|Spouse(s)||Lisa Ruth Lemoine Christian|
Wayne Christian (born September 26, 1950) is a businessman from Center in East Texas, who is a Republican incoming member of the Texas Railroad Commission, a regulatory body to which he was handily elected statewide in the general election held on November 8, 2016.
Christian is also a former member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 9 (Jasper, Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby counties).
Christian is the son of James E. and Tommie Nura Christian. His family roots in Shelby County date back four generations. He was born in Center but reared in nearby Tenaha, Texas, where he attended public schools and graduated as valedictorian of his 1969 graduating class at Tenaha High School. According to his website, in 1975 he married the former Lisa Ruth Lemoine of nearby Shelbyville. The couple has three daughters: Liza, Lindsey, and Lauren.
A financial planner, Christian is an agent of Woodbury Financial Services. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he minored in marketing.
The conservative Christian, strongly pro-life, is the current president of the bipartisan Texas Conservative Coalition. He is also currently a sitting board member of the Texas TEA Party. He has served as vice chairman of the Regulated Industries and Criminal Jurisprudence committees and currently serves on the influential Ways and Means Committee. Throughout his years as a member of the Texas House, Christian has received numerous awards for his conservative voting record. In 1997, he was named "Outstanding Freshman Legislator of the Year" by the Texas Republican Caucus. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has designated him as "Taxpayer Hero" and "Taxpayer Champion". He was named "National Legislator of the Year" by the conservative interest group, the American Legislative Exchange Council. The Texas Business Association named him "Fighter for Free Enterprise." The Young Conservatives of Texas presented Christian with the "Torch of Freedom Lifetime Achievement Award". Vision America named Christian, who is of the Baptist denomination, as "Hero of the Faith." The Texas County Extension Service named him "Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture." The Texas branch of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum presented him with its "Freedom and Family Award" and also recognized Christian as one of the sixteen "most conservative" of the 181 members of both legislative chambers. In the 80th legislative session, the Capitol Insider declared his voting record as "100 percent conservative".
In the recently concluded 82nd Legislature, Christian was awarded "Legislator of the Year" by the Texas Conservative Digest, and scored a 100 percent conservative rating on the Texas Eagle Forum scorecard, as well as an A+ rating from the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Christian has worked on such lingering issues as the future of power plants in East Texas and settling the 30-year water level problems of Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Sabine River, located on the Texas/Louisiana border.
In 1996, Christian won his initial two-year term in the state House with less than 51 percent of the general election vote. In 2004, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the United States House of Representatives for the seat now held by fellow Republican Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Texas. In 2007, Christian returned to the Texas House after a two-year absence. Christian unseated freshman Representative Roy Morris Blake, Jr., of Nacogdoches in the March 2006 Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election. He has since retained his seat by comfortable margins. He was reelected in 2010 with 72 percent of the vote cast.
In 2009, Christian obtained passage of a controversial amendment sponsored by a legislative ally, Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton, a Republican from Mauriceville in Orange County in far southeastern Texas, that allows Christian and a handful of neighbors on the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston, Texas, to rebuild beachfront houses destroyed by Hurricane Ike. While the measure was strongly opposed by Commissioner of the General Land Office Jerry E. Patterson, who said he would not enforce it if passed, it easily passed through the House with almost no objection. Governor Rick Perry let the bill, and subsequently the Hamilton amendment, become law without his signature, a prerogative of the governor. Christian denied that the amendment is at odds with the Texas Open Beaches Act or an environmental interference but reflects the right of property owners to use their holdings as they deem appropriate. The Texas Supreme Court has since sided with the private landowners in the area and upheld the protections put in place by Hamilton's amendment.
Defeat in 2012
Under the 2012 redistricting plan for the Texas House, Christian ran unsuccessfully in a district in which some 80 percent of the constituents were new to him. He was among several senior House Republicans who were either paired off with other Republicans or moved into largely new population districts. These members blamed House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio for unfair redrawing of their district boundaries. In both 2009 and 2011, Christian and many of the East Texas lawmakers opposed the election of Straus, who is considered a Moderate Republican in the tradition of his old mentor, John Tower.
In 2014, Christian ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for one of the three seats on the Railroad Commission. He lost to intra-party challenger Ryan Sitton, an oil and natural gas engineer from Friendswood, Texas, who polled 398,652 (57.3 percent). Christian trailed with 297,654 ballots (42.7 percent in a low-turnout contest).
However, Christian rebounded in 2016 to claim the party nomination for the Railroad Commission by defeating in a runoff contest the businessman Gary Gates of Richmond, Texas. In the general election, Christian lost the large cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and El Paso but nevertheless defeated the Democrat Grady Yarbrough, a retired African-American educator and a perennial candidate. Christian polled 4,643,339 votes (53.2 percent) to Yarbrough's 2,484,781 (38.5 percent). The Libertarian nominee, Mark Miller, endorsed by the Dallas Morning News, trailed with 312,952 votes (4.9 percent). The Green Party choice, Martina Salinas, trailed with 181,314 votes (2.8 percent).
- Legislative Reference Library
- Wayne Christian for State Representative. waynechristiancampaign.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- About Wayne Christian. waynechristiancampaign.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- Wayne Christian & Associates. waynechristian.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- Wayne Christian. texastribune.org. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- Danny Yadron, "Post-Hurricane Ike amendment would let legislator rebuild," June 5, 2009. Austin American Statesman. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- A Word from James White. whiteforeasttexas.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- Nacogdoches County Republicans Meeting Today, June 28, Tune in today and hear U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert. everythingnac.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2011.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 8, 2016). Retrieved on November 9, 2016.