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

Biography

Elected: 1992, 11th term.

Born: October 17, 1947, Houston, TX

Home: Houston, TX

Education: U. of Houston, B.A. 1971, Bates Col. of Law at U. of Houston, 1973-77

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1977–92.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: Married (Helen Albers) , 2 children; 4 grandchildren

Democrat Gene Green, first elected in 1992, is a gregarious centrist with a bipartisan streak. He stays popular in a district that is three-quarters Hispanic by paying close attention to constituents: He’s known for hosting clinics to give children free vaccinations and workshops to help immigrants applying for citizenship and students applying for college.

Green grew up in the largely Hispanic Lindale section of north Houston, the son of a home-improvement business owner who enlisted his sons to provide him with free labor. “The joke in our family was that nobody had enough money to be a Republican,” he said. He worked as a printer’s apprentice and got business and law degrees from the University of Houston. He was elected to the state House in 1972, at age 25, and to the state Senate in a special election in 1985. He has been a friend to unions and trial lawyers in Austin and Washington, and an opponent of gun control, a politician whose natural political base is Texas’s small, unionized blue-collar class.

In the 1992 primary for the House seat, he faced Ben Reyes, a tempestuous Houston councilman who once protested official inaction on crime by demolishing a crack house. Green went door-to-door and carried lawn signs and a hammer in his trunk while appearing as a frequent guest on Spanish-language radio shows. In the primary, Reyes led 34%-28%. But in the runoff, Green came out ahead by 180 votes out of 31,508 cast. Reyes went to court and charged that Republican voters had illegally crossed over to vote in the runoff. That got him a July re-runoff, but to no avail. This time, Green won with 52%. He went on to win the general election with 65%.

In the House, Green has a moderate voting record, especially for a member of a heavily minority urban district. He has become more inclined to join Democrats since President Barack Obama took office. He assailed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal in 2013 for its impact on senior citizens and low-income residents. But he still goes his own way on occasion. In December 2010, he opposed repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring openly gay service members. He joined most Republicans in defeating a 2012 Democratic amendment to cut $400 million from the missile defense budget and backed a GOP proposal that year to try suspected terrorists at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay rather than in U.S. civilian courts.

Green has a seat on the influential Energy and Commerce Committee, where he naturally has focused on issues important to the oil industry. In 2008, he became chairman of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. But Democrat Henry Waxman of California eliminated the panel—and Green’s chairmanship—soon after taking over as Energy and Commerce chairman in 2009. Green had been an ally of Michigan Democrat John Dingell in the pitched battle for control of the committee gavel in November 2008. He said he patched things up with Waxman after letting him know that he wouldn’t stand for being retaliated against for backing Dingell. After the Republican takeover of the House in 2011, Green became ranking Democrat on the newly created Environment and Economy Subcommittee, but yielded to New York’s Paul Tonko in 2013.

In 2009, he got significant concessions from Waxman for oil refineries in the climate change bill the committee produced, which capped emissions and created a system for companies to “trade” emissions limits. Green has had to strike a balance between the industry’s desires and quality-of-life issues in the district. For example, he fought Republican proposals to encourage new oil refineries because the environmental exemptions could have jeopardized the clean air program in Houston. But he sided with other Texas delegation members after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and opposed lifting the liability cap on spills for companies. He also joined Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany in March 2011 in sponsoring a resolution in support of continued deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He led a Democratic effort in 2012 to urge Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring Canadian oil to Texas refineries.

Another of Green’s interests is health care. He backed the government-run “public option” to compete with private insurers that passed the House but was stripped from the Senate version. He has worked on array of related issues, getting bipartisan bills into law to upgrade states’ trauma care systems and eliminate tuberculosis. He introduced a bill in 2011 to prohibit discarded computers and other electronics from being exported overseas, where workers often use unsafe methods to recycle them; it drew more than 20 cosponsors but did not move.

Green has been reelected easily and has had no significant primary challenges, despite the fact that the 29th remains an inviting opportunity for an ambitious Hispanic politician.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1688

(202) 225-9903

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2470
Washington, DC 20515-4329

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1688

(202) 225-9903

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2470
Washington, DC 20515-4329

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 999-5879

(281) 999-5716

256 North Sam Houston Parkway East Suite 29
Houston, TX 77060-2028

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 999-5879

(281) 999-5716

256 North Sam Houston Parkway East Suite 29
Houston, TX 77060-2028

DISTRICT OFFICE

(713) 330-0761

(713) 330-0807

11811 I-10 East Suite 430
Houston, TX 77029-1951

DISTRICT OFFICE

(713) 330-0761

(713) 330-0807

11811 I-10 East Suite 430
Houston, TX 77029-1951

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(281) 448-4363

PO Box 16128
Houston, TX 77222

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 16128
Houston, TX 77222

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Aerospace

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Arts

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Kendrick Vela
Staff Assistant; Systems Administrator

Banking

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Rhonda Jackson
Chief of Staff

Crime

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Education

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Kendrick Vela
Staff Assistant; Systems Administrator

Energy

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

M. Justin Ackley
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

M. Justin Ackley
Senior Legislative Assistant

Finance

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

M. Justin Ackley
Senior Legislative Assistant

Health

Kristen O'Neill
Health Policy Advisor

Homeland Security

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Insurance

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Intergovernmental

M. Justin Ackley
Senior Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Military

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

National Security

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Rules

Rhonda Jackson
Chief of Staff

Science

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Sergio Espinosa
Legislative Director

Transportation

M. Justin Ackley
Senior Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Ben Jackson
Legislative Assistant

Women

Kristen O'Neill
Health Policy Advisor

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Gene Green
Votes: 86,053
Percent: 90.0%
James Stanczak
Votes: 4,996
Percent: 5.23%
2012 PRIMARY
Gene Green
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Gene Green
Votes: 43,257
Percent: 64.61%
Roy Morales
Votes: 22,825
Percent: 34.09%
2010 PRIMARY
Gene Green
Votes: 9,567
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Gene Green
Votes: 79,718
Percent: 74.65%
Eric Story
Votes: 25,512
Percent: 23.89%
2008 PRIMARY
Gene Green
Votes: 42,222
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%), 2008 (75%), 2006 (74%), 2004 (94%), 2002 (95%), 2000 (73%), 1998 (93%), 1996 (68%), 1994 (73%), 1992 (65%)

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