Rick Miller (Texas politician)

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Dana Fontaine "Rick" Miller
Texas State Representative from District 26 (Sugar Land and Fort Bend County)
Assumed office
January 2013
Preceded by Charles F. Howard
Personal details
Born (1945-03-19) March 19, 1945 (age 71)
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara "Babs" Nesbitt Miller (d. 2016)
Children 3
Residence Sugar Land, Texas
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
National Defense University
Occupation Retired military officer
Businessman
Religion Southern Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Naval aviator and Captain

Dana Fontaine Miller, known as Rick Miller (born March 19, 1945), is a retired military officer and a businessman from Sugar Land in suburban Houston, Texas, who has been since 2013 a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 26, based in Fort Bend County.[1] From 2007 to 2011, Miller was the chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party.[2]

Background[edit]

Miller graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1968. Miller subsequently received a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University (NDU) at Fort Lesley McNair in Washington, D.C. He studied in the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a division of the NDU.[3]

Miller participated in the United States baseball exhibition team as a pitcher at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Thereafter, he entered Navy flight training in Pensacola, Florida. Following his training he flew LTV A-7 Corsair jets while embarked on the USS Independence. Advancing to the rank of captain, Miller held leadership positions on carrier-based squadrons and at The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, where he worked on the staffs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States Secretary of the Navy. Miller was the Senior Fellow of the Strategic Studies Group of the Chief of Naval Operations. In this capacity, he was assigned to formulate future concepts of war for the 21st century Navy.[3]

Miller received a number of military awards: Defense Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Award (twice), and Navy Commendation Medal and Legion of Merit (three times each).[3]

After his military years, Miller was the vice president of administration with Integrated Electrical Services.[3] He also founded and is the president of TrevanionGroup, LLC, a company which seeks to train leaders and to improve leadership skills.[3][4]

Miller has also lived in Dallas and Marietta, Georgia. He moved to Sugar Land in 1999, where he is a board member of Rotary International and heads the finance committee of the Sugar Creek Baptist Church, a congregation of the Southern Baptist Convention. He and his wife, the former Barbara Nesbitt (1947-2016), have two children and a third who is deceased.[2]

Political life[edit]

In 2012, Republican state Representative Charlie Howard, who was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1994, chose not to seek reelection to a tenth term for District 26 as he faced a primary challenge from two-term Sugar Land City Councilwoman Jacquie Chaumette, an African American of Caribbean ancestry who was viewed as a rising star in local politics. The race also featured Fort Bend Independent School District trustee Sonal Subodhkumar Bhuchar (born c. 1956) and realtor and local activist Diana Miller (no relation). Redistricting was a contentious issue in this race, as Chaumette had allegedly been drawn out of the district, and District 26 was one of several state house districts targeted in a redistricting lawsuit alleging that minority voting power (in the case of HD26, its Asian population of more than 30 percent) was being diluted to benefit Republicans. At one point, a state district judge in San Antonio nearly turned HD26 into a swing district with several key upper-class Republican precincts, including the master-planned communities of Sugar Creek, Greatwood and Pecan Grove, removed and replaced with heavily Democratic Mission Bend. Ultimately, the courts decided to clear an interim map with HD26 remaining heavily Republican.

In the primary election for the seat on May 29th, buoyed with the endorsement of Charlie Howard and social conservatives, Miller finished first in the field with 5,997 votes (40.8 percent) and went into a runoff election with second-place finisher Chaumette,[5] who polled 3,949 ballots (26.9 percent) and earned support from the party's business wing and most Sugar Land-area elected officials. More than a third of the remaining vote was held by Bhuchar, with 3,043 (20.7 percent) and Diana Miller, who finished fourth with 1,696 votes (11.5 percent).[6] In the July 31st runoff, Rick Miller defeated Chaumette, 6,851 (57.8 percent) to 5,000 (42.2 percent).[7] In the general election, Miller defeated Democratic attorney Vy Nguyen with 38,541 votes (63 percent) to Nguyen's 22,662 (37 percent),[8] who supported state funding of Planned Parenthood.[9] In his general election campaign, Miller urged supporters to vote not only for himself, but for the straight Republican ticket.[10]

Miller serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Public Health Committee. In the 83rd Legislative Session, Miller served as a member of the House committees on (1) Elections and (2) Defense and Veterans Affairs.[2]

In the 2013 legislative session, Representative Miller supported a ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the bill passed the House, 96-49. He co-sponsored with his District 24 colleague, Greg Bonnen of Friendswood, legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers.[11] Texas Right to Life rated him 78 percent in 2013.[12]

Miller voted against 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 category of law enforcement officials. He voted against the bill requiring the immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House nevertheless approved, 71-61. He voted against an "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. Miller co-sponsored the bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses.[11]

Miller voted to prohibit texting while driving. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He co-sponsored two pieces of legislation to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms and to allow college- and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He co-sponsored another bill to reduce the time required for an individual to procure training to obtain a concealed handgun license; the measure cleared the House, 116-30. He voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. He opposed a bill establishing term limits for certain state officials; the resolution failed on the House floor.[11]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Miller 88 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas scored him 65 percent. Miller was ranked 71 percent by the Texas League of Conservation Voters. Another interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 77 percent. The Texas Association of Business scored him ten points higher at 87 percent.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rep. Miller, Rick, (District 26)". house.state.tx.us. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography for Rick Miller". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "State Rep. Rick Miller District 26 (R-Sugar Land)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "TrevanionGroup". trevanion.com. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cory Stottlemeyer, "Rick Miller, Jacquie Chaumette face primary runoff for District 26 state representative"". Sugar Land Sun, May 30, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "2012 Republican primary election returns (House District 26)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Republican runoff election returns, July 31, 2012 (House District 25)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 26)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Democrat Vy Nguyen to run for State Rep. District 26". Fort Bend Independent, Stafford, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Rick Miller". vote4rickmiller.com. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Rick Miller's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Rick Miller's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles F. Howard
Texas State Representative from District 26 (Fort Bend County)

Dana Fontaine "Rick" Miller
2013–

Succeeded by
Incumbent