John Garza

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John Garza
John Garza.jpg
Former candidate for
Texas House of Representatives, District 117
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Texas House of Representatives
District 117
2011 - 2013
Date of birthMarch 13, 1955
Place of birthHerlong, California
John Garza (b. March 13, 1955) was a 2014 Republican candidate for District 117 of the Texas House of Representatives.[1] He held the same seat from 2011 to 2013.



  • Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, University of Denver[2]

Professional Experience

  • Founder and architect of a low-income home building company in the Rio Grande Valley[2]

Committee assignments


John Garza served on the following Texas House of Representatives committees:


Garza outlined his views on a number of issues on his campaign site:


Excerpt:"Better education does not mean simply throwing money at the problem and hoping for the best. Better education requires hard work, a community that cares, accountability, quality, and a focus on excellence...We need to first open up the school districts’ books, so that parents can watch administrators to make sure they are doing a good job...Since 2006, Texas has spent over $1.1 billion dollars on drop out prevention, yet we still have one of the highest drop out rates in the nation. We need to shift some of that money into programs that strengthen family values.

We Want:

School Choice Within The Public School System Focus on Excellence and Accountability inside the Classroom Focus on Efficiency and Provide Incentives to Teachers and Administrators Close failing public schools."


Excerpt:"We all know how expensive insurance is. No one should have to make the choice between seeing a doctor and buying dinner. I will insure Texans receive the best medical care in the country and make sure that folks don’t get stuck with impossible medical bills...The current unregulated “file-and-use” system has proved costly and inefficient. Texans love to be first, but the “file-and-use” system has made us last when it comes to the percentage of citizens without health care....The current Insurance Commissioner is appointed by the Governor. The Insurance Commissioner should be elected by the People. Citizens in states with elected commissioners pay 43% less for homeowners insurance and 12% less for health insurance...Changing the law would mean taking the power out of the hands of the insurance companies and returning it to the People.

I intend to put forth and pass legislation that will force hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers to share information upon the patient’s approval. The Veterans Hospitals have the best medical database in the nation, and there is no reason Texas shouldn’t take the lead and create the best hospital system among the states."


Excerpt:"*Immigration is both a state and federal problem. We need to prevent illegal immigration, but in doing so we will need to find real answers to the question of undocumented immigrants and workers who are already here.

  • Children born on our soil are citizens. It is our duty to insure they receive an education so that they do not become a burden to taxpayers and they are equipped with the tools to lead a strong, health, and successful life.
  • As for the undocumented immigrants and workers already here, we must find a fair and responsible solution. A combination of amnesty and a workers program would present options not yet on the table.

Solutions must be established now. Illegal immigrants cost taxpayers money. That is unacceptable."

Property Tax Reform Excerpt:"*For the last twenty years, Mr. Garza has experienced every aspect of the real estate market. He knows real estate inside and out. He is extraordinarily suited to take on unchecked property tax increases and the housing and foreclosure crisis.

  • The current 10% appraisal cap on residential properties allows the tax bill to double every seven and a half years. This cannot stand. A much lower appraisal cap is not only necessary but fair.
  • By requiring city and county elected officials to serve on appraisal boards the constituency would be demanding accountability of their representatives. This in turn would force the appraisal boards to answer to taxpayers instead of the current system of zero accountability."[2]



See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for all 150 seats in the Texas House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 4, 2014. Those candidates who did not receive 50% or more of the vote in their party primary on March 4 faced an additional May 27 primary runoff. 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 Philip Cortez was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Rick Galindo defeated John Garza in the Republican primary. Cortez was defeated by Galindo in the general election.[1][3][4]

Texas House of Representatives, District 117 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRick Galindo 52.7% 12,835
     Republican Philip Cortez Incumbent 47.3% 11,521
Total Votes 24,356


See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Garza ran for re-election in the 2012 election for Texas House of Representatives, District 117. Garza ran unopposed in the May 29 primary and was defeated by Philip Cortez (D) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[5][6]

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


See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010

Garza won election to Texas House of Representatives District 117. He was unopposed in the March 2 Republican primary and ousted incumbent Democrat David McQuade Leibowitz and in the November 2 general election.[7]

Texas House of Representatives, District 117
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png John Garza (R) 14,705 51.88%
David McQuade Lebowitz (D) 13,635 48.11%

Campaign donors


Garza raised a total of $238,167 in 2010. Below are Garza's top five campaign contributors in the 2010 election:[8]

Contributor 2010 total
Garza, Debra $28,000
Texans for Lawsuit Reform $25,019
Grass Roots Institute of Texas $10,454
Associated Republicans of Texas $10,000
Hispanic Republicans of Texas $9,575


In his failed 2008 election bid, Garza raised a total of $8,554.[9]

His five largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Neely Jr, Charles $1,000
Leininger, Peter $1,000
Corte, Frank $500
Garza, Debra $500
Families for Texas $489


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 are graded along a standard grading scale, receiving grades A through F based on their performance during the legislative session.


John Garza received a grade of B+ on the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

  • 2011 Taxpayer Advocate. Garza was named a "2011 Taxpayer Advocate," which is "An award presented to by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility to legislators based on their strong rating on the most recent Fiscal Responsibility Index."[11]


Garza and his wife, Debra, have five children.

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Political offices
Preceded by
David McQuade Leibowitz (D)
Texas House of Representatives District 117
Succeeded by
Philip Cortez (D)