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Texas State Senate District 4

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Texas State Senate District 4
Current incumbentVacant
Population815,995
Race62.8% White, 33.4% Black/Hispanic, 3.8% Other
Ethnicity80.7% Not Hispanic, 19.3% Hispanic
Voting age73.3% age 18 and over
Next electionNovember 4, 2014
Texas's fourth state senate district seat is currently vacant.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 815,995 civilians reside within Texas's fourth 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

2014

See also: Texas state legislative special elections, 2014

A special election for the position of Texas State Senate District 4 has been called for May 10. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 10, 2014. The seat is vacant following Tommy Williams's (R) retirement on October 26, 2013. Gordy Bunch (R), Brandon Creighton (R), Michael Galloway (R) and Steve Toth (R) will face off in the special election, which takes place on May 10.[11][12]

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. Incumbent Tommy Williams (R) defeated Bob Townsend (L) in the general election. William defeated Michael Galloway in the Republican primary elections.[13] A total of $1,549,617 was raised in campaign contributions. Williams raised $1,546,948. Townsend raised $400, and Galloway raised $2,269 before being defeated in the primary election.[14]

Williams officially resigned his seat October 25, 2013, effective on October 26.[15]

Texas State Senate, District 4, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTommy Williams Incumbent 89.8% 216,076
     Libertarian Bob Townsend 10.2% 24,445
Total Votes 240,521
Texas State Senate District 4 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTommy Williams Incumbent 62.5% 36,630
Michael Galloway 37.5% 21,961
Total Votes 58,591

Campaign contributions

Since 2002, candidates for Texas State Senate District 4 have raised a total of $5,508,045. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $459,004 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Texas State Senate District 4
Year Amount Candidates Average
2012 $1,549,617 3 $516,539
2010 $873,917 1 $873,917
2008 $977,883 2 $488,942
2006 $514,606 1 $514,606
2004 $461,935 1 $461,935
2002 $1,130,087 4 $282,522
Total $5,508,045 12 $459,004

See also

External links

References