|Douglas Bryan Hughes|
Douglas Bryan Hughes, known as Bryan Hughes (born July 21, 1969), is an attorney in Mineola, Texas, who has been since 2003 a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 5, which includes Camp, Harrison, Upshur, and Wood counties in the northeastern section of his state. He is among the strongest conservatives in the Texas legislature.
Born in Quitman, the county seat of Wood County, Hughes was reared in a blue collar family in nearby Mineola. He graduated in 1987 from Mineola High School and thereafter enrolled at Tyler Junior College. In 1992, he earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Texas at Tyler. A fifth-generation Texan, Hughes was the first member of his family to receive a college education.
In 1995, Hughes completed his Juris Doctor degree from Baptist-affiliated Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas. For the next two years, Hughes was a law clerk and briefing attorney for the late U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas William M. Steger of Texas, a pioneer in the Republican Party who was his party's 1960 gubernatorial nominee against Governor Price Daniel. The federal courthouse in Tyler, the county seat of Smith County is named for Judge Steger. For a time Hughes practiced law in Marshall in Harrison County, but in 2003, he joined the Lanier law firm in Mineola. He describes his practice as one dedicated to "representing working families and small businesses."
Hughes is an active member of the nondenominational Golden Bible Chapel in Golden in Wood County. Among his other affiliations are the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, several bar associations, the American Red Cross, the National Rifle Association, Mineola Rotary, and the Stewards Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to aid churches and their employees financially.
Hughes was elected to the legislature in 2002, when he upset the incumbent Democratic Representative Bob D. Glaze (1927–2010) of Gilmer in Upshur County. Hughes polled 20,286 votes (52.4 percent) to Glaze's 18,451 (47.6 percent). In the 2004 general election, Glaze sought a rematch with Hughes but lost, 23,029 votes (38 percent) to the Republican's 37,529 (62 percent).
In 2006, no Democrat filed against Hughes, as he defeated the Libertarian Timothy J. Carmichael, 26,286 (81.9 percent) to 5,795 (18.1 percent).
Hughes was unopposed in the 2010 general election, when Republicans carried 101 of the 150 seats in the state House.
In 2011, Hughes served on the House Agriculture and Livestock and the Human Services committees though his committee assignments have varied during his House tenure. Strongly pro-life, Hughes worked to secure passage in 2011 of the state law which requires women procuring abortions to undergo a sonogram to witness the development of the child prior to termination.
On March 19, 2011, Hughes dedicated the Mineola Nature Preserve, a conservation project which began in 2002, the year he was first elected to the state House. The preserve includes nearly three thousand acres along the Sabine River, which are inhabited by almost two hundred animal species; the preserve also includes trails for visitors, an area of wetland, and locations for birdwatchers. The two-acre Pullen Pond is funded by Ozarka Brand Spring Water.
On September 13, 2011, Hughes called upon Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to investigate a new air pollution rule of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Abbott indicated that he is already checking into the issue raised by Hughes. According to Hughes, the rule if implemented had the potential of producing blackouts, increasing costs to consumers, and creating job losses. Hughes added that the directive would cause the Luminant utility company to shut down operations in his own district as well as across the state. Hughes continued, "I don't know what's going on in Washington, but here in the real world, money is tight, and families are struggling. ... As if the job losses weren’t enough, these new rules will also raise electric rates – in the middle of a recession."
Dispute with Speaker Straus
Hughes was initially pledged to support a second term for moderate Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. However, after the 2010 elections, Hughes withdrew his support for Straus, who nevertheless retained the Speakership, on the grounds that Straus had punished intraparty conservative opponents with redistricting. Hughes based his charge on a conversation with one of Straus' staffers, who allegedly notified Hughes that plans were already being laid to alter Straus' opponents' districts. Hughes said that he was informed that efforts were especially aimed at two East Texas members, then Representative-elect Erwin Cain of Sulphur Springs and Dan Flynn of Van in Van Zandt County, Texas. Representative Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville, a Democrat-turned-Republican and chairman of the House Ethics Committee, called upon Hughes to reveal the name of the informant. Hopson had received $42,000 in contributions from Straus.
Chuck Hopson identified the informant as District 62 Representative Larry Phillips, an attorney from Sherman in north Texas and a member of the Ethics Committee. Phillips removed himself as a committee member for the hearing and denied Hughes's accusation. The phone conservation between the two lawmakers was not recorded. The committee did not reach a judgment because of the lack of corroborating witnesses.
In 2012, Hughes was easily renominated in the Republican primary held on May 29. He spent some six months seeking support from colleagues to challenge Speaker Straus in January 2013. However, Hughes withdrew from the race for Speaker in December and instead threw his backing to another conservative lawmaker seeking to oust Straus, David Simpson of Longview.
- "Representative Bryan Hughes". votesmart.org. http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=50173. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- "Bryan Hughes". lrl.state.tx.us. http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=5544&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~district=5~first=Bryan~gender=~last=Hughes~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Rep. Hughes, Bryan". house.state.tx.us. http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=5 Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Bryan Hughes biography". house.state.tx.us. http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=5#member-biography. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- D. Bryan Hughes. mesotheliomalawfirm.com. Retrieved on September 26, 2011.
- "Texas general election returns, November 5, 2002". elections.sos.state.tx.us. http://elections
- "Texas general election returns, November 2, 2004". elections.sos.state.tx.us. http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Texas general election returns, November 7, 2006". elections.sos.state.tx.us. http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe. Retrieved September 27, 2011
- "Texas general election returns, November 2, 2010". elections.sos.state.tx.us. http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "House passes sonogram bill". texasrighttolife.com. http://www.texasrighttolife.com/photos/655/Images-State-House-Passes-Sonogram-Bill. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "State Representative Bryan Hughes to Dedicate Mineola Nature Preserve Project on Saturday, March 19, 2011". libertylinked.com. http://libertylinked.com/posts/6921/state-representative-bryan/View.aspx. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Representative Bryan Hughes Decries EPA Attack on Texas Jobs". new.bryanhughes.com. http://new.bryanhughes.com/2011/09/representative-bryan-hughes-decries-epa-attack-on-texas-jobs/. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Elise Hu, "Bryan Hughes Withdraws Support for Straus," November 10, 2010". texastribune.org. http://www.texastribune.org/texas-house-of-representatives/speaker-of-the-house/bryan-hughes-withdraws-support-for-straus/. Retrieved September 26, 2011
- "Rep. Chuck Hopson, Who Chairs Ethics Panel Investigating Allegation Against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, Received $42K," Texas Watchdog, November 22, 2010
- "Texas House committee won't act on Rep. Phillips' alleged threats, November 23, 2010". KXII-TV.com. http://www.kxii.com/news/headlines/Texas_House_committee_wont_act_on_Rep_Phillips_alleged_threats__110251099.html. Retrieved September 27, 2011
- "Patrick Brendel, "Texas House Ethics Panel Takes No Action on Alleged Redistricting Threats by Vice-Chair Phillips," November 23, 2010". americanindependent.com. http://www.americanindependent.com/158065/texas-house-ethics-panel-takes-no-action-on-alleged-redistricting-threats-by-vice-chair-phillips. Retrieved September 28, 2011