Statewide NewsA List of Texas State Representatives’ Stances on Defunding the Police

The Texan asked Texas House members to state their position on whether they support proposals falling under the umbrella call to "defund the police."
Since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, protests have sprung up across the country. From them, a new call to “Defund the Police” has emerged.

While not one unified set of demands for reform exists, some common themes can be found at the forefront of the discussion.

The Texan asked every member of the Texas House whether they supported or opposed the following proposals:

  • The complete abolition of police departments
  • Using funding to leverage policy changes in the police departments
  • Shifting large portions of funding to community resources

Legislators were given the option to respond in the following ways:

  • Yes, I support all of the stated proposals.
  • No, I support none of the stated proposals.
  • Or, respond with a brief statement further specifying or clarifying your position.

Their responses are listed below. If a member replied after the deadline, an asterisk will appear next to their name.

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To see how Texas Senators responded, click here.

To see how the Texas congressional delegation responded, click here.

Gary VanDeaver (R)1Statement"I am opposed to defunding police departments and believe it is very reckless to even discuss such action. I am convinced that policies and expectations concerning police action must be reviewed and improved, but this must be a much larger discussion and something that must be done with careful and thoughtful manner."
Dan Flynn (R)2Statement"We are seeing themes from the left of reducing police budgets or totally defunding them. Many of you are deeply concerned about this, and you should be. A prime socialist way to gain control of you is to weaken or eliminate opposition to law and order that is counter to “their” view of ‘justice’ because if you don’t have protection, then you don’t have an ability to fight them off. I continue to promise to fully fund law enforcement and fight attempts to take away their ability to ‘protect and serve’. Additionally I will work toward enhancing funding to strengthen ties and cooperation between communities, schools and the police so that we may continue to have liberty instead of government dominance."
Cecil Bell (R)3Did not reply.
Keith Bell (R)4Did not reply.
Cole Hefner (R)5No
Matt Schaefer (R)6Statement"Defunding the police is a destructive proposal, and I reject it in the strongest terms. Abolishing or significantly reducing police resources as proposed will endanger public safety."
Jay Dean (R)7Did not reply.
Cody Harris (R)8Statement"The idea of defunding the police is beyond absurd. While we must take steps to ensure that what happened to George Floyd never happens again in America, getting rid of entire police departments illustrates, perfectly, how incredibly naïve and irrational modern liberalism is. I always have and always will strongly support the thousands upon thousands of good, honest law enforcement officers throughout Texas who put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe."
Chris Paddie (R)9Did not reply.
John Wray (R)10Did not reply.
Travis Clardy (R)11Did not reply.
Kyle Kacal (R)12Did not reply.
Ben Leman (R)13Did not reply.
John Raney (R)14Did not reply.
Steve Toth (R)15No
Will Metcalf (R)16Did not reply.
John Cyrier (R)17Did not reply.
Ernest Bailes (R)18Did not reply.
James White (R)19Statement"Fundamentally, I am opposed to all of this leftist orthodoxy. No, I support none of the stated proposals."
*Terry Wilson (R)20No
Dade Phelan (R)21Did not reply.
Joe Deshotel (D)22Did not reply.
Mayes Middleton (R)23No
Greg Bonnen (R)24Did not reply.
Dennis Bonnen (R)25Did not reply.
Rick Miller (R)26Did not reply.
Ron Reynolds (D)27Did not reply.
Gary Gates (R)28Statement"The situation with Mr Floyd is tragic and it certainly brings to light changes should be implemented. It’s irresponsible to suggest abolishing the police departments. I believe we should reduce and move away from the militarization of our police department’s. They are acquiring military type equipment that tends to bolden aggressive tactics. Bring in more due process in seizures by authorities. There needs to be more open investigations of complaints and stiffer penalties. It appears the officer in this situation had numerous complaints and little was done.

But the problem goes deeper than over aggressive police tactics. I’m not for more government polices that discourages families. There should be more opportunities in our schools to have access to vocational training that starts in 8th grade. Have student’s working part time in their skills by 11th grade. Learn high paying jobs at earlier age. Plumbing, carpentry, electrical and etc..

