Steve Toth

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Steve Toth
SteveTothTheWoodlandsTX07JUNE2019.jpg
Texas State Representative from District 15 (The Woodlands in Montgomery County)
In office
January 8, 2019 – present
Preceded byMark Keough
Texas State Representative from District 15 (The Woodlands in Montgomery County)
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 13, 2015
Preceded byRob Eissler
Succeeded byMark Keough
Personal details
Born (1960-11-29) November 29, 1960 (age 58)
New York
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Babette Jayne Toth
Children3
ResidenceThe Woodlands
Montgomery County, Texas
Alma materPittsford Mendon High School
Rochester Bible College
OccupationBusinessman and former pastor
Websitewww.SteveTothForTexas.com

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

Background[edit]

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, which serves the needs of veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

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

Texas State House tenure[edit]

Toth won the 2012 election to the State House district 15. 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. Representative Toth was a member of two House committees: Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence.[1]

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.

He opposed the bill requiring the immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House approved, 71-61. Toth co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security. 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 voted against term limits for certain state officials because the legislation exempted both House and Senate Members.[6] He voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives.

Second Amendment rights[edit]

He authored the Firearms Protection Act (HB 1076) restricting federal control and regulations of firearms, which made it a Class A misdemeanor to interfere with a Texan's Second Amendment rights.[7][8] The act also protected Texas' state and local law enforcement officers from violating the U.S. Constitution, and prevented the federal government from targeting certain firearms and accessories with restrictions.[9] Toth received assistance from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in drafting the bill.[10] He also supported another law allowing college and university officials to carry concealed weapons for campus security reasons. Toth supports constitutional carry for Texas.

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.[11] Texans for Fiscal Responsibility rated him 92 percent.[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.[12] Texas Right to Life rated him 112 percent favorable.[13][12][11]

On January 11, 2019, Toth filed House Bill 792 (Senate Bill 345) with the 86th Legislature and entitled it the Jones Forest Preservation Act ("Jones Forest Act"). The Jones Forest Act protects the 1,722 acre William Goodrich Jones State Forest from development. Texas A&M University suggested that the university would develop a Texas A&M campus on the land, which sits next to The Woodlands, Texas. Neighborhood associations in the area complained that the development would add to traffic congestion and eliminate a forest that has been part of Texas heritage since 1923.[14][15] It was passed by both the Texas House and the Texas Senate and sent to Governor Greg Abbott on May 25, 2019.

In January 2019, he was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee by Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.[16] On January 25, Toth along with Will Metcalf and Cecil Bell filed House Bill 1042 which would require Texas schools and law enforcement agencies to establish active shooter response plans and law enforcement agencies to conduct annual drills while also requiring law enforcement to immediately contain or eliminate a threat.[17][18]

Government ethics[edit]

On February 7, 2019, Toth filed the JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Reform Act (HB-1495), which requires cities, counties, and other political subdivisions statewide to post contracts they have with taxpayer funded lobbyists and to post how much they are paying the lobbyists. It was filed in the Senate by Brandon Creighton on February 8 as Senate Bill 710. The house bill was passed by both chambers and was sent to the governor for signature on May 29, 2019.[19] Governor Abbott signed the bill into law on June 14, 2019.[20]

Abortion[edit]

In February 2019, Toth co-authored Texas House Bill 1500 which would ban abortions after the detection of a unborn child's heartbeat.[21] He also co-authored Texas House Bill 896 which would prohibit abortion.[22] In March 2019, Toth became a cosponsor of SB 22 which prohibits government entities from providing taxpayer funded resources (including cash, goods, services, and anything of value) to Planned Parenthood. It was a response to a Planned Parenthood’s $1-per-year rental agreement with the City of Austin for a clinic. It passed both chambers and was sent to Abbott on May 25, 2019 for signature.[23] The bill was signed into law by Abbott on June 7, 2019.[24]

On March 5, 2019, Toth introduced Texas HB 3145, the School Lunch Bill. It clarifies that each parent, including the non-custodial parent, in a divorce can visit their child during school lunch and school activities regardless of possession schedule. It passed both chambers and was sent to the governor on May 28, 2019.

In March 2019 Toth introduced Texas House Bill 2518 which aims to reduce cannabis possession from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor. To take it down from B to C would remove jail time for simple possession (180 days is the current penalty) and lower the monetary penalty from $2,000 down to $500.[25][26]

State House campaign of 2012[edit]

In the 2012 Republican primary for the District 15 House seat, the more conservative Toth unseated the five-term incumbent, Rob Eissler, 56.5% to 43.5%.[27][28] In the general election, Toth defeated the Libertarian Party nominee, Sterling Russell 87% to 13%. No Democrat sought the seat.[29]

State Senate campaign 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.[30] 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, who serves on The Woodlands township council, and Michael Galloway, who formerly held the District 4 seat in the 1990s.[4][31]

In the May 10, 2014, special election Toth came in second place behind Creighton.[32] Creighton received 45.2%, Toth 23.7%, Bunch 21.8%, and Galloway 9.3%.[32]

