Texas's 14th congressional district: Wikis


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Texas's 14th congressional district
TX14 109.gif
Current Representative Ron Paul (R)
Population (2000) 651,619
Median income $41,335
Cook PVI R+18

Texas's 14th district for the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that covers the area south and southwest of the Greater Houston region, including Galveston, in the state of Texas. The district was created as a result of the 1900 U.S. Census and was first contested in 1902. Its first representative—Democrat James L. Slayden, who had served another district in Congress since 1897—began representing the 14th in March 1903 as a member of the 58th United States Congress. Republicans had a handful of victories in this district in the early 20th century, which was remarkable given the heavily Democratic tilt of Texas at the time. The district's ultimate shift to the Republican Party in the 1980s has been attributed to the coattail effect of Ronald Reagan's electoral successes.[1] The district's current representative is Ron Paul.


List of representatives

Representative Party Years District home Note
James L. Slayden Democratic 1903 - 1919 San Antonio Redistricted from the 12th district.
Carlos Bee Democratic 1919 - 1921 San Antonio
Harry M. Wurzbach Republican March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1929 Lost re-election to McCloskey
Augustus McCloskey Democratic March 4, 1929 – February 10, 1930 Credentials successfully challenged by Wurzbach
Harry M. Wurzbach Republican February 10, 1930 – 1931
Richard M. Kleberg Democratic 1931 – 1945
John E. Lyle, Jr. Democratic 1945 – 1955
John J. Bell Democratic 1955 – 1957
John Andrew Young Democratic 1957 – 1979
Joseph P. Wyatt, Jr. Democratic 1979 – 1981
William N. Patman Democratic 1981 – 1985
Mac Sweeney Republican 1985 – 1989
Greg Laughlin Democratic 1989 – 1995 Lost renomination to Paul
Republican 1995 – 1997
Ron Paul Republican 1997-01-03 – present Surfside Beach Incumbent

Election results



Incumbent Harry M. Wurzbach successfully contested the 1928 election of Augustus McCloskey to the 71st United States Congress, and replaced McCloskey as representative on February 10, 1930.

U.S. House election, 1928[2]: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Augustus McCloskey 29,085 50.3 +7.5
Republican Harry M. Wurzbach (incumbent) 28,766 49.7 -7.5
Majority 319 0.6 -13.8
Turnout 57,851
Democratic gain from Republican


In "one of the stranger Congressional elections of modern times",[3] incumbent Greg Laughlin switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican side in 1995, and the Republican National Committee, hoping to encourage other Democrats to switch parties, threw its full support behind Laughlin. Laughlin had support from Republican leaders, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor George W. Bush, and the National Rifle Association and other interest groups.[4] Ron Paul, an ob/gyn and former U.S. Representative from Texas's 22nd congressional district, opposed Laughlin, hopeful of having more influence in Congress after the Republicans took over both houses in the 1994 election.[5] Though Laughlin defeated Paul in the open primary, a runoff between the two candidates followed.[6]

While Gingrich and other Republican leaders visited the district stumping for Laughlin, Paul ran newspaper ads quoting Gingrich's harsh criticisms of Laughlin's voting record 14 months earlier, before Laughlin had switched parties.[4] Baseball pitcher (and constituent) Nolan Ryan, a friend of Paul's, served as his honorary campaign chair and appeared in ads for him, and tax activist Steve Forbes also supported Paul's candidacy.[3][7] Paul won the low-turnout primary runoff[6] with the assistance of a largely out-of-state free-market network of support, such as his Foundation for Rational Economics and Education and other market-oriented organizations.[3] Though he continued to maintain his home in Lake Jackson, Texas, he had run for the coastal 14th Congressional district rather than the 22nd district he had previously represented, due to redistricting borders.[8]

Paul's Democratic opponent in the fall election, trial lawyer Charles "Lefty" Morris, was heavily assisted by the AFL-CIO and ran numerous attacks. Morris cited Paul's past votes to repeal federal drug laws in favor of state legislation, and also ran numerous ads about newsletters which had contained derogatory comments published in Paul's name concerning race and other politicians.[9] Paul's campaign replied at the time that voters might not understand the "tongue-in-cheek, academic" quotes out of context, and rejected Morris's demand to release back issues.

