Texas State Senate District 22

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Texas State Senate District 22
Current incumbentBrian Birdwell Republican Party
Population809,840
Race63.1% White, 33.5% Black/Hispanic, 3.4% Other
Ethnicity78.5% Not Hispanic, 21.5% Hispanic
Voting age73.1% age 18 and over
Next electionNovember 4, 2014
Texas's twenty-second state senate district is represented by Republican Senator Brian Birdwell.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 809,840 civilians reside within Texas's twenty-second state senate district.[1] Texas state senators represent an average of 811,147 residents.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 672,640 residents.[3]

About the office

Members of the Texas State Senate serve four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. One-half of the Senate membership is elected every two years in even-numbered years, with the exception that all 31 Senate seats are up for election for the first legislature following the decennial census in order to reflect the newly redrawn districts. After the initial election, the Senate is divided by lot into two classes, with one class having a re-election after two years and the other having a re-election after four years.[4] Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January).

Qualifications

To be eligible to serve in the Texas State Senate, a candidate must be:[5]

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

Salaries

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.[6]

Pension

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. .[7]

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Governor must call a special election to fill the vacant seat.[8] 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.[9]

The Secretary of State can declare a candidate duly elected in a special election if there is no opposition.[10]

Elections

2012

See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Texas State Senate consisted of a primary election on May 29, 2012, and a general election on November 6, 2012. Brian Birdwell (R) defeated Tom Kilbride (L) in the general election. Both candidates were unopposed in the primary elections.[11] In 2012, a total of $550,568 was raised in campaign contributions. Birdwell raised $549,148, and Kilbride raised $700. Lyndon Laird (D) raised $720 before withdrawing.[12]

Texas State Senate, District 22, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Birdwell 85.2% 188,544
     Libertarian Tom Kilbride 14.8% 32,786
Total Votes 221,330

Campaign contributions

Since 2002, candidates for Texas State Senate District 22 have raised a total of $4,729,210. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $394,101 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Texas State Senate District 22
Year Amount Candidates Average
2012 $550,568 3 $183,523
2010 $736,122 3 $245,374
2008 $837,572 1 $837,572
2006 $898,834 1 $898,834
2004 $412,967 1 $412,967
2002 $1,293,147 3 $431,049
Total $4,729,210 12 $394,101

See also

External links

References