Robert Nichols (politician)

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Robert Lee Nichols
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 3rd district
Assumed office
January 9, 2007
Preceded byTodd Staples
Personal details
Born (1944-11-25) November 25, 1944 (age 73)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Donna Nichols
ResidenceJacksonville, Texas
Alma materLamar University
ProfessionSmall Business Businessman, politician

Robert Lee Nichols (born November 25, 1944) is an American politician who is the Republican smember of the Texas Senate for the 3rd District. He was the Senate President Pro Tempore of the 85th legislative session.

Early years[edit]

Nichols graduated in 1968 from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, with a degree in Industrial Engineering. From there, he had a successful career as a small businessman before being elected mayor of Jacksonville, Texas.

Public service[edit]

During his tenure as mayor, Nichols streamlined the city government and helped to cut property tax rates. His service as Mayor eventually convinced then-Governor of Texas George W. Bush to appoint him to a six-year term on the Texas Transportation Commission in 1997. Nichols was appointed again in 2003 by former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and continued to serve until he resigned to prepare for a bid for the Texas Senate.

Senate votes[edit]

Senator Nichols voted in favor of a controversial bill in 2011 to cut $5 billion in public education funding.

The elections of 2014 and 2018[edit]

Nichols faced stiff competition in 2014 from Republicans Bob Reeves of Center; David Kleimann of Willis; and Frank Denton of Conroe in the Republican Primary. Nichols managed a 54% win, thus avoiding a runoff. Nichols' primary win was tantamount to winning the general election, as he did not have a Democratic candidate run against him in 2014.

In the general election of November 6, 2018, Nichols defeated the Democrat,nShirley Layton and the Libertarian Party choice, Bruce Quarels3. Nichols led with a commanding 214,756 votes (78.3 percent) to Layton's 56,274 (20.5 percent), and Quarles' 3,280 (1.2 percent).[1]

Service outside the Texas Senate[edit]

Nichols served as a board member of the now defunct Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas; the East Texas Medical Center and the Nan Travis Hospital Foundation, as chairman of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation.

Personal life[edit]

Nichols is wed to his high school sweetheart, Donna; they are parents of three children, Brittney, Joshua, and Collynn’rae. Robert Nichols is also the son of the co-founder of Nichols Industries, Inc., Talley Nichols, which was one of the largest manufacturers of toy cap guns in the 1940s, 1950's and 1960's. Nichols is a member of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville.

Electoral history[edit]


Texas general election, 2006: Senate District 3[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Robert Nichols 119,629 83.13 +11.77
Majority 119,629 100.00 +55.18
Turnout 119,629 -12.03
Republican hold
Republican primary, 2006: Senate District 3[3]
Candidate Votes % ±
Frank Denton 5,635 15.15
Dave Kleimann 6,716 18.05
Robert Nichols 20,176 54.24
Bob Reeves 4,674 12.56
Majority 13,460 36.18
Turnout 37,201


  1. ^ "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "2006 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  3. ^ "2006 Republican Party Primary Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2006-01-02.

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Todd Staples
Texas State Senator
from District 3 (Jacksonville)