Jay Dean

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James Wallace "Jay" Dean

Texas State Representative for
District 7 (Gregg and Upshur counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 2017
Preceded by David Simpson

Mayor of Longview, Texas
In office
2005–2015
Preceded by Murray Moore
Succeeded by Andy Mack

Member of the Longview City Council for District 5
In office
1998–2005

Born March 5, 1953
Opelousas

St. Landry Parish
Louisiana, USA

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Willis "Pokie" Dean
Children Three daughters
Residence Longview, Texas
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

James Wallace Dean, known as Jay Dean (born March 5, 1953),[1] is a former mayor of Longview, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 7, which encompasses Gregg and Upshur counties. He succeeded another Republican, David Simpson, who left the House to run instead unsuccessfully for the Texas State Senate for the seat vacated by Kevin Eltife.  

Background

Dean is originally from Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, the son of the late Captain Frank E. Dean, Sr., and the former Dorothy Pastorick (1924-2011), who is interred at Bellevue Memorial Park in Opelousas. His four brothers are  Frank E. Dean, Jr. and wife, Susie Childs Dean, of New Iberia, Louisiana; Donald B. Dean and wife, the former Monette McLeoud, of Opelousas; William H. Dean and wife, Jane Wallet Dean, of Baton Rouge, and G. Douglas Dean and wife, Tina Hebert Dean, of Opelousas. Another brother, Gregory B. Dean (1956-2012), is deceased; he was married to the former Tina Trouille of Opelousas. Dean's sister is Betty D. Rozas and husband, Nicholas Rozas, of Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish.[2]   Dean received a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he and his wife, the former Jane "Pokie" Willis (born January 1956), resided until they moved to Longview in 1981 to establish their business. The couple has three daughters, Katie (born February 1982), Natalie M. (born October 1985), and Lauren (born February 1988).[3][1] They are founding members of St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in Longview.[4]  

Political life

After seven years on the city council representing District 5 in the northwestern portion of Longview, Dean was elected in 2005 as the mayor of Longview, which like all Texas mayors is a nominally non-partisan position. He won a special election for a one-year unexpired term created by the resignation of Murray Moore, who left office after serving only two years of his first term. Dean then won three three-year terms in 2006, 2009, and 2012. In the 2005 runoff contest, Dean's only close election, he edged Dr. Andy Mack (born c. 1960) by 434 votes, 5,022 to 4,588. A decade later, Mack was elected to succeed Dean, who by then was term-limited under municipal law.[5] 

Dean recalled his task of uniting the city council when he first became mayor: “The first thing was the decorum. ... To understand that we are not always going to agree, but we are going to respect one another when we disagree. We are going to conduct ourselves in such a way that the community would be proud of us. I found that everyone had a general want to work together; they just hadn’t been guided.”[5] Longview employs an appointed city manager who handles the daily supervision of city departments and hence frees the mayor to be leader of the council.

Dean pushed for Longview to become a "Certified Retirement Community" and a "Certified Local Government" community. He pushed for infrastructure projects, a new animal control and adoption center and street work through a $52.6 million bond program approved by voters in 2011.[5]

No longer mayor, Dean won the Republican nomination for the House in the primary election held on March 1, 2016. He defeated David Watts of Upshur County, 14,607 votes (58 percent) to 10,588 (42 percent).[6] A minister and conservative activist, Watts had also run unsuccessfully in the 2014 primary for Texas land commissioner against George P. Bush, son of former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. Dean was supported by House Speaker Joe Straus, a Moderate Republican from San Antonio closely allied with the Democrats, but Watts said that he would have voted against the retention of Straus as Speaker. Straus was himself handily re-nominated in the same primary in a large victory over conservative activist Jeff Judson. Dean proclaims that he too is a conservative: "I have been watching what our conservative Texas legislature has been doing,. I am excited to have a chance to be part of it. Texas has become the place where conservative ideas are not only tried but succeed.  We are a role model for the nation."[4]

As representative, Dean said that he will focus on issues related to East Texas: "I want people to see what we have going on here. It's important that we get a seat at the table, so when opportunities come about, they don't miss Longview." Dean noted that the oil and natural gas slump has depressed sales tax revenues at the municipal level and will in time impact the state budget as well. Dean claims that the status of public education in Texas, which he described as poor, has damaged the ability to attract new industries. Dean said that as a supporter of the Second Amendment, he has observed that a weakened economy in his area has prompted many gun owners to sell their weapons to dealers for personal economic reasons.[7]

Dean said that his campaign against Watts taught him that many voters are apathetic toward politics: "I really believe in the importance of engaging the public." Dean said border security seemed to be the issue most in the district believes to be addressed.  He questioned outside groups, such as Empower Texans established by Michael Quinn Sullivan, being heavily involved in the Texas primaries. The group spent $1.4 million in the primary but failed to nominate a single conservative it supported. "We don't need outsiders from Austin, Dallas, Midland-Odessa, or Houston coming into our elections and telling us who we need. You have the right to vote. You know what you want," said Dean.[7]

With no Democratic opponent in the general election on November 8, Dean was automatically elected ito the state House.   

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Katie Dean (February 1982). familytreenow.com. Retrieved on April 5, 2016.
  2. Dorothy Pastorick Dean. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 5, 2016.
  3. Jay Dean. txdirectory.com. Retrieved on April 5, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Former Longview Mayor, Jay Dean, to Run for State House. The Gilmer Mirror. Retrieved on April 5, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Richard Yeakley (May 18, 2015). Building consensus key to Longview mayor Jay Dean’s success. Longview News-Journal. Retrieved on April 5, 2016.
  6. Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 1, 2016). Retrieved on April 4, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Glenn Evans (March 22, 2016). As representative, Jay Dean hopes to give voice to East Texas. Longview News-Journal. Retrieved on April 3, 2016.