Phil Stephenson (politician)
Philip Wayne "Phil" Stephenson
|Texas State Representative for|
District 85 (Fort Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties)
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Jim Landtroop (transferred to District 88 and defeated)|
|Born||February 5, 1945|
Duncan, Oklahoma, USA
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Stephenson (m. 1973-2016; her death)|
|Residence||Wharton, Wharton County, Texas|
|Alma mater||Plainview High School|
Texas Tech University
Phillip Wayne Stephenson, known as Phil Stephenson (born February 5, 1945), is a Certified Public Accountant from Wharton, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 85 based in Wharton, Fort Bend, and Jackson counties in the southeastern portion of the state.
A native of Duncan in Stephens County in southern Oklahoma southwest of Lawton. Other notable persons from Duncan include the actor and director Ron Howard, the football coach Jackie Sherrill, the late diplomat Jeane Kirkpatrick, and the musician Hoyt Axton. At some point, he moved to Hale County, north of Lubbock, Texas, where he graduated in 1964 from Plainview High School in Plainview. He then attended South Plains College, a community college in Levelland, Texas, and then Texas Tech University in Lubbock, from which he received in 1969 a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Since 1976, Stephenson has owned the CPA firm, Stephenson and Company. After college, he worked as senior accountant for Main Lafrentz and Company in Dallas, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
From 2000 until his election to the state House, Stephenson was an elected member of the nonpartisan board of trustees of Wharton County Junior College. From 1997 to 2000, he was the chairman of the Wharton County Republican Party. In 2000, Stephenson ran for the District 28 seat in the Texas House but was defeated by the incumbent Democrat, Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III, 29,937 (63.3 percent) to 17,321 (36.7 percent). District 28 then included Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, and Wharton counties, east and south of Austin.
In 2012, House District 85 was fully reconfigured through redistricting under the 2010 census. Previously represented in West Texas by Republican Jim Landtroop of Plainview, where Stephenson had graduated from high school, the district was relocated to Fort Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties west of Houston. Landtroop was moved to District 88 and unseated after one term in the 2012 Republican primary by Ken King of Canadian in the Texas Panhandle.
Stephenson and Lee Duggan contested the District 85 Republican nomination, which Stephenson won by 736 votes, 5,944 (53.3 percent) to 5,208 (46.7 percent). Stephenson then won the general election by defeating Democrat former District 27 representative, Dora Olivo, 28,626 votes (58.3 percent) to 20,435 (41.7 percent).
Stephenson won a second term in the general election held on November 4, 2014, when he defeated Democrat Cynthia Drabek. He won again 2016 and 2018. In the general election on November 6, 2018, he defeated a Democratic opponent, Jennifer Cantu, to secure his fourth term. Stephenson polled 31,977 votes (56.5 percent) to Cantu's 24,618 (43.5 percent).
Representative Stephenson is a member of the House committees on (1) Pensions and (2) Government Efficiency and Reform.
In 2013, Stephenson supported 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. These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the Texas State Senate from Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth, who in 2014 is the Democratic nominee for governor. The Texas Right to Life Committee rated him 78 percent favorable on pro-life.
Stephenson supported the bill 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 also co-sponsored the extension of the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. He voted to adopt the biennium state budget. He voted against the bill to prohibit texting while driving, which passed the House, 97-45. Stephenson voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against the "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61.
Stephenson co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored legislation to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He supported legislation to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. King voted for term limits for certain state officials.
Interest group ratings
In 2013, Stephenson's rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, was 73 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas ranked him 55 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters scored him 71 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 40 percent favorable, a low ratings for a Republican lawmaker. However, the Texas Association of Business in 2013 scored him 87 percent favorable. The National Rifle Association rated him 92 percent.
- "Phil Stephenson's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "Phil Stephenson". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "General election returns (House District 28), November 2000". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "General election returns (House District 85), November 6, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "Republican primary election returns (House District 85), May 29, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- "Phil Stevenson's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- Fernandez, M. (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Phil Stevenson's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
|Texas House of Representatives|
Jim Landtroop (transferred to District 88 and defeated)
| Texas State Representative for
District 85 (Fort Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties)
Phillip Wayne "Phil" Stephenson