T. J. Shope

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T.J. Shope
TJ Shope by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 8th district
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Preceded by Michelle Ugenti
Personal details
Born Thomas Ray Shope, Jr.
(1985-08-12) August 12, 1985 (age 32)
Florence, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence Coolidge, Arizona, U.S.

Thomas Ray "T. J." Shope Jr. (born August 12, 1985) is a Republican politician and grocery store operator 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 & 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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1] He attended Coolidge High School where he graduated in 2003, and went on to attend 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 was an active political participant, and served as the President of the ASU College Republicans, and later as the State Chairman of the Arizona Federation of College Republicans. Shope was also an active athletic group leader and served as a founding member of the board of directors of Arizona State University's Student Sun Devil Club. Shope also 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.

Political career[edit]

Shope began his political career when in 2008 he was elected to the Coolidge Unified School District Governing Board, and voted to be the board's Vice President upon taking office. In 2013, he was elected President of the Governing Board.[2]

After serving one full term on the school board, Shope announced his candidacy in 2012 for the state House from the newly drawn 8th Legislative District, which encompasses the cities & 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.[3] In the General Election, Shope received the second highest amount 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.[4]

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 easily won over his Democratic opponent by 8%, taking 35% of the vote to his opponents 27%. Pratt earned 36%.

Arizona House of Representatives[edit]

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.[5]

When the 52nd Legislature begins in January 2015, Shope will serve as Chairman of the Committee on Rural and Economic Development.[6]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • 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)[7]

Personal life[edit]

Shope is an active member of his community in Coolidge and Central Arizona. He is an active 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.[2]


  1. ^ "TJ Shope Profile". CBS AZ 5. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b [1] TJ Shope 2012
  3. ^ [2] Arizona Secretary of State 2012 Primary Election Results
  4. ^ [3] Arizona Secretary of State 2012 General Election Results
  5. ^ [4] Arizona House of Representatives Member Roster
  6. ^ http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2014/11/21/arizona-house-selects-committee-chairs/
  7. ^ [5] Arizona House of Representatives Member Page