Kevin Eltife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kevin Paul Eltife
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 1st district
In office
March 5, 2004 – January 9, 2017
Preceded by Bill Ratliff
Succeeded by Bryan Hughes
Personal details
Born (1959-03-01) March 1, 1959 (age 59)
Smith County, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelly
Residence Tyler, Smith County, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Profession Businessman

Kevin Paul Eltife (born March 1, 1959)[1] is an American businessman and former politician from Tyler, Texas. A Republican, served in the Texas Senate from 2004 through 2017. He was sworn in on March 5, 2004, after winning a special election to represent District 1. He declined to seek re-election in 2016 and was succeeded in office by fellow Republican Bryan Hughes.

Early life and education[edit]

Eltife was born in Tyler, Texas, and grew up there. He is a Lebanese American; all of his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Lebanon.[2] His father died when Eltife was under two years old.[2]

Business and political career[edit]

Eltife is the owner and operator of Eltife Properties, a commercial real estate company.[2]

Eltife first entered politics in 1991, when he ran for a city council seat. He subsequently served as mayor of Tyler for two terms (six years).[2]

Eltife defeated Paul Sadler in the special election for Texas Senate; in 2012, Sadler was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee against Ted Cruz for one of the two Texas seats in the United States Senate. The position opened when state Senator and former Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant resigned with less than a year remaining in his state Senate term.

Eltife was a strong proponent of raising sales taxes and reducing property taxes.[2] Eltife wishes to use additional sales tax revenue to reduce the debt of the Texas Department of Transportation.[2]

Eltife was considered one of the most liberal of the nineteen (as of 2013) Texas Senate Republicans, along with Robert L. Duncan of Lubbock, Kel Seliger of Amarillo, Bob Deuell of Greenville, and John Carona of Dallas, according to an analysis by Mark P. Jones of the political science department at Rice University in Houston. Jones also found that these Republicans saw passage of 90 percent of the bills for which they voted.[3] Of these five senators, Deuell lost a runoff election on May 27, 2014, and Carona was narrowly defeated for re-nomination on March 4.[4] Duncan, meanwhile, resigned from the Senate to become chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.

In 2015, Eltife announced that he would not seek reelection to the Senate in 2016.[5] Eltife was succeeded in office by Republican state Representative Bryan Hughes of Mineola, who defeated Republican state Representative David Simpson of Longview in the Republican primary and automatically won the seat because there was no Democratic opponent.[6]

In January 2017, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Eltife, along with two others, as a regent of the University of Texas System.[7]

Electoral history[edit]


Texas general election, 2006: Senate District 1[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kevin P. Eltife 109,450 83.13 +14.96
Libertarian Jason Albers 22,211 16.87 +16.87
Majority 87,239 66.26 +29.92
Turnout 131,661 -21.23
Republican hold


Special runoff election, 17 February 2004: Senate District 1, Unexpired term[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kevin Eltife 46,437 51.86 [10]+15.85
Democratic Paul Sadler 43,103 48.14 +8.63
Majority 3,334 3.72
Turnout 89,540 [10]+29.38
Republican hold
Special election, 20 January 2004: Senate District 1, Unexpired term[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kevin Eltife 24,919 36.01
Republican Bill Godsey 502 0.73
Republican Tommy Merritt 14,786 21.36
Democratic Paul Sadler 27,339 39.50
Constitution Daryl Ware[12] 480 0.69
Republican Jerry Yost 1,180 1.71
Turnout 69,206


  1. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1929-03-01). "Birth Certificate for Kevin Paul Eltife". Archived from the original (Third party index of birth records for Smith County) on January 6, 2008. Retrieved 2006-12-26.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Aman Batheja, A G.O.P. Senator Who Is Unafraid to Suggest Raising Taxes, Texas Tribune/New York Times (March 14, 2013).
  3. ^ "Enrique Rangel, "Why state Sen. Kel Seliger has a Republican primary challenger," February 24, 2014". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Eltife won't run in 2016". Henderson Daily News. June 15, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ Roy Maynard, Bryan Hughes wins Senate District 1 seat, defeating David Simpson, Tyler Morning Telegraph (May 24, 2016).
  7. ^ Nicole Cobler, "Texas Supreme Court rules against UT regent", San Antonio Express-News, February 4, 2017, p. A4
  8. ^ "2006 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  9. ^ "Special Election Runoff, State Senate, District 1". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  10. ^ a b change from special election
  11. ^ "Special Election, State Senate, District 1". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  12. ^ Secretary of State’s web page says party is "CON". Daryl Ware to Run for Texas State Senate Archived 2008-03-19 at the Wayback Machine. (5 January 2004) confirms it is the Constitution Party

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Bill Ratliff
Texas State Senator
from District 1 (Tyler)

Succeeded by
Bryan Hughes