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|Running for Attorney General of Texas|
|General election||November 4, 2014|
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108|
|2003 - Present|
|January 13, 2015|
|Years in position||12|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Bachelor's||Oklahoma Christian University, 1980|
|J.D.||Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1983|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Committee assignments
- 3 Issues
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Scorecards
- 7 Personal
- 8 Recent news
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Branch earned a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Christian University in 1980 and earned a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1983.
Upon receiving his law school degree, Branch was brought to Washington D.C., where he worked as an aide to then-United States Senator John Tower. He then went on to serve on the Texas Supreme Court as a judicial clerk for Chief Justice Jack Pope, a position he maintained for three years beginning in 1982. For over two decades, Branch has practiced law at a number of private firms across the state of Texas. In 1984, he joined the prestigious global law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP where he remained for the next two years. From 1987 until 1991, Branch served as an attorney at law for Baker Botts L.L.P., a major United States-based international law firm. He left the firm to found his own, working as a partner of Langley and Branch for eight years before aligning himself with Winstead, Sechrest, and Minick, one of the largest business firms in the state whose attorneys and consultants serve as trusted advisors to mid-market and large businesses throughout the country, as both an attorney as well as a shareholder.
Branch entered local politics when he campaigned in 1991 for United States House of Representatives seat in the third congressional district. Despite winning the party nomination, he ultimately lost the general election contest. Although he served as co-chair of the Dallas County George W. Bush for Governor committee in both 1994 and 1998, Branch would not take a more active role in local politics for another eight years. It was in 1999 that he was named as chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority, a state political organization created in 1984 by the Texas Legislature to provide financing for the construction and/or acquisition of facilities created for the use of state agencies; he remained in this role for two years. When George W. Bush ran for President of the United States in 2000, Branch acted first as member of the Texas delegation at the Republican National Convention and then later as a member of the Bush-Cheney Florida Legal Team during the hotly contested recount effort in December 2000.
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Branch served on the following committees:
|Texas Committee Assignments, 2013|
|• Higher Education, Chair|
|• Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency, Co-Chair|
During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Branch served on the following Texas House of Representatives committees:
- Calendars Committee
- Elections Committee
- Higher Education Committee Chair
- Redistricting Committee
- State Sovereignty, Select Committee
Branch has made state legislative voting transparency a signature issue. The Dallas Morning News commended him for this, writing, "It's a good day when a bright, upwardly mobile state legislator like Dan Branch goes on record in support of recorded votes. We salute Mr. Branch."
Texas Monthly in its "Best and Worst Legislators of 2009" edition said that Branch is one of the state's best legislators because he has put "Texas on the path to developing more top-tier universities."
University of Texas investigations
After he was appointed in 2011, University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall began looking into what he believed to be clout scandals within the University of Texas system. Hall investigated the university's forgivable-loans program and admissions policies and preferential treatment to politically-connected individuals. Hall, as an individual citizen, filed a large number of FOIA requests with the University system after his inquiries via his role as a Regent were rebuffed. According to his accusers, Hall filed requests of more than 800,000 pages, which some Texas administrators called an unnecessary burden. However, a letter from University chancellor Francisco Cigarroa in February 2014 said that Hall likely requested fewer than 100,000 pages. In addition, Cigarroa wrote: "During testimony before the Select Committee, some early witnesses implied that the U.T. System has not protected the privacy rights of students, staff, and patients. This is simply not true." Governor Rick Perry and University of Texas President Bill Powers have differed on education issues, specifically tuition, graduation rates, teacher roles and research.
An effort was begun in June 2013 to try and impeach Hall from his position as Regent. On June 24, 2013, State House representative Jim Pitts (R) filed a resolution to advance along impeachment proceedings of Hall by the select committee. However, State House Speaker Joe Straus issued a proclamation that expanded the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, allowing it to investigate a possible impeachment. Some legislators are justifying the impeachment on the grounds that Hall did not disclose several lawsuits that he was involved in when he originally completed his Regent background check. Hall updated Perry's office in April 2013 with the full list. No unelected official in Texas has ever been successfully impeached or removed from office. Perry's spokesperson said the investigations send a "chilling message" to gubernatorial appointees. He added that the investigation was "extraordinary political theater." Texas state legislators have never previously tried to remove an appointed official. Only two elected officials in the history of Texas have ever been successfully impeached.
