Lois Kolkhorst

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Lois Winkelmann Kolkhorst
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 18th district
Assumed office
January 13, 2015
Preceded by Glenn Hegar
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
Preceded by Charles B. Jones
Succeeded by Leighton Schubert
Personal details
Born (1964-11-04) November 4, 1964 (age 52)
Washington County
Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) James Darren "Jim" Kolkhorst
Children Two children
Residence Brenham, Texas
Alma mater Texas Christian University
Occupation Businesswoman
Senator Kolkhorst won the special election on December 6, 2014, for the Texas Senate District 18 seat vacated by incoming Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar.

Lois Winkelmann Kolkhorst (born November 4, 1964)[1] is an American businesswoman and politician. She is a Republican member of the Texas State Senate.

She was first elected to the state Senate from the 18th District in a special election held on December 6, 2014,[2] to choose a successor to Glenn Hegar.

Early years[edit]

Kolkhorst is a 1988 graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, at which she studied advertising and public relations and played on the women's golf team.[1]

Political life[edit]

Kolkhorst is a fifth-generation Texan, with ancestral roots dating back to the Texas War of Independence. After elementary and secondary schooling in Brenham, she graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, at which she played collegiate golf from 1983-87 and was Academic All-Southwest Conference. She also served as assistant director of TCU athletics media relations after her undergraduate golf career ended.

In December 2014, Kolkhorst was elected to the Texas Senate in a special election, after previously serving fourteen years in the Texas House. She is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

Kolkhorst is a member of the Senate Committee on Education. Representing all or part of twenty-one Texas counties, she serves on the Senate Transportation Committee as well as the Senate Select Committee on Texas Ports. Kolkhorst serves on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs and the Texas Agriculture Policy Board.

In 2013, she worked closely with Texas Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to reject a push by members of the Texas Legislature to expand Medicaid in Texas. She has been named among the "Ten Best Legislators" by Texas Monthly magazine.[3] In her race for Senate District 18 in 2014, she received the endorsement of outgoing Governor Rick Perry, incoming Governor Greg Abbott, and incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

In 2017, with the encouragement of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Kolkhorst introduced legislation in the state Senate, like that adopted in 2016 in North Carolina, to forbid cities and counties from enacting ordinances that prohibit businesses from establishing policies regarding bathrooms and dressing rooms open to the public. The bill would require transgender persons to use the rest rooms corresponding with their documented sex at birth.[4]

On March 8, 2017, Judith Zaffirini, Kolkhorst's Democratic colleague from Laredo, cast the only dissenting vote among the members of the Senate State Affairs Committee, which approved Kolkhorst's bill, eight-to-one. Strongly opposed by business and sports interests, the measure won easy approval before the full Senate.[5] Opponents of the measure have put their hopes in Moderate Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio, the House Speaker who is known to oppose the measure and can prevent a House roll call vote on the bill if he chooses to do so.[6]

In a speech before a Faith and Family Day rally on the Texas State Capitol steps on March 16, Kolkhorst revealed that she had received a death threat during Senate debate on the bathroom bill: "I will tell you that I, from what is supposedly called a tolerant left and anti-bullying left, I have received emails that I would not let my children read, no matter what. My staff even withheld yesterday until the end of the day a threat on my life."[7]

In May 2017, the group Conservative Republicans of Texas, led by Dr. Steven F. Hotze and former Harris County Republican chairman Jared Woodfill, placed a statewide call for conservative Christian candidates to run for state representative in the primary elections scheduled for March 6, 2018, against intra-party opponents of the Kolkhorst bill, on which the House has still refused to permit a roll call. Hotze called Republican opponents of the bill "spineless, yellow-belly Texas Republican state representatives who have not had the courage to ... protect the privacy and safety of their mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters. ... If a man does not have the courage to protect women and girls and keep them from harm’s way, then he is as worthless as chaff that the wind drives away ..." Hotze questioned the extent of Republican opposition to the bill, which he claims has the support of 84 percent of Texas Republicans in a recent survey.[8]

The May 8 deadline for House bills to be approved by House committees passed without Speaker Straus permitting a House vote to consider Kolkhorst's bathroom bill, effectively killing the legislation for the 2017 session.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Kolkhorst and her husband, James Darren "Jim" Kolkhorst , have two children.[1] Though they reside in Brenham, the couple owns and operates Kolkhorst Petroleum in Navasota in Grimes County.[3] The company was founded by Jim Kolkhorst's father, James Henry "Bubba" Kolkhorst.

She is a member of the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brenham.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Lois Kolkhorst's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kolkhorst Wins Special State Senate Election
  3. ^ a b "Lois Kolkhorst Biography" (PDF). Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bobby Cervantes, "Bathroom legislation now ready for debate: Bruising battle looms over transgender bill", San Antonio Express-News, January 6, 2016, pp. 1, A11
  5. ^ Moritz, John C.. (March 8, 2017). "Bathroom bill clears first hurdle, awaits Senate vote". San Angelo Standard-Times. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ Gilbert Garcia, "Hopefuls must reject SB 6 on moral grounds", San Antonio Express-News, March 8, 2017, p. A2.
  7. ^ Peggy Fikac (March 16, 2017). "At Faith & Family Rally, Texas legislator says she's had death threat over bathroom bill". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ " Call for Conservative Christian candidates to Rise Up and Replace Republican Representatives Who Refuse to Support SB6, "No Men in Women's Bathrooms!"". crtxnews.com. May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ Jared Woodfill (May 8, 2017). "Straus and Cook Are Killing Religious Liberties Bills in the Texas House". Conservative Republicans of Texas News. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  10. ^ "State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst District 13 (R-Brenham)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Glenn Hegar
Texas State Senator for District 18, including Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties and a western portion of Fort Bend County

Lois W. Kolkhorst

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Charles B. Jones
Texas State Representative for District 13 (Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca, and Washington counties)

Lois W. Kolkhorst

Succeeded by
Leighton Schubert