Steve Toth

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Steve Toth
Texas State Representative from District 15 (The Woodlands in Montgomery County)
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 2015
Preceded by Rob Eissler
Succeeded by Mark Keough
Personal details
Born (1960-11-29) November 29, 1960 (age 56)
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Babette Jayne Toth
Children Three children
Residence The Woodlands
Montgomery County, Texas
Alma mater

Pittsford Mendon High School

Rochester Bible College
Occupation Businessman and former pastor

Steven Hixson Toth (born November 29, 1960)[1] is an American businessman from The Woodlands, Texas, who served one term as a Republican in the Texas House of Representatives from District 15, based entirely in suburban Montgomery County, part of the Houston Metro area in the southeastern portion of the state.[2]


Toth attended Pittsford Mendon High School in the Pittsford Central School District in suburban Rochester, New York. He also attended the former Rochester Bible College,.[3]

Toth owns Acclaim Pools and My Pool Xpert in The Woodlands. He is a former pastor at Family Life Ministries of the Fellowship of The Woodlands, a congregation now known as The Woodlands Church.[4] He was formerly an elder and teacher at another non-denominational congregation, WoodsEdge Community Church also in The Woodlands, Texas.[1] He serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President for Mighty Oaks Foundation. Mighty Oaks serves the needs of veterans who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder.

Toth is also a commentator on the political show FOX Faceoff which appears on Fox 26 Houston.[5]

Political life[edit]

In the 2012 Republican primary for the District 15 House seat, the more conservative Toth unseated the five-term incumbent, Rob Eissler, 9,630 (56.5 percent) to 7,420 (43.5 percent).[6][7] In the general election, Toth defeated the Libertarian Party nominee, Sterling Russell 57,520 (86.6 percent) to 8,872 (13.4 percent). No Democrat sought the seat.[8]

Representative Toth was a member of two House committees: Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence.[1]

In February 2013, newly inaugurated Representative Toth was elected by his colleagues to the House Republican Caucus Policy Committee as the East Texas representative on the panel.

In his first legislative session in 2013, Toth authored and carried the CSCOPE Transparency Act in the House (SB-1406). The bill brought the CSCOPE (Common Core) curriculum under the purview of the Texas State Board of Education. Toth was a co-sponsor of the measure which drew the most attention of the session, the forbidding of abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the bill passed the House, 96-49. He voted for companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers. Texas Right to Life rated him 112 percent favorable.[9] Right to Life gave his predecessor Rob Eissler only 56 percent in Eissler's last term in 2011.[10][11]

Toth co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security. He opposed the bill requiring the immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House nevertheless approved, 71-61. He co-sponsored the law to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. He co-sponsored the bill to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He authored the Firearms Protection Act (HB 1706) restricting federal control and regulations of firearms. He also supported another law allowing college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. He voted against term limits for certain state officials because the legislation exempted both House and Senate Members.[12]

In 2013, the Eagle Forum, founded by the late Phyllis Schlafly and managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Toth 95 percent favorable, as did the Young Conservatives of Texas. Eagle Forum gave Eissler a rating of only 36 percent in 2011.[11] The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 92 percent, compared to 25 percent for Eissler in 2011.[11] The Texas Association of Business gave him an 80 percent score. He ranked 57 percent from the Texas League of Conservation Voters and 92 percent by the National Rifle Association.[10]

Election of 2014[edit]

Toth did not seek a second term in House District 15 in the Republican primary on March 4, 2014. Instead he ran for the District 4 seat in the Texas Senate, vacated in the fall of 2013 by the resignation of Republican Tommy Williams of The Woodlands, who accepted a position with Texas A&M University in College Station.[13] Toth faced intraparty opposition for the Senate vacancy from neighboring District 16 Representative Brandon Creighton of Conroe, who left the House after four terms, Richard Finely "Gordy" Bunch (born 1972), a native of San Diego, California, who serves on The Woodlands township council, and Michael Galloway, an oil and gas developer who formerly held the District 4 seat in the 1990s.[4]

The Republican nominee to replace Representative Toth in District 15 is Mark Keough, who polled 57.4% in the March 4 primary election.[14] Keough was then unopposed in the November 4, 2014, general election.

In the May 10, 2014, special election Toth came in second place behind the Creighton.[15] Creighton received 45.2%, Toth 23.7%, Bunch 21.8%, and Galloway 9.3%.[15] Toth and Creighton then met in a runoff election on August 5, 2014.[15]

In the special election runoff, Toth was defeated by Creighton 67.37 to 32.6 percent.[16][17] Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said both Creighton and Toth “are significantly more conservative than Williams.”[18]

8th District congressional race of 2016[edit]

In November 2015, Toth announced his candidacy for Texas's 8th congressional district seat currently held by Kevin Brady.[19][20][21] In January 2016, Toth received the endorsement of all Tea Party organizations in Montgomery County, Texas.[22] Professor Jones of Rice University stated: "Toth is certainly a more credible challenger than the typical Republican gadfly who is unknown and unfunded."[20]

In the March 1, primary, Toth and two fellow challengers held incumbent Brady to 53 percent of the vote.[23][24] In 2014, Brady had received 68 percent of the vote in the primary.[23] In 2016, Brady prevailed with 64,745 votes (53.4 percent) to Toth's 45,298 (37.4 percent). Two other candidates held the remaining 9.2 percent of the ballots cast.[24]