Branch is co-chairman of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency, which inquired into the possibility of an impeachment. In an April 2013 interview with Texas Monthly, Hall said that there was little outreach from state officials about the process prior to the impeachment proceedings. "Dan Branch has been a friend of mine for many years. He’s never asked me a question about this situation, and the next thing I know he’s asking his staff to investigate the rules for impeachment. I’m mystified by that, frankly," Hall said.
In November 2013, committee member Trey Martinez Fischer submitted a request indicating a desire to look at Hall's personal computers, iPads and smartphones as part of the investigation. "we must consider forensic examination of the personal or professional electronic communications of the regents in order to ensure compliance with the law," Fischer wrote in a letter to committee attorney Rusty Hardin.
At a November 12, 2013, meeting, the committee issued a subpoena for Hall to appear on December 10. However, legislators quickly rescinded the subpoena, since no meeting was scheduled until December 18. Legislators also voted to issue subpoenas to University of Texas Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and University of Texas, Austin President Bill Powers to appear at the December 18, 2013 meeting.
In a July 2014 op-ed, the Wall Street Journal commented that Powers' resignation would bring more attention and scrutiny to the political favoritism scandals at the University of Texas. According to a University of Texas investigation, Branch wrote seven letters to Powers seeking special attention for applicants.
- HB 51 - Relating to measures to enhance and maintain the quality of state universities, including funding and incentives to support emerging public research universities, to the abolition of the higher education fund, to the institutional groupings under the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's accountability system, to the independent status of Lamar Institute of Technology, to research conducted by public universities and other state entities, and to the authorization of revenue bonds for certain institutions of higher education.
- HB 55 - Relating to an offense of using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
- HB 1768 - Relating to the elimination of straight-party voting. (Left pending in committee)
- HB 4292 - Relating to access to criminal history record information by the office of the attorney general. (Reported favorably w/o amendment(s))
- HB 4293 - Relating to notice to the attorney general of an action, suit, or proceeding challenging the validity of a Texas statute or rule. (Referred to State Affairs)
- HJR 16 - Proposing a constitutional amendment requiring any increase in a franchise tax rate to be approved by three-fourths of all the members elected to each house of the legislature. (Left pending in committee)
- HJR 139 - Proposing a constitutional amendment establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund. (Referred to Higher Education)
- HB 4031 - Relating to the agricultural biomass and landfill diversion incentive program.
- HB 4149 - Relating to certain studies and reports by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding achievable cost-saving measures and the use and availability of electronic textbooks at institutions of higher education.
- HB 4386 - Relating to the creation of DNA records for the DNA database system. (Laid on the table subject to call)
- SB 174 - Relating to accountability of institutions of higher education, including educator preparation programs, and online institution resumes for public institutions of higher education.
- SB 175 - Relating to the automatic admission of undergraduate students to certain general academic teaching institutions and to scholarship and other programs to facilitate enrollment at institutions of higher education.
- SB 1081 - Relating to access to criminal history record information by the office of the attorney general.
- SB 2244 - Relating to the eligibility of employees of certain businesses or organizations established as part of the state's economic development program and of dependents of those employees to pay resident tuition at public institutions of higher education.
- SB 2262 - Relating to the administration of mathematics, science, and technology teacher preparation academies at institutions of higher education.
Branch's answers to the Texas State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test are available. The test informs voters how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected. He did not provide an answer when asked his legislative priorities.
- See also: Texas attorney general election, 2014
Branch ran for election as Texas Attorney General. Branch came in second for the Republican nomination in the primary on March 4, 2014 and faced a runoff with Ken Paxton on May 27, in which he also came second, losing the nomination to Ken Paxton. The general election took place November 4, 2014.
