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Edward Roy Tinsley, III
Born ca. 1952
Texas Lamesa
Dawson County, Texas, USA
Residence New Mexico Flying W. Diamond Ranch, Inc.
Capitan, Lincoln County
New Mexico
Alma mater The University of Texas at Austin
Texas Tech University School of Law
Occupation Businessman (K-Bob's Steakhouse); Oilman; Rancher; Attorney
Political party Republican candidate for United States House of Representatives (2002; 2008)
Religious beliefs United Methodist
Spouse(s) Meredith George Tinsley
Children Edward and Ede
Parents Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Tinsley, Jr.

Edward Roy Tinsley, III (born ca. 1952), is an attorney, rancher, and businessman with interests in oil, natural gas, and restaurants who has twice failed in Republican bids for the United States House of Representatives from the 2nd congressional district of his adopted state of New Mexico. He is the franchisor of the 16-outlet K-Bob's Steakhouse based primarily in New Mexico and his native Texas. Tinsley and his wife, the former Meredith George, reside on their Flying W Diamond Ranch, Inc., in Capitan in Lincoln County.[1]



Tinsley was born to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tinsley, Jr., in Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County, south of Lubbock in West Texas. Growing up in Lamesa, he recalled a simple life of "the school, the church, and K-Bob’s", which had been founded in 1966 by Gabe E. Parson in Clovis, New Mexico.[2] He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. In 1977, he received his law degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. In 1978, he became a territory franchisee for Schlotzsky's, a sandwich and soup chain based in Austin. He purchased the rights to develop Schlotzsky’s in New Mexico and southern Colorado.[1] At that time, he also owned a food-processing and distribution company known as Sun Country Honey.[3]

In 1989, K-Bob's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After a year of negotiations, Tinsley acquired the company in April 1991. K-Bob’s, Inc., was hence transformed into K-Bob’s USA, Inc., and the latter was required to pay debts to creditors of the former over a 10-year period. Since the purchase, Tinsley has concentrated on the roots of his company, having personally met his franchisees and launched a monthly corporate newsletter called The T-Bone Tribune.[3]

Political matters

Tinsley has been a supporter of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who appointed him to the board of the scenic Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico.[1] In 2002, Tinsley ran unsuccessfully for the Republican congressional nomination to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the late GOP Representative Joseph R. Skeen. Instead, the party choice and the general election victory went to intraparty rival Steve Pearce.[1]

In 2008, Pearce did not seek a fourth term in the U.S. House but instead ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate seat vacated by veteran Republican Pete V. Domenici of Albuquerque. Tinsley won a five-person Republican primary to succeed Pearce, but he lost the November 4 general election to the Democrat Harry Teague, an oilman from Hobbs, the first Democrat to win the post since 1978, the year that Domenici was elected to his second term as senator.[4]

In the 2008 campaign, Tinsley came under Democratic fire for allegedly underpaying employees and for not establishing a K-Bob’s in the state capital of Santa Fe, where the company is headquartered. Santa Fe is not in the 2nd ongressional district, but Tinsley’s ranch is within its boundaries.

After the primary campaign, Mrs. Tinsley removed the word "Republican" from campaign signs to recycle their use for the general election. The Tinsley campaign said that it would highlight conservative themes, rather than party affiliation in what turned out to have been a heavily Democratic year in New Mexico.[5]

The candidates differed philosophically on numerous issues, including immigration. Tinsley supported border-enforcement only, while Teague favors a path to citizenship of undocumented workers. The 2nd District has the largest population of Hispanics in New Mexico, but the majority are unregistered or ineligible to vote. Others issues in the race were the North American Free Trade Agreement and border drug trafficking.[6] Santa Fe is not in the 2nd congressional district, but Tinsley’s ranch is within the boundaries. Teague ultimately prevailed with 127,640 ballots (55.8 percent) to Tinsley's 101,084 (44.2 percent).

Community service

In 1992, Tinsley received the Silver Spoon Award for community service from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo. He was formerly inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame. He has been active in industry forums and has been a board member of several nonprofit associations, including the Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital Foundation in Albuquerque and the Braford Cattle Association in Kansas City, Missouri. He has also served on the board of Texas American Bank in Midland. From 2006-2007, Tinsley was chairman of the board of the trade association, the National Restaurant Association, a position which required extensive travel throughout the United States and into Mexico, China, and Turkey.[1][7]

His Tinsley Hospitality Group is the master franchisor of K-Bob’s. The chief operating officer of K-Bob's is Michael W. Myers, a former president of Back Yard Burgers, Inc.[8] After the 2008 congressional campaign, Tinsley indicated that he would seek to expand the number of franchisees.[1]

The Tinsleys have two adult children, Edward, a graduate of UCLA and the London School of Economics, and Ede, who completed studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tinsleys attend the United Methodist Church in Capitan.[1]




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