Paul's large contributor base outraised Morris two-to-one, giving him nearly $2 million,[6] the third-highest amount of individual contributions received by any House member (behind Gingrich and Bob Dornan);[10] he was also able to paint Morris as a tool of trial lawyers and big labor. Paul went on to win the election in a close margin of 51% to 48%,[7] the third time he had been elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.[3] Paul recalled later, "Here I am in the Bible belt .... but I convinced them they don't want [government] in their business."[1]

U.S. House election, 1996[11]: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul 99,961 51.1 +6.7
Democratic Charles Morris 93,200 47.6 -8.0
Natural Law Ed Fasanella 2,538 1.3
Majority 6,761 3.5 -7.7
Turnout 195,699
Republican hold Swing


In 1998 Paul again won the Republican primary. The Democratic primary candidates included education professor Margaret Dunn; former congressional aide Roger Elliott; car dealer Tom Reed; and Bay City rice farmer and cattle rancher Loy Sneary. Reed, who claimed to be the only Texas-born candidate in the race, had served in local economic development projects and had been appointed to the White House Conference on Small Business; he was endorsed by the AFL-CIO. Sneary, a self-described "conservative Democrat" and also a former Matagorda County judge, prevailed in the primary; by December 31, 1997, including self-loans, Sneary had outraised Reed by $175,000 to $33,000.[6]

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made the general election its "No. 1 challenge race in the state of Texas".[6] The Texas Farm Bureau endorsed Sneary and ranked Paul's agricultural record poorly. Sneary also said that Paul's anti-government stance left constituents inadequately represented.[6] Paul ran ads warning voters to be "leery of Sneary".[12] Paul accused Sneary of voting to raise his pay by 5%, increasing his judge's travel budget by 400% in one year, and creating more government bureaucracy by starting a new government agency to handle a license plate fee he enacted. Sneary considered Paul's attack to consist of "half-truths and no truths", claims supported by local TV station KVUE;[7] his aides replied that he had actually voted to raise all county employees' pay by 5% in a "cost of living" increase. Paul countered that he had never voted to raise Congressional pay.[5][13]

Paul won the election 55% to 44%, outraising his opponent by a large margin ($2.1 million to $0.7 million).[7]

U.S. House election, 1998[14]: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul (incumbent) 84,459 55.3 +4.2
Democratic Loy Sneary 68,014 44.5 -3.1
Independent Cynthia Newman (Write-in) 390 0.3
Majority 16,445 10.8 +7.3
Turnout 195,699
Republican hold Swing


In 2000, Sneary ran against Paul again, with Paul winning 60% to 40% and raising $2.4 million to Sneary's $1.1 million. As in the prior two elections, the national Democratic Party and major unions had continued targeting Paul with heavy spending.[7]

U.S. House election, 2000[15]: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul (incumbent) 137,370 59.7 +4.4
Democratic Loy Sneary 92,689 40.3 -4.2
Majority 44,681 19.4 +8.6
Turnout 230,059
Republican hold Swing


Paul was re-elected to Congress in 2002. Two Democrats without political experience ran for the primary, but not much support from the Democratic Party was visible. Local Democratic consultant Ed Martin criticized Paul's frequent budget dissents as "180 degrees opposite from" his campaign promises to protect Social Security. Paul's free-market foundation and network of support continued its fundraising strength.[1]

U.S. House election, 2002[16]: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul (incumbent) 102,905 68.1 +8.4
Democratic Corby Windham 48,224 31.9 -8.4
Majority 54,681 36.2 +16.8
Turnout 151,129
Republican hold Swing


Paul was re-elected to Congress in 2004 (running unopposed).


In 2006, Paul was opposed in the primary race by Cynthia Sinatra, the ex-wife of Frank Sinatra Jr., son of the legendary singer.[17] Paul won the primary handily with nearly 80%, though his opponent campaigned on Paul's lack of support for President George W. Bush.[18] Paul then won the general election by 20%,[19] entering his tenth term and outraising Shane Sklar $1.2 million to $0.6 million.

US House election, 2006: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul 94,375 60.2 -39.8
Democratic Shane Sklar 62,421 39.8 +39.8
Majority 31,954 20.4
Turnout 156,796
Republican hold Swing


In March 2007, Paul announced his candidacy for U.S. president. According to Texas law, Paul could run for president without having to relinquish his Congressional seat.[20] In the 2008 primary, he was opposed by Chris Peden, who informally announced his challenge on May 22, 2007. Peden, a certified public accountant, was elected to the Friendswood city council in 2005[21] with 67%, and was chosen as mayor pro tem.

The Victoria Advocate and Galveston County Daily News both endorsed Peden.[22] Paul had a larger national source of funding, while Peden raised more money from the district, the majority of which came from within his own family or loans to himself.[23] Paul won 70% to 30%.[24][25]

US House primary, 2008: Texas District 14
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ron Paul 37,220 70.2 n/a
Republican Chris Peden 15,813 29.8 n/a
Majority 21,407 40.4 n/a
Turnout 53,033

On November 4, 2008, Paul was reelected. The election was uncontested because the Democrats did not run a candidate.


