James Talarico

James Dell Talarico (born May 17, 1989) is an American politician and former teacher. He was elected to the Texas State House of Representatives in 2018 to represent District 52, which includes the cities of Round Rock, Taylor, Hutto, and Georgetown in Williamson County.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

James Talarico
Official Headshot of Representative James Talarico.png
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
Assumed office
November 19, 2018
Preceded byLarry Gonzales
Personal details
Born (1989-05-17) May 17, 1989 (age 32)
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceRound Rock, Texas, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Texas at Austin (BA)
Harvard University (MA)

Talarico currently serves on the Texas House of Representative's Public Education and the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues committees.[2]

Early life and educationEdit

Talarico was born at Round Rock Hospital in Williamson County, Texas, to Tamara Causey and was later adopted by Mark Talarico. He has a younger sister. He attended Round Rock ISD schools and graduated from McNeil High School in Williamson County.

Talarico earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin,[3] where he organized students for tuition relief.[4] Talarico was a member of the Friar Society, the University of Texas's oldest honor society.[5] He later earned a Master of Arts degree in education policy from Harvard University.[6]


In 2011, Talarico joined Teach For America, teaching sixth grade English language arts at Rhodes Middle School on the west side of San Antonio. [7] After leaving the classroom, Talarico was the central Texas executive director for Reasoning Mind, a Texas nonprofit focusing on bringing technology to low-income classrooms.

2018 campaign and legislative sessionEdit

Talarico launched his campaign for the Texas House shortly after incumbent state legislator Larry Gonzales announced his retirement. At 28, Talarico won both the special and general elections against republican Cynthia Flores in 2018,[8] garnering media attention for walking the full length of the district.[9]

Texas House of RepresentativesEdit

Talarico was sworn into the Texas House of Representatives on November 20, 2018. He was appointed to the Public Education and Juvenile Justice Committees, and currently serves as the youngest member of the Texas Legislature.[10]

In the 86th Texas Legislature, He filed the Whole Student Agenda,[11] a legislative package with bills addressing public education policy. As a member of the Public Education Committee, he helped draft House Bill 3, which contained $11.6 billion in funds for school finance and property tax reform [12]

During his first term, a recording of Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen was leaked by Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans. In it, Bonnen claimed he had recruited a challenger for "that Talarico kid."[13]

2020 campaign and legislative sessionEdit

Talarico won reelection against former Hutto City Councilmember Lucio Valdez with 51.5% of the vote.[14] For the 87th Legislative Session, he was reappointed to the Public Education and Juvenile Justice Committees and appointed to the Calendars committee.[15]

During the 87th Legislative Session, he filed Javier Ambler's Law, demanding an end to police contracts with reality TV shows,[16] in response to the role Live PD is alleged to have played in the killing of Javier Ambler by Williamson County police. He had previously criticized Sheriff Robert Chody's handling of the incident, calling for his resignation.[17]

Other political activitiesEdit

In 2019, Talarico endorsed former U.S. Cabinet Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in the 2020 presidential election and spoke at his campaign kickoff rally.[18]

Election historyEdit


Texas General Election, 2018: House District 52[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Talarico 36,798 51.7%
Republican Cynthia Flores 34,340 48.3%
Margin 2,438 3.4%
Texas Special Election, 2018: House District 52[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Talarico 32,235 50.89%
Republican Cynthia Flores 31,113 49.11%
Margin 1,122 1.78%


Texas General Election, 2020: House District 52[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Talarico 50,520 51.5%
Republican Lucio Valdez 47,611 48.5%
Margin 2,909 3.0%


  1. ^ "Cities - House District 52" (PDF).
  2. ^ publisher@taylorpress.net, Richard Stone. "Talarico wins seat on Pub Ed Committee". Taylor Press. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Freshman lawmakers Jon Rosenthal, James Talarico reflect on how UT impacted their future - The Daily Texan". www.dailytexanonline.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "University of Texas Grapples With Tuition, Funding". ABC News.
  5. ^ https://www.friarsociety.org/our-members/alumni/
  6. ^ S, Austin; ers; Fri.; Jan. 4; 2019. "Rep. James Talarico on the 86th Texas Legislature". www.austinchronicle.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ McNeel, Bekah. "Texas's 'Whole Student Agenda': How a Former Teacher Is Using His Legislative Seat to Push 24 New Bills Supporting Sex Ed, Mental Health, Restorative Justice & More". Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Texas House of Representatives District 52". Ballotpedia. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  9. ^ https://www.statesman.com/NEWS/20180507/Texas-House-candidate-James-Talarico-takes-campaign-to-the-streets
  10. ^ "James Talarico, youngest state representative in Texas Legislature, settles in for the 86th session". January 8, 2019.
  11. ^ McNeel, Bekah. "Texas's 'Whole Student Agenda': How a Former Teacher Is Using His Legislative Seat to Push 24 New Bills Supporting Sex Ed, Mental Health, Restorative Justice & More". Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  12. ^ Svitek, Patrick (June 11, 2019). "Gov. Greg Abbott signs $11.6 billion school finance measure into law". The Texas Tribune.
  13. ^ https://www.texastribune.org/2019/10/15/key-excerpts-secret-recording-house-speaker-dennis-bonnen/
  14. ^ https://www.kxan.com/news/your-local-election-hq/incumbent-talarico-faces-challenger-valdez-for-texas-house-district-52
  15. ^ https://house.texas.gov/members/member-page/?district=52
  16. ^ https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/new-williamson-co-sheriff-reacts-to-bill-that-would-ban-police-contracts-with-reality-tv
  17. ^ https://www.fox7austin.com/news/state-rep-james-talarico-joins-calls-for-williamson-county-sheriff-robert-chody-to-resign
  18. ^ "Julián Castro 2020 Presidential Bid - James Talarico Isolated | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  19. ^ "Elected Officials Directory: Texas Representative James Talarico". The Texas Tribune.
  20. ^ "2018 Special Election House District 52".
  21. ^ "Directory: James Talarico". November 4, 2020.

External linksEdit