John Carona

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John Carona
John Carona.jpg
Texas State Senate, District 16
In office
1997 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2015
Years in position 18
Base salary$7,200/year
Per diem$150/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected1996
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Texas-Austin, 1978
Date of birthDecember 14, 1955
Place of birthTexas City, TX
ProfessionExecutive Officer
Office website
John Carona (b. December 14, 1955) has been a Republican member of the Texas State Senate, representing District 16. He was first elected to the chamber in 1996.


Carona graduated with a B.A. in insurance and real estate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978.

In addition to being a senator, Carona is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Associa and has held that title since 1979. Prior to his election to the state senate, Carona was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1990 to 1996.[1]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Carona served on the following committees:

Texas Committee Assignments, 2013
Business & Commerce, Chair



Carona's policy positions emphasize the transportation and infrastructure have proved important issues for . In 2008, Carona co-published an op-ed titled with Senator Kirk Watson titled the "Time is now to fix transportation" in the Austin American-Statesman in which his issue positions on transportation policy were laid out. To fight the problem of declining and outdated transportation infrastructure in Texas, Carona offered the following alternatives:[2]

• "End transportation funding diversions. The State Highway Fund has long provided money for the Department of Public Safety and other priorities. We must focus this money on roads and other transportation projects.
• Use bond funding transparently. A year ago, Texans voted to dedicate $5 billion in tax supported bonds to transportation projects. The Legislature should appropriate this money for its intended purpose and commit to using it with complete transparency and accountability.
• Support regional financing tools. Other than toll roads and privatization schemes, the state has provided few options for cities, counties and other local jurisdictions to pay for transportation. The Legislature should offer voter-approved funding mechanisms for regions to plan and pay for roads, rail lines and other projects.
• Rewrite the gas tax. Texas' primary source of transportation funding cannot provide for the state's transportation needs. The Legislature must have a serious debate about restructuring the motor fuels tax to reflect the enormity of our tasks by indexing it to inflation.
• Explore new alternatives. Texas must move past a 20th century model that relies so heavily on single-occupancy vehicles and work to create a truly comprehensive statewide system for moving people and freight. This should begin by funding the Rail Relocation Fund that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005.
• Reform the Texas Department of Transportation. With its overt advocacy of privatization and occasional disregard for the Legislature, the department has rightly incurred the wrath of Texans and their representatives. Though we applaud the department's recent efforts to be more transparent and accountable, the Legislature must fundamentally reform the agency so that Texans are fully aware of its activities and never question its objectives."[2]



See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012

Carona ran in the 2012 election for Texas State Senate, District 16. Carona ran unopposed in the May 29 primary election and was unchallenged in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[3]


On Nov. 4, 2008, Carona won election to the 16th District Seat in the Texas State Senate, defeating opponents Rain Minns and Paul Osborn.[4]

Carona raised $1,305,604 for his campaign while Minns raised $113,061 and Osborn raised $0.[5]

Texas State Senate, District 16 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png John Carona (R) 122,439 56.26%
Rain Minns (D) 89,346 41.05%
Paul Osborn (L) 5,825 2.67%

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2008, a year in which Carona was up for re-election, he collected $1,305,604 in donations.[6]

His four largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Texans for Lawsuit Reform $50,000
Twenty-One PAC $25,000
Jack Pratt Sr $25,000
James Pitcock Jr $25,000


In 2004, a year in which Carona was up for re-election, he collected $926,768 in donations.[7]

His five largest contributors in 2004 were:

Donor Amount
Silber Pearlman $65,000
Lanier Law Firm PC $50,000
Bruegger, Joseph $50,000
Williams Bailey Law Firm $50,000
Hissey Keintz and Herron PLLC $50,000


In 2002, a year in which Carona was up for re-election, he collected $792,637 in donations.[8]

His five largest contributors in 2002 were:

Donor Amount
Carona Sr., Senator John $115,001
Carona Sr., John $19,475
Texas Medical Association $17,500
Texas Association of Realtors $15,000
Gallagher, Lewis, Downey, and Kim $10,000


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


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

  • 2011 Taxpayer Advocate. Carona 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."[10]


Carona and his wife, Helen, have five children: Joey, Jeff, Will, Kirsten and Kel.


Private plane reimbursements

Carona owns a private plane. In 2008-2009, according to an investigation by Texas Watchdog, Carona used his personal plane to travel in Texas, and was reimbursed $17,000 by state taxpayers for the cost of the flights he took on his private plane between January 1, 2008-May 1, 2009. According to the watchdog website, Carona could have flown on cheaper commercial transportation for the flights in question. His most expensive flight was between Dallas and El Paso in July 2008, at a roundtrip cost of about $1,300.[11]

Relative to the flights, Carona said that he flies on his private plane because he has responsibilities in the state senate and in his job as president and CEO of Associa, a national firm that specializes in homeowner association management. Carona said, "Covering both responsibilities in an efficient fashion necessitates that I avoid canceled flights and long delays in airport terminals. Therefore, by necessity, I fly private aircraft whenever possible. It allows me to fulfill my duties, without disruption, to both my constituents and my clients."[11]

Other state senators who spent taxpayer money on noncommercial airfare include Carlos Uresti and Robert Duncan.

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Political offices
Preceded by
John Leedom
Texas Senate District 16
Succeeded by