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Texas House of Representatives District 117

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Texas House of Representatives District 117
Current incumbentPhilip Cortez Democratic Party
Race27.6% White, 69.3% Black/Hispanic, 3.1% Other
Ethnicity36.8% Not Hispanic, 63.2% Hispanic
Voting age69.4% age 18 and over
Next electionNovember 4, 2014
Texas's one hundred-seventeenth state house district is represented by Democratic Representative Philip Cortez.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 168,692 civilians reside within Texas's one hundred-seventeenth state house district.[1] Texas state representatives represent an average of 167,637 residents.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 139,012 residents.[3]

About the office

Members of the Texas House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January).


To be eligible to serve in the Texas House of Representatives, a candidate must be:[4]

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 21 years old before the general election
  • A two-year resident of Texas before the general election
  • A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Texas Legislature are paid $7,200/year. Legislators receive $150/day per diem which is set by the Ethics Commission.[5]


When calculating a legislators' pension, their normal salary is artificially inflated to $125,000. This goes back to 1981, when lawmakers linked their salaries to those of state judges. Since then, they raised judges' salaries while removing the caps on their own pensions, pushing the maximum benefit up to 100% of a judge's salary.

In 2011, this resulted in an average state employee pension of $17,526 annually. The maximum pension a legislator can earn is $125,000, of which Rep. Tom Craddick (R) will be the first to qualify for when he retires. .[6]


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the house, the Governor must call a special election to fill the vacant seat.[7] A Governor's proclamation to a special election must be delivered to local elections authorities representing the vacant seat no later than 36 days before the scheduled election.[8]

The Secretary of State can declare a candidate duly elected in a special election if there is no opposition.[9]



See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Texas House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on May 29, 2012, and a general election on November 6, 2012. Philip Cortez (D) defeated incumbent John Garza (R) in the general election. Cortez defeated Tina Torres and Ken Mireles in the Democratic primary election. Cortez defeated Torres in the July 31 primary runoff. Garza was unopposed in the Republican primary election.[10]

Texas House of Representatives, District 117, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPhilip Cortez 53.8% 22,397
     Republican John Garza Incumbent 46.2% 19,214
Total Votes 41,611
Texas House of Representatives District 117 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPhilip Cortez (advanced to runoff) 35.1% 1,343
Green check mark transparent.pngTina Torres (advanced to runoff) 34% 1,302
Ken Mireles 30.9% 1,185
Total Votes 3,830

Campaign contributions

Since 2000, candidates for Texas House of Representatives District 117 have raised a total of $3,834,054. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $213,003 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Texas House of Representatives District 117
Year Amount Candidates Average
2012 $1,367,027 4 $341,757
2010 $321,116 2 $160,558
2008 $86,572 2 $43,286
2006 $407,726 2 $203,863
2004 $1,218,660 4 $304,665
2002 $363,151 3 $121,050
2000 $69,802 1 $69,802
Total $3,834,054 18 $213,003

See also

External links