T. J. Shope
T. J. Shope
|Speaker pro tempore of the Arizona House of Representatives|
|Assumed office |
January 9, 2017
|Preceded by||Bob Robson|
|Member of the Arizona House of Representatives|
from the 8th district
|Assumed office |
January 14, 2013
|Preceded by||Michelle Ugenti|
Thomas Ray Shope Jr.
August 12, 1985
Florence, Arizona, U.S.
|Education||Central Arizona College|
Arizona State University, Tempe (BA)
Thomas Ray "T. J." Shope Jr. (born August 12, 1985) is a Republican politician and businessman who serves in the Arizona House of Representatives from the 8th Legislative District. He was first elected to the state House in 2012 and represents central and eastern Pinal County and southern Gila County. He was re-elected to a second term in 2014. In 2016, he was re-elected to his third term and was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore of the House in January 2017.
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Shope was born in Florence, Arizona, to Thomas "Tom" Shope, Sr. and Luz Shope. Tom is the Mayor of the City of Coolidge and owner of an independent grocer. He attended Coolidge High School, graduating in 2003. Shope attended Central Arizona College for two years, graduating in 2005, before transferring to Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science in 2008.
While in college, Shope served as the president of the ASU College Republicans, and later as the State Chairman of the Arizona Federation of College Republicans. Shope also served as a founding member of the board of directors of Arizona State University's Student Sun Devil Club. Shope worked for Arizona State University's Disability Resource Center and as a columnist for the State Press newspaper at Arizona State while attending school there.
Shope began his political career in 2008 when he was elected to the Coolidge Unified School District Governing Board. He was voted to be the board's vice president upon taking office. In 2013, he was elected president of the Governing Board.
After serving one full term on the school board, Shope announced his candidacy in 2012 for the state House in the newly drawn 8th Legislative District, which encompasses the cities and towns of Coolidge, Florence, Casa Grande, Eloy, Mammoth, Hayden, Winkleman, Kearny, Globe, and Miami. He also represents the vast unincorporated community of San Tan Valley as well as the Gila River Indian Community. Shope ran on a ticket with incumbent representative Frank Pratt, and both were unopposed in the primary election. In the general election, Shope received the second highest number of votes at 25% (Pratt receiving the most), thereby defeating the two Democratic candidates, and winning one of the two seats for the 8th district, alongside Pratt.
Shope successfully ran for re-election in 2014. He and seat mate Frank Pratt won the Republican primary over their challenges with 29% and 32% of the vote, respectively. In the general election, Shope defeated his Democratic opponent by 8%, taking 35% of the vote to his opponent's 27%. Pratt earned 36%.
Arizona House of Representatives
Shope was sworn in as a member of the 51st Legislature on January 14, 2013. He is the youngest Republican member currently serving in the House.
Shope has served as Chairman of the Committee on Rural and Economic Development.
Shope is currently the president of the governing board for the Coolidge Unified School District which is made up of five public schools in the town of Coolidge, AZ.
- Speaker Pro Tempore of the House (2017–present)
- House Committee on Rules (2017–present)
- House Committee on Commerce (2013–present)
- House Committee on Agriculture, Water, and Lands (2013–2016)
- House Committee on Rural & Economic Development, Chairman (2015–2016)
- House Committee on Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources (2013–2014)
Shope is a member of the Roman Catholic Church of St. James the Apostle and is a fourth degree knight in its St. James the Apostle Knights of Columbus Council #12375, having served as Grand Knight from 2010–2012.
He is a member of the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance.
- "TJ Shope Profile". CBS AZ 5. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
-  TJ Shope 2012
-  Arizona Secretary of State 2012 Primary Election Results
-  Arizona Secretary of State 2012 General Election Results
-  Arizona House of Representatives Member Roster
-  Arizona House of Representatives Member Page
|Arizona House of Representatives|
| Speaker pro tempore of the Arizona House of Representatives