Kenn George

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Kenneth S. "Kenn" George
Member, Texas House of Representatives
In office
1999–2003
Preceded by Carolyn Galloway
Succeeded by Dan Branch
Personal details
Born (1948-06-25) June 25, 1948 (age 69)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tricia Mast George (married 1975)
Children Four children
Residence Dallas, Texas
Alma mater

Washington and Lee University

University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Businessman/investor

Kenneth S. George, known as Kenn George (born June 25, 1948), is a self-employed businessman in Dallas, Texas, who served from 1999-2003 as a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 108, which covers the heart of Dallas County. He left the legislature in an unsuccessful bid for Texas land commissioner in the 2002 Republican primary election. He was defeated by current commissioner Jerry E. Patterson, a former state senator from Houston.[1]

From 1981-1985, George was an assistant secretary of commerce, under Malcolm Baldrige, Jr., during the first term of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan. In this capacity, George was involved in the formulation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative.[2] and the specific stabilization of the Caribbean island of Grenada after its liberation in 1983 from a leftist regime backed by Fidel Castro.[1] The CBI, since overshadowed by the North American Free Trade Agreement, was an unprecedented package of trade, assistance, and tax incentives for United States and Caribbean businesses. In the additional role as the Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, George chaired an inter-agency committee which oversees the operations of the CBI.[2]

Native Texan George attended San Jacinto Junior High School in Midland with George W. Bush, who is two years Kenn George's senior. In 1970, George graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the student body president of the graduate business school. Like Bush, George is a veteran of the Texas National Guard.[3] He and his wife, Tricia, have four children.[1]

Business[edit]

George is a former president of Olix Industries, a publicly traded energy company. He co-founded Epic Healthcare Group, a $1.4 billion corporation with nearly 15,000 employees operating in 37 hospitals in 30 states. George is also a former executive with Trammell Crow real estate development in Dallas and a third-generation rancher.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1998, George unseated incumbent Republican State Representative Carolyn Galloway in the party primary, 6,063 votes (56.4 percent) to 4,867 (43.6 percent). He was then unopposed in the general election, having won 27,220 votes. Four years later in the two-man land commissioner's race, George trailed with 252,802 votes (43.5 percent) to Patterson's 328,523 (56.5 percent). George was succeeded in the House by Republican attorney Dan Branch.[4]

As a state lawmaker, George sided with conservatives in seeking lower taxes, local control over education, and an improved business climate. He also advocated improved health care for senior citizens. The Texas Association of Business and Chambers of Commerce cited George with a "100 percent pro-business voting record. He has also been honored by Right to Life in Austin, the American Cancer Society, and the Texas Transplant Society. George wrote the House bill establishing the Umbilical Cord Blood Bank, which provides medical researchers an ethical alternative to stem cell research.[1]

George's Republican credentials began in 1964, when as a sixteen-year-old he volunteered in Midland to work in the unsuccessful Barry M. Goldwater presidential bid. He was an early supporter of George W. Bush, having been part of the unsuccessful congressional race in 1978 against then Democrat and later Republican Kent Hance, the chancellor of Texas Tech University. He was also the Midland County Republican finance chairman at the time. He was thereafter the Texas GOP state finance chairman from 1980-1981. Over the years, George worked in campaigns of former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, U.S. Representatives Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and unsuccessful 1990 candidates Jack Rains, who contested the gubernatorial nomination against Kent Hance and Clayton W. Williams, Jr., and Robert Mosbacher, Jr., the Houston businessman who challenged Democrat Bob Bullock for lieutenant governor that same year.[5]

After his legislative service, George became self-employed in Dallas in investments. In 2002, he joined the board of directors of the interest group, Citizens for a Sound Economy.[3] He remains a large Republican donor, having contributed to Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential primaries.[6] As the chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party, George and then state Representative Tony Goolsby of House District 102 were sued for libel in 2007 in the 192nd Texas District Court in Dallas by Goolsby's former Democratic legislative opponent, Harriet Miller. The suit contends that George and Goolsby filed a false voter complaint against Miller with the Dallas County district attorney. Miller then claimed that the complaint was used in 2006 to attack her campaign and to suppress African-American voter turnout.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Reagan Republican Kenn George: The Perfect Fit for Texas Land Commissioner". kenngeorge.com. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Larry Theriot, US & FCS and the Caribbean Basin Initiative - Foreign Commercial Service, March 5, 1984". findarticles.com. 1984. Retrieved April 2, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Kenn S. George Joins CSE Board of Directors, December 18, 2002". freedomworks.org. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Texas Secretary of State: Election Returns, 1998 and 2002". sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Kenn George: Republican Leader". kenngeorge.com. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Kenn George Political Campaign Contributions 2008 Political Cycle". campaignmoney.com. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Lone Star Project: Fighting Back with Facts: Rep. Tony Goolsby and Kenn George Charged in Libel Suit" (PDF). lonestarproject.net. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
Preceded by
Carolyn Galloway
Texas State Representative from District 108 (Dallas County)

Kenneth S. "Kenn" George, II
1999–2003

Succeeded by
Dan Branch