Toth and Creighton then met in a special election runoff on August 5, 2014.[32] In the special election runoff, Toth was defeated by Creighton 67% to 33% percent.[33][34] Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said both Creighton and Toth "are significantly more conservative than Williams."[35]

U.S. Congressional campaign of 2016[edit]

In November 2015, Toth announced his candidacy for Texas's 8th congressional district seat currently held by Kevin Brady.[36][37][38] In January 2016, Toth received the endorsement of all Tea Party organizations in Montgomery County, Texas.[39] Professor Jones of Rice University stated: "Toth is certainly a more credible challenger than the typical Republican gadfly who is unknown and unfunded."[37]

In the March 1, primary, Toth and two fellow challengers held incumbent Brady to 53 percent of the vote.[40][41] In 2014, Brady had received 68 percent of the vote in the primary.[40] 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.[41]

Toth spent $89,325 on the primary.[42] Brady spent over $1.5 million on the primary.[43] Toth criticized Brady for compromising too often with President Obama,[42] supporting the omnibus federal budget bill, and voting to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank.[44] Toth had tea party support.[44]

State House campaign 2018[edit]

On May 31, 2017, Toth announced that he would be running for his old Texas House seat, District 15, since the incumbent, Mark Keough, announced he would not be running for re-election but instead run for Montgomery County Judge.[45][46] Toth's opponent in the Republican primary was Mary "Jackie" Waters of The Woodlands.[47][48] Toth wants to reduce property taxes for homeowners by implementing a acquisition-based appraisal system.[49] A taxpayer's home value would be set upon the purchase price, regardless of how long the taxpayer lives in the house.[49] Toth wants to encourage the San Jacinto River Authority ("SJRA") to work on the flood control aspects of its mission statement, instead of keeping Lake Conroe at full capacity for recreational purposes.[48] He has also advocated for the directors of the SJRA board to be elected positions and for the directors to have a civil engineering background, to encourage effective floodplain models.[48]

On March 6, 2018, Toth won the Republican nomination for Texas House District 15 over Waters by 78% to 21%.[50] Toth received the largest vote margin of any candidate in Montgomery County, defeating Waters by 58% of the vote. [51] Waters reported that during the primary she received $41,769 and spent $61,685, spending more in campaign contributions than she received.[47]

In the November 2018 general election, Toth faced Democrat Lorena Perez McGill.[52] Toth indicated that in the general election against McGill he would be focusing on lowering property taxes, passing tax reform, and raising teacher salaries.[50] From July through September 30, 2018, Toth raised $65,756, spent $7,026 and had $56,896 on hand.[53] For the period from September 28 to October 27, 2018, Toth raised $24,279, spent $30,722, and had $51,629 on hand.[54] On Election Day, Toth defeated McGill 67% to 33%.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Toth and his wife, Babette Jayne Toth (born 1957), have three children.[56] They have resided in The Woodlands since 1997.[4]

Election results[edit]

