Royce West

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Royce West
Royce West.gif
Texas State Senate, District 23
Incumbent
In office
1993 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2015
Years in position 21
PartyDemocratic
Compensation
Base salary$7,200/year
Per diem$150/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected1992
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sUniversity of Texas-Arlington, 1976
Master'sUniversity of Texas-Arlington, 1979
J.D.University of Houston
Personal
Birthday9/26/1952
Place of birthAnnapolis, MD
ProfessionAttorney
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
CandidateVerification
Royce West (b. Sept. 26, 1952) is a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate, representing District 23. He was first elected to the chamber in 1992.

Biography

After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1976, West went on to earn a master's degree three years later from the same university. He received his law degree from the University of Houston in 1979. West became a senior partner at West and Associates in 1994, when it was first established.

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, West served on the following committees:

Texas Committee Assignments, 2013
Education
Finance
Health & Human Services
Higher Education
Jurisprudence, Chair
Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency

2011-2012

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, West served on the following Texas Senate committees:

2009-2010

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, West served on the following Texas Senate committees:

Elections

2014

See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for 15 of the 31 seats in the Texas State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 4, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was December 9, 2013. Incumbent Royce West was unopposed in the Democratic primary, while John Lawson was unopposed in the Republican primary. West defeated Lawson and Libertarian Jonathan Erhardt in the general election.[1][2][3][4]

2012

See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012

West ran in the 2012 election for Texas State Senate, District 23. West ran unopposed in the May 29 primary election and defeated John Lawson (R) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[5]

Texas State Senate, District 23, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRoyce West Incumbent 81.9% 187,407
     Republican John Lawson 18.1% 41,429
Total Votes 228,836

2008

On Nov. 4, 2008, West won election to the 23rd District Seat in the Texas State Senate, defeating opponent Jim Renfro.[5]

West raised $992,608 for his campaign while Renfro raised $0.[6]

Texas State Senate, District 23 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Royce West (D) 176,451 92.40%
Jim Renfro (L) 14,503 7.59%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for West is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, West raised a total of $4,691,075 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 22, 2013.[7]

Royce West's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Texas State Senate, District 23 Won $910,847
2010 Texas State Senate, District 23 Not up for election $851,035
2008 Texas State Senate, District 23 Won $992,608
2006 Texas State Senate, District 23 Not up for election $690,321
2004 Texas State Senate, District 23 Won $475,340
2002 Texas State Senate, District 23 Won $391,687
1998 Texas State Senate, District 23 Won $379,237
Grand Total Raised $4,691,075

2012

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $910,847.
Texas State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Royce West's campaign in 2012
Texas Association Of Realtors$20,000
Reyes, Paul$18,500
Border Health$15,000
Ryan & Co$15,000
Frank L Branson PC$15,000
Total Raised in 2012$910,847
Source:Follow the Money

2010

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $851,035.

2008

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $992,608.

2006

West was not up for election to the Texas State Senate in 2006. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $690,321.

2004

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2004. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $475,340.

2002

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 2002. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $391,687.

1998

West won re-election to the Texas State Senate in 1998. During that election cycle, West raised a total of $379,237.

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Texas

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2013

In 2013, the Texas State Legislature was in its 83rd legislative session from January 8 through May 27. Thirty minutes after the regular session ended, Governor Rick Perry called legislators back for a special session starting that evening.[8] Two additional called sessions were held from July 1 through July 30 and July 30 through August 5.[9]

  • Legislators are scored on bills which relate to economic freedom, the size and scope of government and individual liberty.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to the organizations principles, missions and goals of responsible, conservative solutions for Texas.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to core budget and free enterprise issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills with the greatest impact on Texas’ environment and public health.
  • Equality Texas - Equality Texas rankings for the Texas House during the 83rd regular legislative session
  • Legislators are assigned grades reflecting votes on LGBT issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to taxes and property rights.
  • Legislators are scored based on issues critical to businesses, taxpayers and families.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to conservative issues.
  • The 2013 TLCV scorecard covers a range of votes and issues, including: water, global warming, environmental regulation, clean energy, clean air, good government, oil and gas regulation and energy efficiency.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills relating to this issue of abortion.
  • Mark P. Jones is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He builds a ranking of Texas state representatives each year based on their votes from the previous session. Jones then ranks legislators based on how liberal and conservative they are according to legislative history.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for Amendments 2, 12, 51, 95 and 118.
  • Young Conservatives of Texas: Legislative Ratings for the 83rd Legislature
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for House Bill 2.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Concerned Women for America of Texas: Legislative Scorecard for the 83rd session.

2011

In 2011, the Texas State Legislature was in its 82nd legislative session from January 11 through May 30. A special session was called for May 31 through June 29.[9]

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to the organizations principles, missions and goals of responsible, conservative solutions for Texas.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to core budget and free enterprise issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes on social issues, economic issues and other issues.
  • The Humane Scorecard assesses support on a broad range of animal protection issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to environment and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills relating to this issue of abortion.
  • Mark P. Jones is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He builds a ranking of Texas state representatives each year based on their votes from the previous session. Jones then ranks legislators based on how liberal and conservative they are according to legislative history.
  • Legislators are scored based on 56 House votes and 38 Senate votes that offer clear public policy choice.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills with the greatest impact on Texas’ environment and public health.
  • Legislators are scored based on consumer-related bills.

Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index

See also: Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index and Empower Texans

Empower Texans produces the Fiscal Responsibility Index as "a measurement of how lawmakers perform on size and role of government issues." The index uses "exemplar votes on core budget and free enterprise issues that demonstrate legislators' governing philosophy."[10] Legislators were graded along a 0 through 100 scale in 2013 and on an A through F grading scale in 2011.

2013

West received a score of 40 in the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

2011

Royce West received a grade of F on the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Personal

West and his wife, Carol, have seven children.

Recognitions

Most recently Texas Monthly [1] named West one of the 25 most powerful politicians in the State of Texas. In the past, the magazine has also recognized him as one of the "Ten Best Legislators in Texas." In 2005 West was also named one of the key players of the Legislature in the Associated Press' "Movers and Shakers" list.

In April 2006, West was sworn in by Senate colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate, a position lasting until January of 2007.

Controversies

Legal fees and conflict of interest

In March 2007, "Unfair Park," The Dallas Oberver blog, reported West receiving nearly $2.5 million from Dallas Independent School District during a five year period. The payment amounted from legal advising the senator provided the school district.

In January 2009, Unfair Park[2] also reported West receiving $3.8 million from DISD between October 2002 and October 2008, all of it for legal counsel.

West also was criticized following a report by the news website Texas Watchdog that his law firm earned nearly $1 million in 2008 from public-sector clients that could benefit from his position in the legislature.

West omitted some of those clients on the ethics forms filed annually with the state of Texas. The law requires legislators to disclose any fee they’ve received from either a lobbyist or an entity who employs a registered lobbyist in Austin. West amended his 2008 and 2009 forms following the report by Texas Watchdog.

West sponsored a plan in March 2009 that would make public contracts easier to enlarge without going before school boards. The plan could have applied to West's legal work for the Dallas Independent School District, if his firm used a document called a change order to amend its contract, the news website Texas Watchdog reported. Another official told the website that it is rare for lawyers to use change orders to add on to their contracts. The measure failed to make it out of Senate committee.

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
NA
Texas Senate District 23
1993-present
Succeeded by
NA