Charles Perry (Texas politician)

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Charles Lee Perry

Texas State Senator for District 28
Assumed office 
September 2014
Preceded by Robert Duncan

Texas State Representative
for District 83 (Borden, Gaines, Lubbock, Lynn, Mitchell, Scurry,
and Terry counties)
In office
January 2011 – September 2014
Preceded by Delwin Jones
Succeeded by Dustin Burrows

Born March 9, 1962
Abilene, Taylor County, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jacklyn Elaine Cole Perry
Children Jordan Perry

Matthew Ryan Perry

Residence Lubbock, Texas
Alma mater Sweetwater (Texas)
High School

Texas Tech University

Occupation Certified Public Accountant
Religion Southern Baptist

Charles Lee Perry (born March 9, 1962) is a Republican state senator for District 28, which contains two larger cities, Lubbock and San Angelo, and forty-six mostly rural counties. He won an outright majority in a special election for the seat held on September 9, 2014. The slot became open when Robert Duncan, a Moderate Republican, resigned to become the new chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.

From 2011 to 2014, Perry was a state representative for District 83, a rural district to the south of Lubbock. A Certified Public Accountant, Perry unseated incumbent Representative Delwin Jones, then the oldest member of the Texas House, in the runoff election held on April 13, 2010.[1] He faced no Democrat opponents in the general election held on November 2, 2010. He took his seat in the 150-member House in January 2011.

Charles Perry is not related to former Governor Rick Perry.[2]


Perry was born in Abilene in Taylor County, Texas. He graduated in 1980 from Sweetwater High School in Sweetwater in Nolan County. In 1984, he completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Texas Tech University and has since worked in that field. He is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, and the National Association of Securities Dealers.[3]

2010 political campaign

Perry unseated Jones, 10,109 votes (57.8 percent) to 7,392 ballots (42.2 percent). Though Jones polled 291 more votes in the runoff than he had in the primary, Perry's total increased by 3,633 ballots over his initial showing on March 2, 2010.[4] Perry carried the support of the Tea Party movement, also known as "Taxed Enough Already," while Jones was backed by the president of the Lubbock Educators Association.[5] Jones, who served in the legislature as a Democrat from 1964 to 1972 and as a Republican since 1988, led the primary, 7,103 ballots (37.7 percent) to Perry's 6,476 (34.4 percent). The third candidate, Zach Brady, with 5,240 votes (27.8 percent), had been expected to hold the key to victory in the Jones-Perry showdown.[6] Brady, a Lubbock attorney, raised more than $250,000 and carried the backing of business interest groups, but he was eliminated from the race by his third-place showing.[5]

Brady's endorsement of Jones in the runoff did not help the incumbent, who also enjoyed the backing of his state Senator Robert Duncan of Lubbock. Neale Pearson, professor emeritus of political science at Texas Tech University, speculated that the nomination of Perry, the biggest legislative upset in the 2010 primaries, was the result of "anti-government and perhaps anti-establishment tea party attitudes [which] affected voter turnout." Pearson added that he doubted whether many of the Brady partisans supported either Jones or Perry in a meaningful way in the runoff contest.[7]

In addition to the Perry nomination, Lubbock area conservatives on April 13 nominated John Frullo as the GOP choice in neighboring District 84, where incumbent Carl Isett, also a Lubbock accountant, did not seek reelection. Frullo defeated Mark Griffin, a former Texas Tech regent who also carried Duncan's support.[7]

Scott Mann, Jones' campaign manager, said that Perry prevailed because of the anti-incumbent attitude: "We hit a movement where feelings are legitimate and whose goals are consistent with the rest of West Texas. [The Perry campaign] didn’t create those attitudes. Those attitudes were there, and they just capitalized on them. We also worked hard and had wonderful volunteers, maybe 75 to 100, but we just couldn’t overcome the anti-incumbent tide."[7]

Perry and Frullo joined two other newly-elected conservative state legislators from West Texas and the Panhandle, Jim Landtroop, then of Plainview in Hale County and later from Lubbock and Four Price of Amarillo.

2012 election

In the May 29 Republican primary Perry again defeated Delwin Jones, who at the age of eighty-eight sought to return to the Texas House. Perry received 13,093 votes (71.1 percent) to Jones' 5,323 (28.9 percent).[8]

In a 2012 radio appearance at KFYO (AM) in Lubbock, Perry came into conflict with former Texas Tech University System Chancellor John Thomas Montford regarding the legalization of casino gambling in Texas. Montford said that Texans are already traveling to Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma to gamble, and the state could earmark those lost revenues for important public use. Perry said that lower-income residents who already benefit from massive amounts of entitlement spending are those most likely to squander their earnings on gambling.[9]

2014 re-nomination

Perry easily won re-nomination to a third term in the state House in the Republican primary held on March 4, 2014. He polled 13,663 votes (73 percent) to challenger Steve Massengale's 5,045 votes (27 percent).[10]

However, Perry did not return to the House and was succeeded by his fellow Republican, Dustin Burrows. Perry instead won the special election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of state Senator Robert Duncan, later but no longer the chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. Among Perry's intraparty opponents was once again former Representative Delwin Jones, who became critically ill on August 31, just ten days before the election.[11]

Personal life

Perry is a past president of the Lubbock Boys & Girls clubs. He is a past member of the National Council on Family Violence and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. He is a deacon at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock. He and his wife, the former Jacklyn Elaine Cole (born 1960), have a daughter, Jordan, and a son, Matthew Ryan Cole.[3]


  1. Charles Perry wins District 83 race. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (April 13, 2010). Retrieved on April 22, 2021.
  2. "Charles Perry to start new career in Austin," KCBD, April 12, 2010; no longer on-line.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "About Charles Perry, candidate State Representative Dist. 83," KCBD, accessed April 16, 2010; no longer accessible on-line.
  4. Texas Secretary of State, Republican runoff primary returns, April 13, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Election 2010," The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, accessed March 6, 2010; no longer accessible on-line.
  6. Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns, March 2, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Anatomy of Perry’s victory over Jones could hold key to party’s direction," The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, accessed April 16, 2010; no longer accessible on-line.
  8. Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012.
  9. Ariel Walden (October 22, 2012). John T. Montford and Charles Perry Square off on Gambling Referendum [Audio]. KFYO. Retrieved on April 22, 2021.
  10. Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns, March 6, 2014.
  11. Sarah Rafique, "SD 28 candidate Delwin Jones in critical condition: Jones served for 30 years in the Texas House of Representatives during two stints," The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, August 31, 2014.

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