Kent Grusendorf

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Darryl Kent Grusendorf
Texas State Representative from District 94 (Tarrant County)
In office
Preceded by Jan McKenna
Succeeded by Diane Patrick
Personal details
Born (1939-12-17) December 17, 1939 (age 77)
Waco, McLennan County
Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican

Divorced from: (1) Nancy Ellen Todd Grusendorf

(2) Barbara Lynn Thompson Grusendorf
Children Darryl K. Grusendorf, Jr. (from first marriage)[1]
Alma mater

University of Texas at Arlington

Baylor University
Occupation Businessman

Darryl Kent Grusendorf (born December 17, 1939)[2] is a businessman and investor from Austin, Texas, who served as a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 94 from 1987 to 2007, while he resided in Arlington in Tarrant County.[3] He was unseated in the 2006 party primary.


Grusendorf was reared in Waco in north Central Texas. He procured a band scholarship to the University of Texas at Arlington, then known as Arlington State College. When he arrived in Arlington, possibly in the early 1960s, he had only his French horn and $90 in his pocket.[4] He also attended Baylor University in Waco, but the time of his studies there is unclear.[2]

Grusendorf married the former Nancy Ellen Todd of Waco, the daughter of Randall Woodrow Todd and the former Edna Thelma Dodge (1914-1988). The couple had one child, Darryl Kent Grusendorf, Jr., who was born in 1962 in Grand Prairie in Dallas County. The young family moved to Arlington, but in 1965, after Grusendorf received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UTA, they relocated to Parma near Cleveland in Cuyahoga County. They returned in 1970 to Arlington. Their son, an honor student at Bowie High School in Arlington, died at the age of seventeen in 1979. He is interred at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington.[5]

Political life[edit]

From 1982 to 1984, Grusendorf served on the elected Texas Board of Education, along with future Governor Rick Perry. In 1986, he ran for the state House, with education reform and school accountability ideas his then highest priority.[4]

Early in Grusendorf's legislative career, the Texas Select Committee on Higher Education, a group appointed by Governor Mark White to consider streamlining of the state's colleges and universities, proposed that the University of Texas at Arlington be re-defined as a "comprehensive university," with an emphasis on teaching, instead of research. Many UTA faculty and students believed that the change would have eliminated doctoral programs at the institution. Bob McFarland, the state senator from Arlington, and Grusendorf, when he joined the legislature in 1987, fought the committee recommendation. Soon political support was manifested throughout Tarrant County, and the mission of UTA was clarified to include "achieving excellence in all academic areas — teaching, research, and public service."[6]

A conservative in Republican circles, Grusendorf in 2006 lost renomination for an eleventh two-year term to Diane Patrick, a University of Texas at Arlington professor considered a more moderate member of the GOP than Grusendorf. In the 2005 legislative session, Grusendorf was the chairman of the House Education Committee and a long-time advocate of school vouchers. Patrick made Grusendorf's support for vouchers and her opposition to them the key to her upset victory.[7] In the primary held on March 7, 2006, Patrick polled 5,973 votes (58 percent) to Grusendorf's 4,308 (41.9 percent).[8] By contrast in the 1992 primary, Grusendorf had defeated T. Arthur Andrews, 7,222 (78.7 percent) to 1,950 (21.3 percent).[9] Patrick held the House seat until her defeat in 2014 in the Republican primary by Tea Party movement activist Tony Tinderholt.

Grusendorf benefited from two campaign appearances on his behalf by Governor Perry, who stressed their common views on education. Grusendorf has supported a $2 billion increase in educational funding but not the $10 billion advocated by the public school lobby. Ultimately, Grusendorf blamed his defeat on Democratic crossover voters who had not previously participated in Republican primaries in Tarrant County.[10]

Oddly only eight days before he lost to Diane Patrick, Grusendorf transferred $58,000 in unused funds from his 2006 campaign committee to the Campaign for Republican Leadership, his political action committee.[11]

After his divorce from Nancy Todd, Grusendorf married and was by the year 2000 divorced from the former Barbara Lynn Thompson, a Republican activist and an elector from Texas in 2004 for U.S. President George W. Bush.[12]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved September 15, 2011.  External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Biographical Data, Texas House of Representatives, 78th Session" (PDF). Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kent Grusendorf". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Rep. Kent Grusendorf". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Darryl Kent Grusendorf, Jr.". Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "YESTERYEAR: United they stood, Fall 2008". Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "In Search of a New Agenda: What to look for in the 2007 Texas Legislature, January 12, 2007". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 7, 2006". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 10, 1992". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Patrick would give schools a new voice, March 9, 2006". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Kent Grusendorf Campaign Committee". Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  12. ^ List of United States presidential electors, 2004
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jan McKenna
Texas State Representative from District 94 (Tarrant County)

Darryl Kent Grusendorf

Succeeded by
Diane Patrick