2018 general election for Texas 15th district state representative
General election results, November 6, 2018[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Toth 52,895 67.17
Democratic Lorena Perez McGill 25,843 32.82
Total votes 78,738 100
2018 Republican primary for Texas 15th district state representative
Republican primary election results, March 6, 2018[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Toth 13,097 78.38
Republican Mary "Jackie" Waters 3,612 21.62
Total votes 16,709 100
2016 Republican primary for Texas 8th Congressional district
Republican primary election results, March 1, 2016[41][58]
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 runoff for Texas 4th district state senator
Republican special election runoff results, August 5, 2014[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brandon Creighton 15,232 67.38
Republican Steve Toth 7,373 32.62
Total votes 22,605 100
2014 special election for Texas 4th district state senator
Republican special election results, May 10, 2014[32][60]
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 general election for Texas 15th district state representative
General election results, November 8, 2012[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Toth 57,520 86.64
Libertarian Sterling Russell 8,872 13.36
Total votes 66,392 100
2012 Republican primary for Texas 15th district state representative
Republican primary election results, May 29, 2012[27][28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Toth 9,630 56.48
Republican Rob Eissler (incumbent) 7,420 43.52
Total votes 17,050 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Steve Toth's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Steve Toth". Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  3. ^ "Steve Toth". intelius.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Chris Contelesse, "Gordy Bunch, Steve Toth, Brandon Creighton vie for state Senate", October 24, 2013". yourhoustonnews.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "FOX Faceoff". KRIV. Houston, Texas. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Steve Toth's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  7. ^ "Courier: Toth's legislative success, leadership make him the right choice in HD15 GOP primary". The Courier of Montgomery County. Conroe, Texas. February 7, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  8. ^ "H.B. No. 1076 by Toth". Austin, Texas: State Capitol of Texas. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "Bill Analysis: HB 1076 Toth, et al" (PDF). Austin, Texas: Texas House Research Organization. May 4, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "Texas bill would block police from enforcing new federal gun laws". FOX News. New York City. February 21, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Rob Eissler's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Steve Toth's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Legislative ratings". texasrighttolife.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  14. ^ Toth, Steve. Creighton and Toth Announce Jones Forest Preservation Act, January 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Forward, Jeff (January 15, 2019). "Toth, Creighton introduce legislation to protect Jones State Forest from development". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Bonnen, Dennis. Standing Committee Appointments by Committee, Texas House of Representatives, January 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Rincon, Marialuisa. Henderson, Toth seek to enhance emergency response in hospitals; host a special threats seminar Friday, Houston Chronicle, January 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Kent, Roy. Bill would require agencies to have plan for active shooter situations, Houston Chronicle, January 25, 2019.
  19. ^ Dominguez, Catherine. Creighton introduces ethics bill honoring Lambright, Montgomery County Courier, March 19, 2019.
  20. ^ HB 1495 86th Legislative Session, Texas Legislature Online, June 14, 2019. Signed by the Governor, 06/14/2019.
  21. ^ Bill: HB 1500, Council Document: 86R 9861 SCL-F, Texas Legislature Online - 86th Legislature Regular Session, February 7, 2019.
  22. ^ Bill: HB 896, Council Document: 86R 6142 SCL-F, Texas Legislature Online - 86th Legislature Regular Session, January 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Sundaram, Arya. Texas passes bill banning cities from partnering with Planned Parenthood on any services, Texas Tribune, May 24, 2019.
  24. ^ Siese, April. Texas governor signs law banning cities and counties from doing business with abortion providers, CBS News, June 7, 2019.
  25. ^ Colen, Aaron. Republicans Are the Key to Cannabis Legalization in Texas, Leafy, March 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Council Document: 86R 2656 JSC-D. H.B. No. 2518, 86th Legislature Regular Session, Texas Legislature Online.
  27. ^ a b "Texas Secretary of State". Austin, Texas. May 29, 2017.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ a b "2012 General election returns (House District 15)". Austin, Texas: Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  30. ^ "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.
  31. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". team1.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  32. ^ a b c d Ramsey, Ross. Updated: Special Election to Fill Empty Senate Seat, Texas Tribune, May 10, 2014.
  33. ^ Okun, Eli; John Reynolds (August 5, 2014). "Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race". Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  34. ^ Creighton win District 4 State Senate runoff election with commanding lead, WoodslandsOnline, August 5, 2014.
  35. ^ Tim Eaton (August 5, 2014). "Brandon Creighton to represent Houston area in state Senate". Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ a b Smith, Morgan; Livingston, Abby (March 1, 2016). "In Texas Congressional Races, Incumbents Stay Safe". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  41. ^ a b c "U.S. Representative District 8". Secretary of State of Texas. Austin, Texas. March 2, 2016. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ "Rep. Kevin Brady". OpenSecrets.org. Washington, DC: Center for Responsive Politics. February 10, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  44. ^ a b Recio, Maria (February 29, 2016). "Texas primary down-ballot drama: Congress members on the brink". McClatchyDC. Washington, DC. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ Dominguez, Catherine. Woodlands legislator seeks to unseat Montgomery County judge, Houston Chronicle, June 1, 2017.
  47. ^ a b "Candidate/Officeholder Campaign Finance Report: Mary J. Waters" (PDF). Austin, Texas: Texas Ethics Commission. June 30, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  48. ^ a b c Loop, Abigail (January 5, 2018). "Texas House District 15 candidate Steve Toth discusses local issues at forum". Community Impact Newspaper -- The Woodlands edition. The Woodlands, Texas. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  49. ^ a b DuBois, Andrew (May 31, 2017). "Former state Rep. Toth seeks return to District 15 seat". Courier of Montgomery County. Conroe, Texas. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  50. ^ a b Zedaker, Hannah. Toth wins Republican nomination for State Representative District 15, Community Impact Newspaper -- The Woodlands edition, March 6, 2018.
  51. ^ Reed, Reagan. Grassroots Conservative Wave Sweeps Montgomery County, Pro-reform candidates win big in Montgomery County Republican Primary, Empower Texans, March 7, 2018.
  52. ^ Murphy, Ryan. Texas Primaries 2018: Full election results, Texas Tribune, March 7, 2018.
  53. ^ Snyder, Mike (October 22, 2018). "Democrats mounting game effort in deep-red Montgomery County". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  54. ^ "Candidate/Officeholder Campaign Finance Report: Steven H. Toth" (PDF). Austin, Texas: Texas Ethics Commission. October 27, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  55. ^ a b House District 15th Election Results Archived November 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Secretary of State of Texas, November 6, 2018.
  56. ^ "State Rep. Steve Toth District 15 (R-The Woodlands)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  57. ^ State of Texas, Office of the Secretary of State, 2018 Republican Party Primary Election, March 6, 2018.
  58. ^ "2016 Texas Primary Election Results". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  59. ^ Texas State Senate District 4 Special Election Runoff Results, Secretary of State of Texas, August 5, 2014.
  60. ^ Special Election Results[permanent dead link], 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
2013–2015

Succeeded by
Mark Keough
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Keough
Texas State Representative from District 15 (The Woodlands in Montgomery County)

Steve Toth
2019–

Succeeded by
Incumbent