|Texas Attorney General Republican Primary, 2014|
|Election Results via http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe Texas Secretary of State].|
|Texas Attorney General Republican Runoff, 2014|
|Election Results via Texas Secretary of State.|
- Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Troy Aikman
Branch won re-election in the 2012 election for Texas House of Representatives, District 108. Branch ran unopposed in the May 29 primary election and defeated Jarrett Rab Woods (L) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108, General Election, 2012|
|Republican||Dan Branch Incumbent||79.7%||43,675|
|Libertarian||Jarrett Rab Woods||20.3%||11,133|
| Texas House of Representatives, District 108 |
2010 General election results
|Dan Branch (R)||21,420||64.91%|
|Pete Schulte (D)||10,793||32.71%|
|Jarrett Woods (L)||783||2.37%|
On November 4, 2008, Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives from the 108th District, receiving 33,442 votes ahead of Libertarian Emil Reichstadt (21,737). He raised $1,546,864 for his campaign; Reichstadt raised $60,715.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108|
|Dan Branch (R)||33,442||60.60%|
|Emil Reichstadt (D)||21,737||39.39%|
Branch raised $639,610 for his campaign while Borden raised $1,600 and Fisher raised $1,245.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108 (2006)|
|Dan Branch (R)||17,244|
|Jack Borden (D)||12,447|
|T. Evan Fisher (L)||1,106|
Branch raised $527,402 for his campaign while Dade raised $6,712.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108 (2004)|
|Dan Branch (R)||31,684|
|Malcom Dade (D)||19,010|
Branch raised $421,614 for his campaign while Malcom raised $4,323.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 108 (2002)|
|Dan Branch (R)||21,514|
|Malcom Dade (D)||10,862|
Comprehensive donor information for Branch is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Branch raised a total of $7,108,428 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 15, 2013.
|Dan Branch's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Texas State House, District 108||$2,594,365|
|2010||Texas State House, District 108||$1,378,573|
|2008||Texas State House, District 108||$1,546,864|
|2006||Texas State House, District 108||$639,610|
|2004||Texas State House, District 108||$527,402|
|2002||Texas State House, District 108||$421,614|
|Grand Total Raised||$7,108,428|
2012Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $2,594,365.
|Texas House of Representatives 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2012|
|Crow, Trammell S||$225,000|
|Rees-Jones, Trevor D||$159,144|
|Perry, Bob J||$110,000|
|Andrews, Barry G||$86,440|
|ODonnell Jr, Peter||$60,000|
|Total Raised in 2012||$2,594,365|
|Source:Follow the Money|
2010Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $1,378,573.
|Texas House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2010|
|Perot Sr., Ross||$55,000|
|Crow, Harlan R.||$50,000|
|Perry, Bob J.||$30,000|
|Total Raised in 2010||$1,378,573|
|Source:Follow the Money|
2008Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2008. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $1,546,864.
|Texas House of Representatives 2008 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2008|
|Dan Branch Cmte||$446,002|
|Perry, Bob J||$50,000|
|Crow, Harlan R||$38,985|
|Crow, Trammell S||$26,000|
|Total Raised in 2008||$1,546,864|
|Source:Follow the Money|
2006Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2006. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $639,610.
|Texas House of Representatives 2006 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2006|
|Time Warner Cable||$51,500|
|Crow, Trammell S||$29,000|
|Crow, Harlan R||$13,000|
|Jackson, Mark A||$11,000|
|ODonnell Jr, Peter||$10,000|
|Total Raised in 2006||$639,610|
|Source:Follow the Money|
2004Branch won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2004. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $527,402.
|Texas House of Representatives 2004 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2004|
|Crow, Trammell S||$17,500|
|Crow, Harlan R||$12,000|
|Turpin, Jack A||$10,000|
|Odonnell Jr, Peter||$10,000|
|Beecherl, Louis A||$10,000|
|Total Raised in 2004||$527,402|
|Source:Follow the Money|
2002Branch won election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002. During that election cycle, Branch raised a total of $421,614.
|Texas House of Representatives 2002 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Dan Branch's campaign in 2002|
|Salvino, Victor E||$11,793|
|Trammell Crow Co||$7,500|
|Crow, Harlan R||$6,250|
|Total Raised in 2002||$421,614|
|Source:Follow the Money|
Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index
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." Legislators were graded along a 0 through 100 scale in 2013 and on an A through F grading scale in 2011.
Test received a score of 58.2 in the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index, compared to the grade of C+ that Test received for the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.
Dan Branch received a grade of C+ on the 2011 Fiscal Responsibility Index.
Branch and his wife, Stacey, have five children, named Daniel Jr., Spencer, Catherine, Charles, and Sarah. They currently live in Dallas, Texas.