I present these from a background of raising four black kids who are producing members of society and I employee 500 workers of which 90% are blue collar jobs but rarely have people from the black community apply for these jobs. Many of these pay 35k to 70k per year."
Ed Thompson (R)29Did not reply.
Geanie W. Morrison (R)30Did not reply.
Ryan Guillen (D)31Did not reply.
Todd Hunter (R)32Did not reply.
Justin Holland (R)33Statement"The reason that I am in public service is because of both my grandfather and great grandfather who served as a Rockwall County Constable and my hometown's first Chief of Police in the 1970's, respectively. Both of them also served as Rockwall County Sheriff's Deputies and my great grandfather was a jailer in Huntsville at the beginning of his career. Their example is both admirable and inspired me to serve. I consistently vote 100% the time with law enforcement (i.e. CLEAT, TMPA and DPA) and fully stand by our law enforcement community. I am a member of the Rockwall County Sheriff's Posse and will always support the LE community. I have always shown a strong record both at the local city council level in supporting funding of public safety and in the legislature as a member of the committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety."
Abel Herrero (D)34Did not reply.
Oscar Longoria (D)35Did not reply.
Sergio Muñoz Jr. (D)36Did not reply.
Alex Dominguez (D)37Did not reply.
Eddie Lucio III (D)38Did not reply.
Armando "Mando" Martinez (D)39Did not reply.
Terry Canales (D)40Did not reply.
Bobby Guerra (D)41Did not reply.
Richard Peña Raymond (D)42Did not reply.
J.M. Lozano (R)43Did not reply.
John Kuempel (R)44Did not reply.
Erin Zwiener (D)45Did not reply.
Sheryl Cole (D)46Did not reply.
Vikki Goodwin (D)47Did not reply.
Donna Howard (D)48Did not reply.
Gina Hinojosa (D)49Did not reply.
Celia Israel (D)50Did not reply.
Eddie Rodriguez (D)51Did not reply.
James Talarico (D)52Did not reply.
Andrew Murr (R)53Did not reply.
Brad Buckley (R)54No
Hugh Shine (R)55Did not reply.
Charles "Doc" Anderson (R)56Did not reply.
Trent Ashby (R)57Did not reply.
Dewayne Burns (R)58Did not reply.
J.D. Sheffield (R)59Statement“I do not support the abolition, defunding. or shifting of resources away from our police forces.”
Mike Lang (R)60No
Phil King (R)61No
Reggie Smith (R)62Did not reply.
Tan Parker (R)63Did not reply.
Lynn Stucky (R)64Did not reply.
Michelle Beckley (D)65Did not reply.
Matt Shaheen (R)66Statement“I will never support radical leftists' agenda of placing the life and property of millions of Texans at risk by defunding the police."
Jeff Leach (R)67Statement"Any suggestions that police agencies should be defunded are reckless and wrong. We will boldly pursue justice for any Texan wronged by police misconduct and will work collaboratively with our officers to institute smart and sensible reforms going forward. But make no mistake: there are thousands of amazingly selfless, brave, decent and good men and women serving in the thin blue line in Texas - and the Texas legislature must and will have their back."
Drew Springer (R)68No
James Frank (R)69Did not reply.
Scott Sanford (R)70No
Stan Lambert (R)71Did not reply.
Drew Darby (R)72Did not reply.
Kyle Biedermann (R)73Statement"I believe policy changes should be ever-evolving to ensure the highest standard of safety for both citizens and law enforcement. With that said, without law enforcement, there is no point in having laws and the safety of law abiding citizens will be easily compromised by law breakers and evil doers. There is no justice in that. If you are looking for justice, law and order is a requirement for a civilized society. I completely oppose any efforts to abolish or defund police departments."
Poncho Nevárez (D)74Did not reply.
Mary González (D)75Did not reply.
Cesar Blanco (D)76Did not reply.
Evelina "Lina" Ortega (D)77Did not reply.
Joe Moody (D)78Did not reply.
Art Fierro (D)79Did not reply.
Tracy O. King (D)80Did not reply.
Brooks Landgraf (R)81Did not reply.
Tom Craddick (R)82Did not reply.
Dustin Burrows (R)83No
John Frullo (R)84Statement"I do not support defunding the police."
Phil Stephenson (R)85Did not reply.
John T. Smithee (R)86Did not reply.
Four Price (R)87Did not reply.
Ken King (R)88Did not reply.
Candy Noble (R)89No
Ramon Romero Jr. (D)90Did not reply.
Stephanie Klick (R)91Did not reply.
Jonathan Stickland (R)92Did not reply.
*Matt Krause (R)93Statement“I do not support defunding police. The murder of George Floyd was tragic and unnecessary, but I cannot support an action that will make our communities less safe. This legislative session I will work with my colleagues to ensure law enforcement across the state has the necessary resources and training to protect their communities and hold officers accountable who use unnecessary excessive force.”
Tony Tinderholt (R)94Statement“What happened in Minneapolis was a true tragedy. The life of George Floyd mattered, and those who ended his life need to be brought to justice. I have chosen to be slow to speak into this issue to allow time to process all that is happening. Far too often politicians have knee-jerk reactions to whatever crisis is before them.

What happened to George Floyd must never happen in Texas - or anywhere else - ever again. I am committed to working with all stakeholders to punish bad policing swiftly, while also ensuring our law enforcement is fully funded and prepared to keep our communities safe.