  1. ^ a b c Vlahos, Kelley Beaucar (2002-02-11). "Rep. Ron Paul, Friend of the Taxpayer". http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,45231,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  2. ^ 1928 House election results
  3. ^ a b c d Caldwell, Christopher (2007-07-22). "The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul". New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/magazine/22Paul-t.html?ei=5124&en=22ee37525a9fc4f5&ex=1343016000&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2007-07-21.  
  4. ^ a b Beiler, David (1996-06). "Paul vs. Laughlin — Ron Paul's campaign against Representative Greg Laughlin". Campaigns and Elections. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2519/is_n6_v17/ai_18535311.  
  5. ^ a b "Paul vs. Sneary". Human Events. 1998-06-26. http://calbears.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_199806/ai_n8799789. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f Birtel, Marc (1998-02-21). "House Races Steal Show In Nation's First Primary: Who Has Paul?". Congressional Quarterly. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/23/cq/texas.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.  
  7. ^ a b c d e Gwynne, Sam C. (2001-10-01). "Dr. No". Texas Monthly. http://www.texasmonthly.com/2001-10-01/feature7.php. Retrieved 2007-10-23.  
  8. ^ Elliott, Lee Ann (1990-11-05). "Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinion Number 1990-23". Federal Election Commission. http://ao.nictusa.com/ao/no/900023.html. Retrieved 2007-05-26.  
  9. ^ Bernstein, Alan (1996-05-22). "CAMPAIGN '96 U.S. HOUSE: Newsletter excerpts offer ammunition to Paul's opponent: GOP hopeful quoted on race, crime". Houston Chronicle. http://web.archive.org/web/20070512114222/http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/aol-metropolitan/96/05/23/paul.html. Retrieved 2007-10-05.  
  10. ^ Doherty, Brian (2007-01-22). "Paul for President?: The maverick libertarian Republican talks on war, immigration, and presidential ambition". Reason. http://www.reason.com/news/show/118086.html. Retrieved 2007-05-28.  
  11. ^ 1996 General Election - Texas Secretary of State
  12. ^ Copeland, Libby (2006-07-09). "Congressman Paul's Legislative Strategy? He'd Rather Say Not". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/08/AR2006070800966_2.html. Retrieved 2007-10-23.  
  13. ^ "Foes lock horns over Paul's radio ads". Campaign Notebook. Houston Chronicle. 1998-08-14. http://www.chron.com/cgi-bin/auth/story.mpl/content/chronicle/metropolitan/98/08/15/notebook.2-0.html. Retrieved 2007-05-26.  
  14. ^ 1998 General Election - Texas Secretary of State
  15. ^ 2000 General Election - Texas Secretary of State
  16. ^ 2002 General Election - Texas Secretary of State
  17. ^ The Facts
  18. ^ Taylor, Jay (2006-03-17). "Congressman Ron Paul Talks About Gold, Oil & the Economy". J. Taylor's Gold & Technology Stocks. http://www.321gold.com/editorials/taylor/taylor031706.html. Retrieved 2008-02-14.  
  19. ^ "State Races: Texas". Elections 2006. Cable News Network. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006//pages/results/states/TX/index.html. Retrieved 2007-03-04.  
  20. ^ "Shane Sklar won't run against Paul in 2008". Victoria Advocate. http://www.thevictoriaadvocate.com/330/story/72352.html. Retrieved 2007-06-14.  
  21. ^ "Paul gets primary challenger". San Antonio Express-News. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/stories/MYSA052207.EN.PAUL.94898f61.html. Retrieved 2007-07-11.  
  22. ^ "Ron Paul obhájil své místo ve Sněmovně reprezentantů" (in Czech). http://www.blisty.cz/2008/3/28/art39818.html.  
  23. ^ "Schedule A Itemized Receipts: All Listed Line Numbers 2008". Federal Election Commission. http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00435776/319077/sa/ALL.  
  24. ^ "2008 Republican Party Primary Election: Results". http://enr.sos.state.tx.us/enr/mar04_135_race4.htm.  
  25. ^ "GOP primary only race in House District 14". Galveston County Daily News. 2008-02-17. http://texascitysun.com/story.lasso?ewcd=35a797ecc9cabe45&-session=TheDailyNews:45936D61054cc2AB08iJk2B336D8.  


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