Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2008, 3rd term.

Born: December 9, 1962, Fort Lewis, WA

Home: Sugar Land

Education: Rice U., B.A. 1985; U of TX, J.D. 1988

Professional Career: Naval officer; Staffer, U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: married (Nancy) , 2 children

Pete Olson, a Republican elected in 2008, represents the district once overseen by Tom DeLay, the powerful former House majority leader. Olson is every bit as conservative as DeLay and just as vigilant in advocating on behalf of Texas’ oil and space interests.

The son of an Army veteran, Olson followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the Navy on the same day he took the Texas bar exam. He served as a naval aviator, flew anti-submarine missions, and finished his military career as a liaison to the U.S. Senate (the same job that Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain had before he entered politics). His next job was as a staff member for Republican Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas. After Gramm retired in 2002, Olson was the chief of staff to his successor, Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

In 2006, DeLay, at the pinnacle of power as majority leader, resigned his seat after being indicted in Texas. He eventually was convicted and sentenced in January 2011 to three years in prison for money laundering and conspiracy stemming from his role funneling corporate contributions to Texas state races. Houston City Council Member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, a Republican, won a special election for the seat, served for several weeks, but then lost in the general election to Democrat Nick Lampson. A legal technicality kept her name off the ballot, and she had to run as a write-in candidate, which, with the lingering taint of the DeLay scandal, doomed her candidacy.

Two years later, Republicans targeted Lampson for defeat. Olson, who had been living in the suburbs of Washington, moved back to the district in 2007 and joined a crowded primary field that included Sekula-Gibbs and Sugar Land Mayor Dean Hrbacek. Sekula-Gibbs won the primary, but failed to get the 50% share of the vote needed to avoid a runoff with second-place Olson. Republicans at the state and national levels regarded Sekula-Gibbs as a weak candidate and coalesced around Olson, who won the runoff with 69% of the vote.

In the general election campaign, Olson touted a conservative message, while Lampson tried to tar Olson with DeLay’s image, charging that Olson employed consultants who had previously worked for DeLay. Democratic leaders also came to his aid, saying that if reelected, Lampson would chair the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over NASA, an important local employer. But in the end, all of this could not stop the district from returning to its GOP roots on Election Day. Olson won 52% to 45%.

In the House, Olson has been a rock-solid conservative. He led a congressional effort in February 2013 calling for the Government Accountability Office to release a study on the use of federal funding by Planned Parenthood and other health organizations that perform abortions. He got a plum seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2011 and joined fellow Texas Republican Joe Barton on the panel as a staunch defender of their state’s oil and gas industry. The House passed his bill in August 2012 allowing power companies off the hook if they violate environmental laws while attempting to comply with federal mandates to maintain the reliability of their electricity grids during power emergencies. The Senate did not take it up. Olson was among lawmakers in February 2011 who accused the Interior Department of being too slow to approve new drilling permits and later was an outspoken advocate of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is designed to carry Canadian oil to Texas refineries.

Olson has been a champion of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and called President Barack Obama’s flat budget request for the agency in fiscal 2012 “a non-starter” that ignored Congress’ interest in human space flight. He also has bemoaned what he calls Obama’s lack of interest in space policy. “Those who argue we do not have the resources or say government should not play a role in space exploration are short-sighted and wrong,” he wrote in a 2012 op-ed column in which he called for a return to the moon by 2020 to set the stage for an eventual manned mission to Mars. In March 2009, Olson collapsed while lifting weights in the House gym. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to install a pacemaker. He fully recovered and had no trouble winning reelection in 2010 and 2012 against Democrat Kesha Rogers, a Lyndon LaRouche activist. He introduced a bill in 2011 to establish liability protections for businesses that acquire heart defibrillators for emergency use.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5951

(202) 225-5241

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2133
Washington, DC 20515-4322

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5951

(202) 225-5241

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2133
Washington, DC 20515-4322

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 494-2690

(281) 494-2649

1650 Highway Six Suite 150
Sugar Land, TX 77478-4921

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 494-2690

(281) 494-2649

1650 Highway Six Suite 150
Sugar Land, TX 77478-4921

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 485-4855

(281) 485-4850

6302 West Broadway Street Suite 220
Pearland, TX 77581-7857

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 485-4855

(281) 485-4850

6302 West Broadway Street Suite 220
Pearland, TX 77581-7857

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 889-7134

22333 Grand Corner Drive Suite 151
Katy, TX 77494

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 889-7134

22333 Grand Corner Drive Suite 151
Katy, TX 77494

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

3319 Oakmont Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479-2455

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(281) 980-0750

(832) 436-1729

3319 Oakmont Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77479-2455

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Aerospace

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Appropriations

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Budget

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Commerce

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Communication

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Education

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Energy

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Environment

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Finance

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Foreign

Tyler Nelson
Chief of Staff

Govt Ops

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Gun Issues

Melissa Kelly
Communications Director

Health

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Homeland Security

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Housing

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Immigration

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Internet

Melissa Kelly
Communications Director

Judiciary

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Labor

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Military

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Science

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Small Business

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Tax

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Technology

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Trade

Sarah Moxley
Legislative Director

Richard England
Energy Policy Advisor

Transportation

Melissa Kelly
Communications Director

Veterans

Michael Richards
Legislative Aide

Welfare

Melissa Kelly
Communications Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Pete Olson
Votes: 160,668
Percent: 64.03%
Kesha Rogers
Votes: 80,203
Percent: 31.96%
2012 PRIMARY
Pete Olson
Votes: 35,838
Percent: 76.48%
Barbara Carlson
Votes: 11,019
Percent: 23.52%
2010 GENERAL
Pete Olson
Votes: 140,537
Percent: 67.49%
Kesha Rogers
Votes: 62,082
Percent: 29.82%
2010 PRIMARY
Pete Olson
Votes: 43,418
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Pete Olson
Votes: 161,996
Percent: 52.43%
Nick Lampson
Votes: 140,160
Percent: 45.36%
2008 RUNOFF
Pete Olson
Votes: 15,511
Percent: 68.52%
Shelley Gibbs
Votes: 7,125
Percent: 31.48%
2008 PRIMARY
Shelley Gibbs
Votes: 16,697
Percent: 29.73%
Pete Olson
Votes: 11,634
Percent: 20.71%
John Manlove
Votes: 8,399
Percent: 14.95%
Robert Talton
Votes: 8,169
Percent: 14.54%
Dean Hrbacek
Votes: 5,864
Percent: 10.44%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (67%), 2008 (52%)

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