Texas New Members 2019

Rep.-elect Daniel Crenshaw (R-Texas-02)

DATE OF BIRTH: March 14, 1984
EDUCATION: B.A., Tufts University; M.A., Harvard Kennedy School of Government
FAMILY: Wife, Tara

Retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw has served his country all over the world. Now he’ll be representing the district where he grew up in Congress.

A first-time candidate, Crenshaw won election to Texas’s 2nd District after defeating Democrat Todd Litton to replace retiring Rep. Ted Poe (R) in the Houston-area seat.

Crenshaw entered the national spotlight after “Saturday Night Live” comic Pete Davidson joked about the eye patch he wears after suffering a coM.B.A.t injury. The comments led to a swift backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

Crenshaw lost his eye after an IED blast in Afghanistan, during his third deployment overseas. Undaunted, he went on to deploy twice more before retiring in 2016 after 10 years as a SEAL. The highly decorated officer was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor and a Purple Heart. 


Rep.-elect Van Taylor (R-Texas-03)

DATE OF BIRTH: Aug. 1, 1972
RESIDENCE: Plano, Texas
OCCUPATION: State senator
EDUCATION: B.A., M.B.A., Harvard University
FAMILY: Wife, Anne; three daughters

Republican Van Taylor sailed to victory over Democrat Lorie Burch in Texas’s 3rd District, in the northeast of the Lone Star state. He’ll be replacing retiring Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), who was first elected to the House in 1990.

Taylor is coming to Congress after eight years in the Texas state legislature. He first won election to the state House in 2010. Among his accomplishments was passing into law legislation that allowed military personnel to vote while serving overseas. Taylor was elected to the state Senate, where he currently serves, in 2014.

Before political life, Taylor served in the Marine Corps and as a captain led missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, including one to rescue 31 wounded Marines. He was decorated for his service, receiving the CoM.B.A.t Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Commendation Medal.

He has also had a business career and is the vice chairman of Texas Gulf Bancshares.


Rep.-elect Lance Gooden (R-Texas-05)

DATE OF BIRTH: Dec. 1, 1982
RESIDENCE: Terrell, Texas
OCCUPATION: Lawmaker, businessman
EDUCATION: B.A., B.B.A, University of Texas
FAMILY: Wife, Alexa; one son

After 16 years, Texas’s 5th Congressional District will have a new representative. Republican Lance Gooden won the open race to replace retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) in the conservative district covering parts of suburban Dallas.

Gooden has already represented many of his constituents in Henderson and Kaufman counties as a member of the Texas state House for three terms. Gooden first won elected office to the state House in 2010 but lost his seat in 2014. He eventually came back to retake the seat in 2016.

The race to replace Hensarling brought out a crowded field, with Gooden running against seven other Republicans in the primary. He eventually won the primary in a runoff before defeating Democratic opponent Dan Wood, a lawyer, in the general election.

Adopted at birth, Gooden grew up in Terrell, Texas. His parents were both public school teachers.

He attended the University of Texas and later worked for energy companies as an insurance broker. 


Rep.-elect Ron Wright (R-Texas-06)

DATE OF BIRTH: April 8, 1953
RESIDENCE: Arlington, Texas
OCCUPATION: Tarrant County tax assessor-collector
EDUCATION: Attended University of Texas at Arlington
FAMILY: Wife, Susan; three children

After a lifetime of public service, Ron Wright is no stranger to the halls of Congress. He served as a district director to retiring Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) from 2000 to 2009 and was his chief of staff until 2011. Now, Wright will be succeeding him to represent the 6th Congressional District in Texas, keeping the safely Republican seat in GOP hands.

Wright has been a fixture in North Texas politics. He served on the Arlington City Council for eight years starting in 2000 and as the mayor pro tempore for the last four.

After his stint in Barton’s Washington office, Wright was appointed tax assessor-collector for Tarrant County. He was elected to the post twice, in 2012 and 2016.

A sixth-generation resident of Tarrant County, Wright has been active in his community, including as the president of the Arlington Night Shelter and chairman of the Tarrant County Historical Commission. He also wrote a weekly column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1995 to 2000. 


Rep.-elect Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-Texas-07)

DATE OF BIRTH: Feb. 13, 1975
EDUCATION: B.A., Kenyon College; J.D., William & Mary Law School
FAMILY: Husband, Scott; two children

In a stunning upset, Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher knocked off nine-term incumbent Rep. John Culberson (R).

Culberson was seen as vulnerable after his Houston-area district backed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

A Houston native, Fletcher grew up in the district before heading to Ohio to attend Kenyon College, where she was in the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. She later attended William & Mary Law School.

She returned to Houston to practice law, first at Vinson & Elkins and then later handling complex business litigation cases at Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing. She would go on to become that firm’s first female partner in 2015.

Fletcher’s win came in her first run for elected office, but she has long been active in public service. She was a co-founder of Planned Parenthood Young Leaders and was a volunteer lawyer with Texas Appleseed, a public interest law group.


Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar (D-Texas-16)

DATE OF BIRTH: Sept. 15, 1969
RESIDENCE: El Paso, Texas
EDUCATION: B.A., University of Texas at El Paso; M.A., New York University
FAMILY: Husband, Michael Pleters; two children

Veronica Escobar will become one of the first two Latinas to represent Texas in Congress, as she takes over the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), who ran for Senate.

Escobar’s district is a safe Democratic seat that saw a generational transition with O’Rourke’s successful primary challenge against former Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D) in 2012.

As part of a new generation of El Paso politicians, Escobar has been El Paso County judge, a position akin to county executive, since 2011. 

She’s also an El Paso native — her father’s side of the family has lived in the region for more than a century, and her mother grew up on both sides of the border.

In her 20s, Escobar taught at a local community college. She jumped into politics as a campaign volunteer in 1996, opposing Reyes, a former Border Patrol sector chief.

During her two terms as county judge, she focused on government transparency and health care.


Rep.-elect Chip Roy (R-Texas-21)

DATE OF BIRTH: Aug. 7, 1972
RESIDENCE: Austin, Texas
OCCUPATION: Former prosecutor
EDUCATION: B.S., M.S., University of Virginia; J.D., University of Texas
FAMILY: Wife, Carrah; two children

Chip Roy has been a top aide to some of Texas’s major GOP officials for more than a decade. Now, he’ll join their ranks as a member of Congress, replacing retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R) in a deep-red district in the heart of the Lone Star State.

Most recently, Roy served as vice president of strategy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank and advocacy group, after a stint as first assistant attorney general of Texas. Roy was also chief of staff to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Rick Perry while he was governor of Texas.

Roy touted a staunchly conservative agenda and boasted Cruz’s endorsement in a crowded GOP primary to replace Smith.

 He’s pledged his support for building President Trump’s border wall, cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, slashing regulations and drastically reducing federal taxes.

Before entering political life, Roy also worked as a federal prosecutor and an investment banking analyst. 


Rep. Michael Cloud  (R-Texas-27)

DATE OF BIRTH: May 13, 1975
RESIDENCE: Victoria, Texas
EDUCATION: B.S., Oral Roberts University
FAMILY: Wife, Rosel; three children

Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) was sworn into Congress in July after winning a special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R). Now he’s returning after his reelection to Texas’s 27th District on the state’s Gulf Coast.

Cloud came to Washington after serving for seven years as the chairman of the Victoria County Republican Party. He won the 2018 special election with more than 50 percent of the vote and defeated Democratic challenger Eric Holguin in the general.

Cloud, who was born in Baton Rouge, La., graduated with a degree in mass media communications from Oral Roberts University, where he also ran track and cross country. He’s lived in Victoria, Texas, for the past two decades. Outside of politics, he was the marketing director of his church, Faith Family Church, and launched his own communications firm, Bright Idea Media.

The Texas Republican is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.


Rep.-elect Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas-29)

DATE OF BIRTH: Sept. 6, 1950
OCCUPATION: State senator
EDUCATION: B.A., Texas Woman’s University; J.D., Texas Southern University
FAMILY: Single

Sylvia Garcia is joining the House as one of the first two  Latinas elected to represent Texas in the chamber.

She is replacing retiring Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) in the safely Democratic 29th District that covers Houston and the surrounding areas.

Garcia easily won the Democratic nomination and the general election in the 77 percent Hispanic district.

The eighth of 10 children, Garcia grew up in the south Texas farming community of Palito Blanco and attended college on a scholarship.

She was a social worker before going to law school and then working as director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System under two mayors.

Garcia entered electoral politics first as Houston city controller, the second-highest position in the city, and then as an elected member of the Harris County Commissioner’s Court.

In 2013, Garcia won a special election to become the third Latina elected to the Texas state Senate.


Rep.-elect Colin Allred (D-Texas-32)

DATE OF BIRTH: April 15, 1983
OCCUPATION: Civil rights attorney
EDUCATION: B.A., Baylor University; J.D., University of California, Berkeley
FAMILY: Wife, Alexandra Eber

Colin Allred, an attorney and former professional football player, made an impressive political debut, taking down a powerful Republican chairman to represent Texas’s 32nd District in Congress.

Allred defeated longtime Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Rules Committee and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Sessions served in Congress for more than two decades.

Allred flipped a traditionally red seat that was narrowly won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

After playing as an NFL linebacker on the Tennessee Titans from 2006 to 2010, Allred went back to school to get his law degree. He’s worked as a civil rights attorney on voting rights issues and as a former Department of Housing and Urban Development lawyer.

Allred was born and raised in Dallas.

Tags Blake Farenthold Donald Trump Gene Green Hillary Clinton Jeb Hensarling Joe Barton John Culberson Lamar Smith Lance Gooden New Members Guide 2019 Pete Sessions Rick Perry Ron Wright Sam Johnson Ted Cruz Ted Poe Van Taylor

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video