Chuck Hopson

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Charles L. "Chuck" Hopson, II (born September 18, 1941) is a pharmacist and businessman in Jacksonville, Texas, who is a departing Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 11, which encompasses Cherokee, Houston, Panola and Rusk counties in the northeastern portion of his state.[1]


Contents

Background

A Jacksonville native, Hopson graduated from the University of Houston in Houston, where he procured his degree in pharmacy. In 1973, Hopson purchased and still operates May Drug Store at 506 East Commerce Street in Jacksonville. He is a member of the Texas Pharmacy Association and a past president of the Texas Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Prior to his legislative service, Hopson served on the elected Jacksonville School Board and the nominally nonpartisan Jacksonville City Council. He has also been vice chairman of the Jacksonville Planning and Zoning Commission. Active in the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, he is a trustee of Lon Morris College, a Methodist-affiliated community college in Jacksonville. Hopson is a board member of Austin Bank, the Nan Travis Hospital Foundation in Jacksonville, and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.[2]

Hopson and his wife, the former Billie L. Smith, a retired educator and school counselor of more than three decades of experience, have three children and as of 2011 seven grandchildren. He is also active in the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association. In 1999, Hopson was named "Businessman of the Year" by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. In 2002, he was designated the "Best Elected Official" by readers of the newspaper, the Jacksonville Daily Progress, as well as "Citizen of the Year" by the Jacksonville Chamber. In 2004, he was honored for "Continued Commitment to Law Enforcement" by the Jacksonville police lodge. He was also honored that year by the interest group Texans for Lawsuit Reform and by his alma mater as a "Distinguished Alumnus."[2]

Election history

In 2000, Republican State Representative Todd Staples, now the Texas Agriculture Commissioner, was elected to the District 3 seat in the Texas State Senate. As a Democrat, Hopson was elected in 2000 to succeed Staples. Nine years later on November 6, 2009, Hopson switched to GOP affiliation. He then secured his sixth term and his first as a Republican in 2010. His defection in 2009 made him the 77th Republican representative, then a majority by two seats. In January 2011, Hopson became one of 101 members of the GOP delegation, as the party gained a two-thirds majority in the 2010 general election.[3]

In explaining his party switch, Hopson said that his East Texas district does not share the philosophy of U.S. President Barack H. Obama. The lawmaker said, "I believe in democracy and respect its process." Texas State Democratic Chairman Boyd Ritchie, an attorney from Young County, replied to Hopson: "It takes strength and integrity to stand against the special interest. And while some members have that strength, others like Chuck Hopson, apparently do not." Joe Straus of San Antonio, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, described Hopson as an "outstanding public servant who fights hard for his East Texas constituents."[4]

In his first general election as a Democrat to succeed Todd Staples, Hopson defeated Republican Paul S. Woodard, Jr., 21,991 votes (53 percent) to 19,459 (47 percent).[5] Republicans did not challenge Hopson in 2002, but in November 2004, the Republican Mike Alberts received 24,123 votes (47.3 percent) in District 11 to Hopson's 26,885 (52.7 percent).[5] In 2006, in a lower-turnout general election, Republican Larry K. Durrett, also of Jacksonville, garnered 15,918 votes (46.1 percent) to Hopson's 17,603 (51 percent). Libertarian Paul "Blue" Story held the remaining 998 votes (2.9 percent).[5]

In Hopson's last general election as a Democrat in 2008, he won his fifth term by only 120 votes. The Republican Brian Keith Walker, then of Jacksonville, polled 25,934 votes (49.05 percent) to Hopson's 26,054 (49.3 percent). The remaining 1.65 percent of the ballots were received by the Libertarian Paul Bryan. Walker, Durrett, and Alberts had all contested the 2006 Republican nomination against Hopson, which Durrett won in a runoff; all three hence had separate nominations in consecutive election years but fell short of victory.

In his first race as a Republican in the primary on March 2, 2010, Hopson prevailed with 9,589 votes (61.2 percent). Two other Republicans, Allan D. Cain of Carthage and Michael D. Banks of Jacksonville, shared the remaining 38.8 percent of the primary ballots.[5] In his first general election as the Republican nominee, Hopson handily defeated the Democrat Richard D. Hackney, 27,074 votes (75.8 percent) to 8,635 (24.2 percent).[5]

Legislative service

Hopson is chairman of the House Ethics Committee and a member of the committees on (1) Public Health and (2) Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services as well as the Rural Caucus. According to his Internet biography, Hopson is committed to working with legislators in both parties to promote economic development, to fund public education, to lower property taxes, and to provide healthcare access. Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, who served from 2001 to 2003, describes Hopson's record as that of an "independent conservative philosophy."[2]

2012 election

Hopson lost the Republican runoff primary held on July 31, 2012. He vacates the seat in January 2013.


References

  1. Houston County includes the city of Crockett, Texas, not populous Houston, the seat of Harris County.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chuck Hopson texas.onpolitix.com by KXAN-TV, retrieved September 25, 2011
  3. Chuck Hopson at the Legislative Reference Library of Texas lrl.state.tx.us, retrieved September 25, 2011.
  4. Democrat Chuck Hopson joins GOP Gromer Jeffers, Jr., Dallas Morning News, November 6, 2009, dallasnews.com, retrieved September 30, 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Office of the Secretary of State 1992 - Current election history elections.sos.state.tx.us, pull-down menu for individual elections, retrieved September 25, 2011
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