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

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: September 10, 1948, Temple

Home: Humble

Education: Abilene Christian U., B.A. 1970, U. of Houston, J.D. 1973

Professional Career: Asst. dist. atty., 1973-81.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Church of Christ

Family: married (Carol) , 4 children

Ted Poe, a Republican first elected in 2004, is best known for his loquaciousness on the House floor. But in early 2013, he became chairman of the all-GOP House Immigration Reform Caucus, making him an interesting lawmaker to watch as his party’s conservative wing wrestles with the issue.

A sixth-generation Texan, Poe got a bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve. He received his law degree from the University of Houston and became a prosecutor in Harris County where, he boasts, he never lost a jury trial. Poe then became a district court judge in the county, becoming a judicial celebrity during his 22 years on the bench for meting out humiliating “Poe-tic justice” punishments to criminals. He required murderers to hang pictures of their victims in their prison cells and ordered drunken drivers and shoplifters to stand at the entrances to taverns and stores carrying signs publicizing their offenses. He also gained national recognition as a legal commentator on national television.

In 2003, Poe stepped down as a judge to run for Congress. In a six-candidate Republican primary, his high name recognition and bench experience earned him 61% of the vote and the right to challenge Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson. The incumbent was running in largely unfamiliar territory due to the 2003 Republican-engineered redistricting of congressional boundaries in the state. Lampson had a moderate voting record, a low-key style, and was a big booster of NASA. At first, it was not clear whether Poe would be able to capitalize on the favorable redistricting. National Republicans fretted about his fundraising and his seemingly complacent campaign. Lampson outspent Poe nearly 2-to-1. But on Election Day, the new district’s solid Republican bent was decisive. Lampson led 68%-31% in Jefferson County, the area he had previously represented and where 36% of votes were cast. But Poe won 70%-28% in Harris County, where 58% of the votes were cast. Overall, Poe won 56%-43%. He has not been seriously challenged for reelection.

In the House, Poe began with a relatively moderate voting record for a Republican from Texas, but has become a more loyal party vote since President Barack Obama took office. He joined fellow Texas Republicans John Carter and Joe Barton in amending a House-passed spending bill in 2011 to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. A month earlier, he refused to support the tax-cut deal that Obama made with Republicans, saying it did not go far enough in reducing spending. For the same reason, he opposed a compromise that Republicans struck with Obama on the fiscal 2011 budget and the January 2013 tax and spending deal to avert a so-called “fiscal cliff.”

One of Poe’s causes is the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, designed to bring oil from Canada to Texas refineries; he introduced a bill in 2012 to put the decision in the hands of Congress instead of the White House. He also has been a frequent critic of Pakistan and in 2013 became chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s panel on terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade, giving him a megaphone for his view that the country has done too little to help the U.S. in the war on terror.

Poe has been a leader of the Immigration Reform Caucus, where he has sought tighter enforcement at the border with Mexico. He successfully amended spending bills in both 2011 and 2012 to add $10 million each year for fencing and border infrastructure, but failed in 2011 to add $100 million for more detention beds for immigrants facing deportation. He introduced a bill in 2010 requiring the Pentagon to make National Guard troops available to states on request for border duty. He successfully lobbied President George W. Bush to commute the prison terms of two border agents who were convicted for wounding a drug smuggler.

Poe takes a keen interest in victim’s rights causes, something he said stems partly from his maternal grandfather’s death at the hands of a drunk driver. In February 2013, he and Blake Farenthold were the only two Texas Republicans to join Democrats in supporting the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

He is perhaps best known to the C-SPAN audience of government junkies. In the 111th Congress (2009-10), according to C-SPAN, Poe spoke on 234 of the 317 days that the chamber was in session—far ahead of second-place finisher Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. “The people of Southeast Texas can’t come up here and do it, so I speak for them,” he told The Chronicle. Poe typically ends speeches on the House floor with his trademark, “And that’s just the way it is.” But he has drawn negative attention for some of his remarks, such as his assertion in February 2011 that the U.S. was giving foreign aid to anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, which the fact-checking website PolitiFact found to be false.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6565

(202) 225-5547

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2412
Washington, DC 20515-4302

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6565

(202) 225-5547

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2412
Washington, DC 20515-4302

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 446-0242

(281) 446-0252

710 North Post Oak Road Suite 510
Houston, TX 77024-3858

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 446-0242

(281) 446-0252

710 N. Post Oak Road Suite 510
Houston, TX 77024-3858

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 446-0242

(281) 446-0252

1801 Kingwood Drive Suite 240
Kingwood, TX 77339

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 446-0242

(281) 446-0252

1801 Kingwood Drive Suite 240
Kingwood, TX 77339-3058

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(281) 358-8866

PO Box 14222
Humble, TX 77347

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 14222
Humble, TX 77347

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Agriculture

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Arts

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Budget

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Campaign

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Commerce

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Congress

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Economics

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Education

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Energy

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Environment

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Family

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Finance

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Luke Murry
Staff Director

Govt Ops

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Health

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Luke Murry
Staff Director

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Housing

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Intelligence

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Judiciary

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Labor

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Military

Michael Edwards
Legislative Assistant

Marlene Moulder
Military Affairs Liaison; Military Academies' Director

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Minorities

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Science

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Seniors

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Tax

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Technology

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Trade

Luke Murry
Staff Director

Transportation

Timothy Tarpley
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Veterans

Allyson Browning
Legislative Assistant

Women

Blair Bjellos
Senior Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Ted Poe
Votes: 159,664
Percent: 64.82%
Jim Dougherty
Votes: 80,512
Percent: 32.68%
2012 PRIMARY
Ted Poe
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Ted Poe
Votes: 130,020
Percent: 88.61%
David Smith
Votes: 16,711
Percent: 11.39%
2010 PRIMARY
Ted Poe
Votes: 39,685
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Ted Poe
Votes: 175,101
Percent: 88.92%
Craig Wolfe
Votes: 21,813
Percent: 11.08%
2008 PRIMARY
Ted Poe
Votes: 36,562
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (89%), 2008 (89%), 2006 (66%), 2004 (56%)

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