Tim Kleinschmidt

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Timothy Alan "Tim" Kleinschmidt
Texas State Representative for District 17 (Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee counties)
In office
January 2009 – January 2015
Preceded by Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III
Succeeded by John Cyrier
Personal details
Born (1956-11-15) November 15, 1956 (age 60)
Giddings, Lee County, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anna Kleinschmidt
Children 3
Residence Lexington, Texas
Alma mater

Lexington High School
Texas A&M University

Baylor Law School
Occupation Attorney and Rancher
Religion Southern Baptist

Timothy Alan Kleinschmidt, known as Tim Kleinschmidt (born November 15, 1956),[1] is a lawyer in Giddings, Texas, who currently serves as the general counsel for the Texas Department of Agriculture under commissioner Sid Miller. From 2009 to 2015 he was a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 17, which comprises his native Lee County as well as Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, and Karnes counties in the central portion of the state.[2]


The son of two educators, Kleinschmidt graduated in 1975 as valedictorian of Lexington High School in Lexington in Lee County. The school gymnasium there is named for his father, A. P. Kleinschmidt, a long-term superintendent of the Lexington Independent School District. In 1978, he procured a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. In 1981, he received his Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law School in Waco. He opened his law practice in his native Giddings in 1981 and became city attorney there and also in Lexington, and Round Top in Fayette County, which was previously in House District 17. In addition to municipal law, his areas of expertise include real estate, oil and natural gas, creation of business entities, probates, estates, wills, and commercial litigation.[2]

In addition to his law practice, Kleinschmidt has interests in ranching and hunting. He is a member of the Farm Bureau, the Texas Wildlife Association, the National Rifle Association, and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, based in Fort Worth. He is affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Lexington.[2]

He and his wife, Anna, have three grown children.[1]

Political life[edit]

When the Democratic Representative Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III, of Eagle Lake in Colorado County, then located in District 17, declined to seek a seventh term in 2008,[3] Kleinschmit, unopposed for his Republican nomination, won the open seat by defeating another Democrat, Fayette County rancher Donnie Dippel, 32,208 votes (54 percent) to 25,561 (42.9 percent).[4]

Representative Kleinschmidt is a member of the House committees on (1) Agriculture and Livestock and (2) Homeland Defense and Public Safety. He is the chairman of the House Republican Caucus Policy Committee.[2]

In the 2013 legislative session, Kleinschmidt supported a ban on 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 64 percent in 2013 and 60 percent in 2011.[5]

Kleinschmidt voted against a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. He 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. Kleinschmidt voted against the measure to prohibit texting while driving, but he had voted for such a ban in 2011. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against an "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. He voted to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms and co-sponsored 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 opposed term limits for certain state officials. In 2011, Kleinschmidt voted to cut spending on state agencies. That same year, he opposed a ban on smoking in public places.[6]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Kleinschmidt 85 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas rated him a cumulative career score of 74 percent. He ranked 66 percent from the Texas League of Conservation Voters and 33 percent from the Sierra Club. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 66 percent in 2013 and 50 percent in 2011. Both the Texas Association of Business and the National Rifle Association rated him 100 percent.[5]

In April 2013, Kleinschmidt suspended his legislative chief of staff, John Higgins, Jr., after Higgins was indicted on twelve felony charges stemming from allegedly falsifying travel reimbursements. Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney of Travis County in Austin, said that Higgins was released from custody after he posted a $10,000 bond. He was charged by a Travis County grand jury.[7]

Kleinschmidt defeated Democrat Carolyn Banks for re-election in 2014. He resigned in January 2015 to serve as general counsel in the Department of Agriculture.[8] He was replaced in the House by fellow Republican John Cyrier in a special election.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Tim Kleinschmidt's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Rep. Kleinschmidt, Tim (District 17)". house.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robert "Robby" Cook". Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2008 General election returns (House District 17)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Tim Kleinschmidt's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Tim Keinschmidt's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Jay Root, "Legislator Suspends Aide Who is Facing Charges", April 12, 2013". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ Svitek, Patrick (November 22, 2014). "Kleinschmidt to resign for job at agriculture department". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Cyrier Elected State Representative for District 17". Lexington Leader. February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III
Texas State Representative from District 17 (Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee counties)

Timothy Alan "Tim" Kleinschmidt

Succeeded by
John Cyrier