Texas State Senate District 4
|Texas State Senate District 4|
|Race||62.8% White, 33.4% Black/Hispanic, 3.8% Other|
|Ethnicity||80.7% Not Hispanic, 19.3% Hispanic|
|Voting age||73.3% age 18 and over|
|Next election||November 4, 2014|
As of the 2010 census, a total of 815,995 civilians reside within Texas's fourth state senate district. Texas state senators represent an average of 811,147 residents. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 672,640 residents.
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. Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January).
- 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
- 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.
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. .
If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Governor must call a special election to fill the vacant seat. 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.
Gordy Bunch (R), Brandon Creighton (R), Michael Galloway (R) and Steve Toth (R) faced off in the special election, which took place on May 10. Because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters - Creighton and Toth - will advance to a runoff election on August 5.
The seat is vacant following Tommy Williams's (R) retirement on October 26, 2013.
- 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. 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.
Williams officially resigned his seat October 25, 2013, effective on October 26.
|Texas State Senate, District 4, General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Tommy Williams Incumbent||89.8%||216,076|
|Texas State Senate District 4 Republican Primary, 2012|
|Tommy Williams Incumbent||62.5%||36,630|
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|
- Texas Legislative Council, "Senate District 4 - Plans172," accessed September 26, 2013
- U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census Interactive Population Search," accessed February 14, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Texas State Legislature, "Texas Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Article 3, Section 3)
- Texas Secretary of State, "Qualifications for office," accessed December 18, 2013
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
- Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3))
- Texas Legislature, "Texas Election Code," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3)(b)-(c))
- Texas Legislature, "Texas Election Code," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 2.055 (3)(b)-(c))
- Texas Secretary of State, "Official candidate list," accessed March 14, 2014
- yourhoustonnews.com, "ELECTION 2014: Senate District 4 race headed for runoff," May 10, 2014
- Texas Secretary of State, "Runoff Election Declaration," accessed June 2, 2014
- kxan.com, "Special state Senate election date set," November 7, 2013
- Office of the Secretary of State, "State of Texas 2012 General Election," November 6, 2012
- followthemoney.org, "State of Texas 2012 Senate Candidates," accessed November 27, 2013
- The Potpourri, "State Sen. Tommy Williams makes senate resignation official," October 26, 2013