Susan Combs

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Susan A. Combs
37th Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
In office
January 1, 2007 – January 13, 2015
Governor Rick Perry
Preceded by Carole Strayhorn
Succeeded by Glenn Hegar
10th Texas Agriculture Commissioner
In office
January 5, 1999 – January 1, 2007
Governor George W. Bush (1999–2000)
Rick Perry (2000–2007)
Preceded by Rick Perry
Succeeded by Todd Staples
Texas State Representative for District 47 (Travis County)
In office
January 12, 1993 – January 26, 1996
Preceded by Libby Linebarger (transferred to District 46)
Succeeded by Patty Keel
Personal details
Born (1945-02-26) February 26, 1945 (age 71)
San Antonio, Texas
Spouse(s) Joe W. Duran
Children Three sons
Residence Austin, Texas
Alma mater

(B.A.) Vassar College

(J.D.) University of Texas Law School
Occupation Ranching
Website Window on State Government

Susan A. Combs (born February 26, 1945,[1] in San Antonio) is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of Texas, who served from 2007 to 2015, as the state's Comptroller of Public Accounts. Combs was initially elected as comptroller to succeed Carole Strayhorn, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor as an Independent in the same election. Prior to her tenure as Comptroller, Combs had served two terms as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture from 1999–2007, taking the reins as the first woman elected to that office in 1998, having succeeded commissioner Rick Perry, who was instead elected as lieutenant governor. Combs also served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives.[2]

In 2010, Combs was unopposed for a second term as comptroller in the Republican primary, and she faced no Democratic opponent in the November 2 general election. Unsuccessful nominees of the Green and Libertarian parties did seek the position. On May 29, 2013, The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American Statesman both confirmed Combs would not seek reelection to a third term as Comptroller or any other statewide office in the 2014 elections. [1]

Early life and family[edit]

Combs grew up in a ranching family in West Texas. She runs a cow-calf operation on her family's ranch in Brewster County; the ranch has been in her family since the turn of the 20th century. She lives in Austin with her husband, Joe W. Duran (born June 1, 1942), a computer scientist. She is the mother of three sons. Combs graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, majoring in French and religion. She worked in international advertising in New York City, in the financial markets on Wall Street, and for the U.S. government before returning to Texas to obtain credentials from the University of Texas Law School at Austin. After graduation from law school, she served as an assistant district attorney in Dallas, Texas.

Career in politics[edit]

Combs served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives from 1993–1996, when she joined the staff of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as the lawmaker's state director. Combs serves on the boards of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in Fort Worth and the Texas Wildlife Association. She has also served on the boards the Texas Beef Council and the Texas Production Credit Association.[3]

Combs offers a launched the Texas Smart Schools Initiative data-driven approach to showing which public schools and districts are achieving the highest student performance for the lowest cost. The material, arranged on a five-star scale, is available without charge at investment. It is funded from her leftover campaign contributions. "Public education is one of the largest items in the state budget; so Texans need to know where their dollars are getting the highest return in terms of student performance," Combs said.[4]

Seven votes[edit]

Combs' first electoral outing was for the 47th legislative district, in Travis County. She won the Republican runoff election by seven votes over intraparty challenger Bill Welch. Combs polled 2,279 votes (50.07 percent) to Welch's 2,272 (49.92 percent). The two had led a five-candidate field in the primary.[5] In the general election, Combs handily defeated the Democrat Jimmy Day, 45,355 (65.4 percent) to 23,987 (34.6 percent).[6] Combs resigned midway in her second term in the House and was succeeded by fellow Republican Patty Keel of Austin.


  1. ^ "Susan Combs". Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008. 
  4. ^ Andrew, Zelinski, "Combs helps fund school rating website", San Antonio Express-News, May 27, 2016, p. A3
  5. ^ "Texas Republican runoff election, April 14, 1992". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Texas general election returns, November 3, 1992". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Libby Linebarger
Texas State Representative from District 47 (Travis County)

Susan Combs Duran

Succeeded by
Patty Keel
Preceded by
Rick Perry
Texas Agriculture Commissioner

Susan Combs Duran

Succeeded by
Todd Staples
Preceded by
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Susan Combs Duran

Succeeded by
Glenn Hegar