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Jim Turner (politician)

James William Turner, known as Jim Turner (born February 6, 1946), is an American lawyer and politician who was the Democratic U.S. Representative for Texas's 2nd congressional district from 1997 until 2005.

James William "Jim" Turner
Jim Turner.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byNancy Pelosi
Succeeded byBennie Thompson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byCharlie Wilson
Succeeded byTed Poe
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 5th district
In office
1991–1997
Preceded byKent Caperton
Succeeded bySteve Ogden
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 15th district
In office
1981–1984
Preceded byEmmett Whitehead
Succeeded byMike McKinne
Personal details
Born (1946-02-06) February 6, 1946 (age 73)
Fort Lewis, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ginny Turner (married 1970)
ChildrenJohn Turner
Susan Turner Nold
EducationUniversity of Texas at Austin (BA, MBA, JD)
OccupationLawyer

Early life, education, and early careerEdit

Turner was born in Fort Lewis, Washington, but reared in Crockett in Houston County in East Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in business, and simultaneously earned an MBA and a J.D., all from the University of Texas at Austin. Following graduation, he was commissioned in the United states Army and served eight years (active and reserve), attaining the rank of captain. His legal career in Texas included his own law practice in his hometown of Crockett, his partnership in the Austin office of Hughes & Luce, LLP and serving Of Counsel with Hance Scarborough, LLP.

State politicsEdit

Prior to being elected to Congress, Turner held several state and local offices. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 to 1984, mayor of Crockett from 1989 to 1991, and a member of the Texas Senate from 1991 to 1996. He succeeded Kent Caperton of Bryan in the Senate. Caperton did not seek reelection in 1990, and Turner defeated the Republican Lou Zaeske, also of Bryan, head of the Texas English-only movement. For two years, Turner was an executive assistant to Texas Governor Mark White.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

In 1996, 2nd district U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson, known for his role in funding the resistance to Afghanistan's communist government, decided not to run for a thirteenth term. Turner won the Democratic nomination to succeed him and was handily elected in November 1996, when Bill Clinton was reelected as U.S. President. He was reelected three times with no substantive opposition. Congressman Turner sat on the House Armed Services Committee, and was the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Considered a somewhat fiscally Conservative Democrat, Turner co-chaired the Blue Dog Coalition and was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

In 2003, Turner was one of the targets of a highly controversial redistricting engineered by Tom DeLay. The Texas Legislature dismantled his district, which covered a large portion of East Texas stretching from Lufkin to the suburbs of Houston, and split its territory among three districts. The largest portion was shifted to the 8th District, represented by Republican Kevin Brady, who had been elected the same year as Turner. While Turner had represented more of the new 8th than Brady, most of the 8th's vote was cast in heavily Republican Montgomery County, which has as much population as the rest of the district combined. His home in Crockett was thrown into the Fort Worth/Arlington-based 6th district, an even more Republican area represented by the then ten-term incumbent Joe Barton (who vacates the seat in 2019). Barton represented 96 percent of the population of the new district. Believing that he stood no realistic chance of staying in Congress, Turner decided not to seek a fifth term in 2004.

Post-political careerEdit

He was briefly mentioned in 2006 as a potential candidate for governor of Texas against Rick Perry or the United States Senate seat then held by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison but now the domain of Senator Ted Cruz.

In 2005, Turner joined the Washington office of Arnold & Porter, LLP as the head of the Public Policy and Legislative Practice Group.[1] In 2017, he became associated with the Austin law firm of Hance Scarborough, LLP, where he is Of Counsel and works in their government relations practice group.

Personal lifeEdit

He and his wife, Ginny, were married in 1970. They have two children, John Turner and Susan Turner Nold, who are both attorneys in Texas. John Turner, who practices in the Dallas firm of Haynes and Boone, is a state representative for House District 114.

Election historyEdit

1994Edit

Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 5[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jim Turner (Incumbent) 82,541 55.99 -44.01
Republican Jerry T. Thornton 64,875 44.01 +44.01
Majority 17,666 11.98 -88.02
Turnout 147,416 +9.30
Democratic hold

1992Edit

Texas general election, 1992: Senate District 5[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Jim Turner (Incumbent) 134,875 100.00
Majority 134,875 100.00
Turnout 134,875
Democratic hold

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Jim Turner". Arnold & Porter LP. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  2. ^ "1994 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  3. ^ "1992 General Election". Office of the Secretary of State (Texas). Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-02.

External linksEdit

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Emmett Whitehead
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
for the 15th district

James William "Jim" Turner
1981–1984

Succeeded by
Mike McKinne
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Kent Caperton
Member of the Texas Senate
for the 5th district

1991–1997
Succeeded by
Steve Ogden
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charlie Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
for Texas's 2nd congressional district

1997–2005
Succeeded by
Ted Poe
Preceded by
Nancy Pelosi
Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Bennie Thompson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris John
Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications
2001–2003
Served alongside: Chris John (Administration), Allen Boyd (Policy)
Succeeded by
Baron Hill
Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
2003–2005
Served alongside: Baron Hill (Communications), Charles Stenholm (Policy)
Succeeded by
Jim Matheson