Rep. Kay Granger (R)
Elected: 1996, 7th term.
Born: Jan. 18, 1943, Greenville .
Home: Ft. Worth.
Education: TX Wesleyan Col., B.S. 1965.
Family: Divorced; 3 children.
Elected office: Ft. Worth City Cncl., 1989–91; Ft. Worth mayor, 1991–96.
Professional Career: Teacher, 1965–78; Life Insurance agent, 1978–85; Chmn., Ft. Worth Zoning Comm., 1981–88; Founder & Pres., Kay Granger Insurance Co., Inc., 1985–present.
The congresswoman from the 12th District is Kay Granger, a Republican first elected in 1996. Granger grew up in Fort Worth, graduated from Texas Wesleyan College, and worked as a teacher in North Richland Hills. She raised three children and started her own insurance agency. In 1989, she was elected to the Fort Worth Council, and two years later, was elected as mayor. In 1995, when Rep. Pete Geren, a conservative Democrat who succeeded Wright, announced he would not seek re-election, both Republican and Democratic leaders tried to recruit Granger. She decided to run in the Republican primary. In a three-candidate race, she was attacked as a liberal, partly for her support of abortion rights. But she won with 69% of the vote. Her Democratic opponent was Hugh Parmer, a former Fort Worth mayor and the Democratic nominee against Republican Sen. Phil Gramm in 1990. Parmer attacked Republican cuts in Medicare and the stewardship of Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Granger called for a balanced budget and tax cuts for business, and ran on her record as mayor. Granger won 58%-41%, a stunning victory in Wright’s old district.
|Kay Granger (R)||181,662||(68%)||($1,452,977)|
|Tracey Smith (D)||82,250||(31%)||($16,300)|
|Kay Granger (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (67%), 2004 (72%), 2002 (92%), 2000 (63%), 1998 (62%), 1996 (58%)
In the House, Granger’s voting record has tended to be moderate on cultural issues and more conservative on economic issues. She became a favorite of Republican leaders, although she has split with them on issues such as the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the RU-486 abortion pill and her support for increasing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. In 2007 and 2008, she was vice-chair of the Republican Conference, where she promoted issues such as retirement planning and reducing the influence of gangs. She stepped down after the 2008 election.
With a seat on the Appropriations Committee, Granger keeps a close eye on local Pentagon spending. She has worked to maintain production of Lockheed Martin planes that are produced in her district. In 2009, Granger became the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, where her experience with military spending and her interest in human rights are useful.
In response to criticism of the Wright Amendment, which protected Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from competition from Dallas’ Love Field, Granger worked to create a local regional airport authority to encourage cooperation between DFW and Love. In 2006, she joined others from the Metroplex in repealing the amendment.
Granger has produced some original initiatives. One of her legislative achievements was enactment of tax-free savings accounts for higher education expenses. In 2003, she and Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., proposed a national gynecological cancer detection program. In January 2005, she traveled to Iraq, where she and Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., conducted a training session for women candidates in their election. In 2007, she helped to create the bipartisan Anti-Terror Caucus.
Granger has been re-elected by wide margins. She is the author of a book, What’s Right About America: Celebrating Our Nation’s Values, published in 2006.