Stefani Carter

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Stefani Carter
Texas State Representative from District 102 (Dallas County)
In office
Preceded by Carol Kent
Succeeded by Linda Koop
Personal details
Born (1978-02-15) February 15, 1978 (age 39)[1]
Dallas, Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Residence Dallas, Texas
Alma mater

University of Texas[1]

Harvard School of Law[1]
Occupation Attorney[1]

Stefani Carter (born February 15, 1978) is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 102nd District, which included parts of Dallas, and the northern Dallas County suburbs of Garland, and Richardson, Texas.[2] First elected in 2010, Carter made history by becoming the first Republican African-American woman to serve in the Texas House when she unseated the Democrat Carol Kent.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Carter was born in Dallas. She is a practicing Roman Catholic and was baptized in Richardson, Texas. Her mother was an elementary school teacher, and her father is an engineer turned entrepreneur, the owner of a small lawn-care company.

Carter excelled academically in school; her parents told her she would have to work her way through college. She graduated in 1996 from Plano East Senior High School and earned a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with highest honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. During Carter's undergraduate years at UT she interned at the White House during the Clinton administration.

After UT, Carter graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. She also obtained a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. During Carter's years at Harvard, she became a Republican and contributed articles to USA Today. After law school, she returned to Dallas and served Collin County as an assistant district attorney.

Political career[edit]

Carter decided to run for office in the 102nd House District in Texas, taking on Democrat Carol Kent. Carter won by simply pointing to Kent's record as being far too liberal for her area of Dallas and that voters in the district were far more conservative than the person who was representing them.

Carter won in 2010 with 54.63 percent of the vote, having unseated Kent by a ten-point margin of victory.

Carter was named the 32nd most conservative member of the legislature, but she crossed party lines at times to support bills regarding public education.

Carter and Ted Cruz, then the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Texas, gave commentary at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Dallas Morning News called Carter "a posterwoman for GOP outreach to minority candidates and voters."[5]

In November 29th, 2016, Carter was named as an Transition Landing Team member [6] for the newly elected President Donald Trump in the Department of Justice.

Election of 2014[edit]

Carter had announced on July 9, 2013 that she would be a candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission in the Place 1 seat vacated by the outgoing incumbent, Barry Smitherman, who ran instead for Texas Attorney General in 2014 to replace the three-term incumbent, Greg Abbott, the 2014 gubernatorial nominee who seeks to succeed the retiring Governor Rick Perry.

However, on October 22, 2013, Carter announced that she was ending her bid for the Railroad Commission and would instead seek reelection to a third two-year term to her state House seat.[7]

In the March 4, 2014 Republican primary for House District 102, Carter trailed her conservative challenger, Linda Koop, a former member of the Dallas City Council, by 163 votes. Koop led with 3,646 votes (34.7 percent) to Carter's 3,483 (33.2 percent). Two other candidates held another 32 percent of the ballots cast.[8] In the May 27 runoff election, Koop unseated Carter, 5,072 (59.8 percent) to 3,405 (40.2 percent).[9] In the November 4 general election, Koop then defeated the Democrat, George M. Clayton, 20,394 (62.5 percent) to 12,243 (37.5 percent), to gain the House seat.


  1. ^ a b c d e "State Rep. Stefani Carter District 102 (R-Dallas)". Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Texas House of Representatives : Representative Carter, Stefani
  3. ^ Dallas Morning News - Nov 4, 2010
  4. ^ PBS
  5. ^ Gromer Jeffers, Jr. (May 6, 2014). "Stefani Carter, opponent Linda Koop a study in contrasts". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Trump=Pence transition team". Dec 10, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  7. ^ "State lawmaker drops out of Railroad Commission race". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Republican primary election returns (House District 102), March 4, 2014". Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Republican runoff election returns, May 27, 2014". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Carol Kent
Texas State Representative from District 102 (Dallas County)
Stefani Carter

Succeeded by
Linda Koop