Toth spent $89,325 on the primary.[25] Brady spent over $1.5 million on the primary.[26] Toth criticized Brady for compromising too often with U.S. President Barack H. Obama[25] and was critical for supporting the omnibus federal budget bill and voting to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank.[27] Toth had tea party support.[27]

State House district 15 campaign 2018[edit]

On May 31, 2017, Toth announced that he would be running for his old Texas House seat, District 15 since the current incumbent, Mark Keough announced he would not be running for re-election but instead run for Montgomery County Judge.[28][29]

Personal life[edit]

Toth and his wife, Babette Jayne Toth (born 1957), have three children.[30] They have resided in The Woodlands since 1997.[4]

Election results[edit]

2016 Republican primary for Texas 8th Congressional district
Republican primary election results, March 1, 2016[24][31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Brady (incumbent) 64,745 53.39
Republican Steve Toth 45,298 37.36
Republican Craig McMichael 6,021 4.97
Republican Andre Dean 5,196 4.29
Total votes 121,260 100
2014 Special Election for State Senate
Republican special election results, May 10, 2014[15][32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brandon Creighton 13,705 45.18
Republican Steve Toth 7,193 23.71
Republican Gordy Bunch 6,612 21.80
Republican Michael Galloway 2,818 9.29
Total votes 30,328 100
2012 Republican primary for Texas 15th District State Representative
Republican primary election results, May 29, 2012[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rob Essler (incumbent) 7,420 43.52
Republican Steve Toth 9,630 56.48
Total votes 17,050 100


  1. ^ a b c "Steve Toth's Biography". Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Steve Toth". Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Steve Toth". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Chris Contelesse, "Gordy Bunch, Steve Toth, Brandon Creighton vie for state Senate", October 24, 2013". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "FOX Faceoff". KRIV. Houston, Texas. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Texas Secretary of State". Austin, Texas. May 29, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Reeves, Kimberly. Rob Eissler Loses GOP Primary: What It Means for Next Session (Hint: It's Not Good), Houston Press, May 31, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 15)". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Legislative ratings". Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Steve Toth's Ratings and Endorsements". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Rob Eissler's Ratings and Endorsements". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Steve Toth's Voting Records". Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Allen Reed, Texas Sen. Tommy Williams to leave Senate; may take job at Texas A&M University System, October 4, 2013". Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d Ramsey, Ross. Updated: Special Election to Fill Empty Senate Seat, Texas Tribune, May 10, 2014.
  16. ^ Okun, Eli; John Reynolds (August 5, 2014). "Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race". Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ Creighton win District 4 State Senate runoff election with commanding lead, WoodslandsOnline, August 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Tim Eaton (August 5, 2014). "Brandon Creighton to represent Houston area in state Senate". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ Tresaugue, Matthew (November 17, 2015). "Former state lawmaker Toth to challenge US Rep. Brady". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. A former state lawmaker from The Woodlands will mount a Republican primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, the House's newest and perhaps most powerful committee chairman. 
  20. ^ a b Tresaugue, Matthew (December 20, 2015). "As Rep. Brady rises on Capitol Hill, he faces primary challenge at home". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. In this highly charged election season, the race between Brady and Steve Toth reflects tensions within the Republican Party's conservative wing. 
  21. ^ Mekelburg, Madlin (December 14, 2015). "Surprise Congressional Challenge Marks Close of Filing". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved January 7, 2016. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, faces three primary challengers, including former state Rep. Steve Toth. 
  22. ^ Green, Stephen (January 7, 2016). "Two Tea Party groups endorse Napolitano, Toth". The Courier of Montgomery County. Conroe, Texas. Retrieved January 8, 2016. Both parties endorsed challenger Steve Toth, of The Woodlands, in the four-man race for U.S. representative. 
  23. ^ a b Smith, Morgan; Livingston, Abby (March 1, 2016). "In Texas Congressional Races, Incumbents Stay Safe". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  24. ^ a b c "U.S. Representative District 8". Secretary of State of Texas. Austin, Texas. March 2, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Elliott, Rebecca; Tresaugue, Matthew (March 2, 2016). "Green holds off Garcia; Brady, Culberson stave off challenges". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2016. His challengers said Brady has compromised too often, most recently by voting for a year-end spending measure that conservative activists say lacked limits on Planned Parenthood or on refugees from Syria and Iraq. 
  26. ^ "Rep. Kevin Brady". Washington, DC: Center for Responsive Politics. February 10, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Recio, Maria (February 29, 2016). "Texas primary down-ballot drama: Congress members on the brink". McClatchyDC. Washington, DC. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ Svitek, Patrick (May 31, 2017). "State Rep. Mark Keough not running for re-election in 2018". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved May 31, 2017. State Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, is not running for re-election in 2018 and instead vying to become Montgomery County judge. 
  29. ^ Dominguez, Catherine. Woodlands legislator seeks to unseat Montgomery County judge, Houston Chronicle, June 1, 2017.
  30. ^ "State Rep. Steve Toth District 15 (R-The Woodlands". The Texas Tribune. 
  31. ^ "2016 Texas Primary Election Results". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  32. ^ Special Election Results, Secretary of State of Texas, May 10, 2014.
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rob Eissler
Texas State Representative from District 15 (The Woodlands in Montgomery County)

Steve Toth

Succeeded by
Mark Keough