization and partial legalization.
Ratings and endorsements
In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Stickland 100 percent favorable; the Young Conservatives of Texas, 97 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated him 38 percent; a similar group Environment Texas rated him 12 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 100 percent. The National Rifle Association scored Stickland 92 percent. In 2017, Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom scored Stickland 104 percent. In 2017, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility scored him at 100 percent and rated him as one of the top 10 Best Legislators of 2017.
In 2019, civil rights group Equality Texas gave Stickland a 0 percent rating. Environmental groups gave Stickland low ratings; the Texas League of Conservation Voters gave Stickland a 14 percent rating in 2015, while Environment Texas gave Stickland a 10 percent rating in 2019.
The marijuana legalization advocacy group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) gave Stickland a 58 percent rating in 2019. The Texas Association of Realtors gave Stickland a 50 percent rating in 2013.
2016 reelection campaign
In the Republican primary on March 1, 2016, Stickland faced opposition in his bid for a third term from Scott Weston Fisher, the senior pastor since 2000 of the Metroplex Chapel in Euless, Texas. Fisher carried the backing of former Governor Rick Perry, who in 2008 appointed Fisher to the Texas Youth Commission. Stickland defeated Fisher in the primary election with 58% of the vote.
Comments made by Stickland in 2001 and 2008 in online forums generated controversy amid his primary campaign against Scott Fisher. Stickland apologized for his remarks. In 2008 in a post on a "fantasy sports message board, Stickland responded to a user's request for sex advice by saying, 'Rape is non existent in marriage, take what you want my friend!'"
2017 legislative session
In 2017, Stickland offered an unsuccessful amendment to prohibit state aid to the abatement of feral hogs. In retaliation for Stickland's amendment, his Republican colleague, Drew Springer, Jr., of Muenster, backed by Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio, obtained passage of another amendment to defund $900,000 from the Texas Department of Transportation earmarked for Stickland's hometown of Bedford.
Stickland is one of only twelve House Republicans organized through the House Freedom Caucus, which he claims is the true representative of most conservative Republicans statewide. He has emerged as a critic of Speaker Joe Straus and an ally in the House of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the presiding officer of the Texas State Senate. In 2017, Patrick and Straus quarreled over the bathroom bill sponsored by State Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, which would require persons to use the public rest room corresponding with their genitalia at birth. Straus agreed to a more moderate bill because of what he called concerns about economic boycotts of Texas by business and athletic groups who view the bathroom legislation as infringing on the rights of transgender persons. The Patrick-Straus split created an impasse on the legislation as the regular session wound down. Stickland said, "I absolutely think that there is a fight going on for the heart and soul of the Republican Party."
Stickland used a legislative procedure called "chubbing" to prevent the consideration of over 200 bills by the Texas House, effectively killing the bills, in what Texas media referred to as the "Mothers Day Massacre."
Stickland retained his state House seat in the general election held on November 6, 2018. With 29,697 (49.8 percent), he defeated his Democratic opponent, Steve Riddell, who polled 28,251 votes (47.4 percent). Libertarian Party choice, Eric P. Espinoza, received 1,641 votes (2.8 percent).
2019 legislative session
At the end of the 2019 legislative session, when Texas Monthly published its perennial Best and Worst Legislators list, they gave Stickland the "first-ever Cockroach Award" and wrote that they were "enshrining the term for a lawmaker who accomplishes nothing but always manages to show up in the worst possible way." The reasons given for the newly created award included a "needless" Twitter fight between Stickland and a prominent vaccine researcher, in which Stickland called vaccines "sorcery" before saying he was only objecting to government-mandated vaccines, and Stickland's verbal sparring with other representatives who resurrected Governor Greg Abbott's signature $100 million plan for high school mental health services after Stickland used a procedural maneuver to kill it.
Stickland and his wife, Krissy, met in church. The couple has two daughters.
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- Tinsley, Anna (June 24, 2019). "Texas Rep. Jonathan Stickland won't seek re-election: 'It is not the Lord's will.'". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, District 92 (R-Bedford)". The Texas Tribune.
- "Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012 (House District 92)". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "General election returns, November 6, 2012 (House District 92)". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
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- "Jonathan Stickland's Biography". votesmart.com. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "Jonathan Stickland's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- M. Fernandez (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Jonathan Stickland's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Patrick Svitek and Edgar Walters (March 11, 2015). ""Former Fetus" Signs Cause Stir at Capitol". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Texas lawmaker Jonathan Stickland's web posts condone rape, seek weed 'smoking buddy'". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "Report: Texas Republican Rep. Jonathan Stickland sought advice online on how to grow 'da green'". San Antonio Express-News. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- "2017 Session Reportcard" (PDF). TexasTURF.org. Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- "Fiscal Responsibility Index". EmpowerTexans.com. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- Staff (28 May 2017). "Best and Worst Legislators of 2017". Empower Texans. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- "Scott W. Fisher (Senior Pastor)". metroplexchapel.org. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
- Tinsley, Anna (March 1, 2016). "Tarrant County legislative incumbents win primary election". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "Stickland Race Heats Up Over Pot, Rape Comments". texastribune.com. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Texas House Refuses to Vote on Swanson Amendment: "No Men in Women's Bathrooms!"". crtnews.com. April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Walsh, Sean (12 May 2017). "With Friday's House calendar defeated, 'Mother's Day Massacre' complete". Austin-American Statesman. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- Pollock, Cassandra (28 March 2017). "House panel hears bills for open carry without a permit". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Peggy Fikac, "Battle raging for control of GOP: Those linked to business interests are vying with Texas tea partiers," San Antonio Express-News, May 28, 2017, pp. 1, A19.
- Grissom, Brandi (19 May 2017). "What happens when a small band of angry legislators takes control of the Texas House? We're about to learn". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- Parker, Kolten (May 2017). "This Week: In 'Mother's Day Massacre,' Tea Party Caucus Derails 100+ Bills". Texas Observer. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Fedschun, Travis. Red light cameras banned in Texas, FOX News, June 2, 2019.
- "2019: The Best and Worst Legislators". Texas Monthly. June 18, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- Campaign website
- Jonathan Stickland at Ballotpedia
- Jonathan Stickland at Texas House of Representatives
- Jonathan Stickland at Texas Tribune
|Texas House of Representatives|
| Texas State Representative from
District 92 (part of Tarrant County)