Any reforms we put in place must lead to more justice and proper protections for citizens. Some solutions suggested by far-left radicals would lead to anarchy and open the door to mass crime and more unjust acts perpetuated against our poorest communities. I will not allow that happen.”
Nicole Collier (D)95Did not reply.
Bill Zedler (R)96No
Craig Goldman (R)97Did not reply.
Giovanni Capriglione (R)98Did not reply.
Charlie Geren (R)99Did not reply.
Lorraine Birabil (D)100Did not reply.
Chris Turner (D)101Did not reply.
Ana-Maria Ramos (D)102Did not reply.
Rafael Anchia (D)103Did not reply.
Jessica González (D)104Did not reply.
Thresa "Terry" Meza (D)105Did not reply.
Jared Patterson (R)106No
Victoria Neave (D)107Did not reply.
Morgan Meyer (R)108Did not reply.
*Carl Sherman Jr. (D)109Statement"As a former Mayor and City Manager, as well as citizen, I do believe we need reform in this area. I also believe that we, as individuals, have the right to hold our police accountable. We must also remember that we as a community need to also be involved in this and other matters...not just today but every day.

State and city funding would be well spent by ensuring that our police departments are an extension of our community rather than a force that also acts as judge and jury.

The time for Legislatively reimagining our police departments across the nation is now. Many have been crying out for years for change only to have their pleas fall on deaf ears inside the community of political elites. The moment has come for bold reform in policing. We must protest in solidarity as we go into the 87th legislative session in honor of the many George Floyd’s who couldn’t breathe because of police brutality."
Toni Rose (D)110Did not reply.
Yvonne Davis (D)111Did not reply.
Angie Chen Button (R)112Did not reply.
Rhetta Bowers (D)113Did not reply.
John Turner (D)114Did not reply.
Julie Johnson (D)115Did not reply.
Trey Martinez-Fischer (D)116Did not reply.
Philip Cortez (D)117Did not reply.
Leo Pacheco (D)118Did not reply.
Roland Gutierrez (D)119Did not reply.
Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D)120Did not reply.
Steve Allison (R)121Did not reply.
Lyle Larson (R)122Did not reply.
Diego Bernal (D)123Did not reply.
Ina Minjarez (D)124Did not reply.
Ray Lopez (D)125Did not reply.
Sam Harless (R)126Statement"As a citizen and community leader actively engaged with our law enforcement community, I too am saddened by the injustice in the killing of George Floyd. As a nation, we have entrusted to law enforcement tremendous responsibility and authority over our citizens and that power must be tempered with compassion. There is a point when force moves from restraint to punishment, which is not in the purview of law enforcement.

Many of the issues involved in this injustice will not be solved by removing our primary source of community protection. Safety is a critical component of our society and defunding the police would simply serve to create more opportunity for crime, for abuse of our most vulnerable, and lawlessness, all without an adequate source for resolution. This seems like a “knee-jerk reaction” to the problem, not a long term or comprehensive solution.

This is a complex social issue that I don’t believe will be resolved by such an approach. Defunding police departments leaves much of our society without protection and we don’t yet have a better solution. Nationalize police, leave it to counties where police officials are elected and accountable to the people? I’m certainly in favor of leveraging positive changes to policy on use of force, but such leverage currently exists, if local officials have the will to use it. We need to first ensure that our law enforcement leadership is directly engaged with providing proper supervision, responds appropriately and decisively when abuses occur, and our hiring practices identify and weed out those with such tendencies."
Dan Huberty (R)127Did not reply.
Briscoe Cain (R)128No
Dennis Paul (R)129Did not reply.
*Tom Oliverson (R)130Statement"I would support none of those options. I would support a careful review of qualified immunity. "
Alma Allen (D)131Did not reply.
Gina Calanni (D)132Did not reply.
Jim Murphy (R)133Did not reply.
Sarah Davis (R)134Did not reply.
Jon Rosenthal (D)135Did not reply.
John Bucy III (D)136Did not reply.
Gene Wu (D)137Did not reply.
Dwayne Bohac (R)138Did not reply.
Jarvis Johnson (D)139Did not reply.
Armando Walle (D)140Did not reply.
Senfronia Thompson (D)141Did not reply.
Harold Dutton Jr. (D)142Did not reply.
Ana Hernandez (D)143Did not reply.
Mary Ann Perez (D)144Did not reply.
Christina Morales (D)145Statement"The murder of George Floyd is saddening and angering. As a Houstonian and third ward community member, his death and story will be remembered. We must do more to hold police accountable and build a system that does not instill violence and fear but rather protects our communities and cities. It begins with our state and local governments working to ensure that we provide and assure the basic needs of all communities. We need to ensure that there is safe housing and accessible quality education that support and increase the number of stable, well-paying jobs. We also need to work together to develop a robust system of affordable healthcare access that provides the critical mental health services we currently lack. Through dialogue, understanding, and compassion we can improve the quality of life in all of our communities and build a better society today and for the future."
Shawn Thierry (D)146Did not reply.
Garnet Coleman (D)147Statement"In Houston we do not have enough peace officers per capita. This is not a solution. But we can fund programs that create alternatives without defunding the police departments in America."
Anna Eastman (D)148Did not reply.
Hubert Vo (D)149Did not reply.
Valoree Swanson (R)150No


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor at The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.

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