Organizations and other activities
- Secretary, The Fund for American Studies (1993-present)
- Board Member, The John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (1997-present)
- Trustee, Southwestern Medical Foundation (1999-present)
- Board Member, Dallas Real Estate Council (2000-present)
- Member, Southeastern Medical Foundation (2000-present)
- President, The Dallas Assembly (2000-2001)
- Board Member, John Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (2003-present)
- Board Chair, John Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (2007- present)
- Chairman, John Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (2007-present)
- Board Member, Texas Education Reform Foundation (2008- present)
- Member, Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council
- Member, Council on Foreign Relations
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Dan + Branch + Texas + House"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Texas State Legislature
- Texas House of Representatives
- Texas House of Representatives Committees
- Texas Joint Committees
- Texas state legislative districts
- Texas House of Representatives - Rep. Dan Branch (R-108) profile
- Texans for Dan Branch Campaign website
- Profile from Open States
- Dan Branch's Twitter account
- Texas Political Almanac HD 108 page
- State Surge profile
- Texas Conservative Coalition profile
- Vote-TX.org profile
- Texas Tribune - Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) profile
- Official Campaign Contributions-Personal
- Official Campaign Contributions-Committee
- State House Campaign contributions: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012
- Project Vote Smart - Dan Branch biography
- Report Card from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
- Austin Statesman, "Branch announces candidacy for attorney general," July 23, 2013
- Dan Branch, "Pressroom"
- Texas Monthly, "The Best and Worst Legislators 2009," July 2009
- American Spectator, "Transparency for Thee," October 25, 2013
- Daily Texas Online, "Facing impeachment, Regent Wallace Hall defends actions in debate with Sen. Kirk Watson," September 28, 2013
- Daily Texas Online, "Former UT System vice chancellor alleges Regent Wallace Hall’s ‘clear intent to get rid of Bill Powers’," October 24, 2013
- Dallas Morning News, "UT regent sought 800,000 documents, official says in impeachment hearing," October 22, 2013
- Watchdog, "‘Witch hunt’ fallout: Speaker calls for narrower public records law," February 5, 2014
- Texas Tribune, "UT System Responds to Transparency Committee Directives," February 3, 2014
- Texas Tribune, "Cigarroa letter to the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations," February 1, 2014
- Austin American Statesman, "Perry pans impeachment proceedings, defends UT Regent Hall," October 30, 2013
- Alcalde, "Pitts Files Resolution to Impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall," June 24, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "UT Regent Wallace Hall Updates Lawsuit Disclosures," April 30, 2013
- Real Clear Policy, "The Campaign Against Wallace Hall," August 15, 2013
- News-Journal, "University of Texas regent not worried by impeachment inquiry," September 9, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "Transparency Committee to Mull Impeachment of UT Regent," June 25, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "Perry Blasts Impeachment Probe of Wallace Hall," October 30, 2013
- Texas Public Radio, "UT Regent Wallace Hall Will Testify In Impeachment Hearing," November 13, 2013
- Texas State House Committees, "Transparency in State Agency Operations Committee Members," accessed October 31, 2013
- Texas Monthly, "The Wallace Hall Interview," April 15, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "Lawmaker Eyes Access to UT Regents' Computers," November 4, 2013
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Texas House subpoenas Hall, but then recalls it," November 12, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "UT System Lawyer: Hall May Have Shared Private Info," November 12, 2013
- Austin American Statesman, "UT Regent Wallace Hall might have broken privacy laws, panel members suggest," November 12, 2013
- Texas Tribune, "Committee Recalls Subpoena for UT Regent Hall," November 12, 2013
- Wall Street Journal, "Texas Admissions Brawl," July 9, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 51," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 55," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 1768," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 4292," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 4293," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HJR 16," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HJR 139," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 4031," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 4149," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "HB 4386," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "SB 174," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "SB 175," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "SB 1081," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "SB 2244," accessed May 27, 2014
- Texas Legislature, "SB 2262," accessed May 27, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "Rep. Branch Issue Positions," accessed May 27, 2014
- Austin Culture Map, "Cruz to the finish line? Dallas Rep. Dan Branch joins Texas attorney general race," November 13, 2013
- Houston Chronicle, "UPDATE: Texas attorney general’s race sees strange endorsement," October 1, 2013
- Texas Secretary of State, "1992 - Current Election History," accessed February 17, 2014
- Follow the Money, "2008 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
- Follow the Money, "2006 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
- Follow the Money, "2004 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
- Follow the Money, "2002 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Branch, Dan," accessed August 15, 2013
- Empower Texans, "Fiscal Responsibility Index," accessed February 22, 2014
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