Dan Crenshaw

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Daniel Reed "Dan" Crenshaw

U.S. Representative-elect for Texas' 2nd congressional district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Ted Poe

Born March 14, 1984
Houston, Texas
Spouse(s) Tara Blake Crenshaw

Parents: Carmen and Jim Crenshaw

Religion Christian

Daniel Reed Crenshaw, known as Dan Crenshaw (born March 14, 1984), a former lieutenant commander in the United States Navy SEALS and a national security authority, is the Republican U.S. Representative-elect for Texas' 2nd congressional district seat, based in his native Houston. In the November 6, 2018, general election, he defeated the Democrat Todd Litton, an attorney, 138,502 votes (53 percent) to 118,570 (45.4 percent). Another 2,363 votes (.9 percent) went to the Libertarian Patrick Gunnels.[1]The seat is being vacated by the retiring Republican Ted Poe.[2]

Crenshaw lived in various parts of the world, including Ecuador and Colombia, because his father, Jim Crenshaw, was employed in the Texas oil and natural gas industry. He graduated in 2006 from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, at which he obtained hos Navy officer commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He reported for SEAL training in Coronado, California, where a few months later he met his future wife, the former Tara Blake. After successful SEAL training, Crenshawn deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, for the first of five overseas deployments. On his third deployment in 2012, six months into combat, he was struck by blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was evacuated and awoke from a medically-induced coma to learn that his right eye over which he since had to wear a black eyepatch had been destroyed, and his remaining left eye was badly damaged. Doctors said that they did not believe he would ever see again. Tara, who comes from a career Navy family, prayed repeatedly that God would restore your young husband's sight. After several difficult surgeries, he regained sight in his left eye, which was considered a medical miracle. He was then deployed twice more to the Middle East in 2014 and South Korea in 2016,. when he was medically retired from the SEALS.[3]

Crenshaw won two Bronze Stars (one with Valor), the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. In September 2017, he completed his Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Soon he was back in Houston and volunteered in the Katy area to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. He saw Texan grit and resilience emerge from the terrible losses that his neighbors sustained.[3]

In the Republican primary for House District 2 on March 6, Crenshaw trailed veteran legislator Kevin Roberts by a significant margin. Roberts had said that Crenshaw lacked "real world experience", with his background being military. But Crenshaw turned the tables in the May 22 runoff contest with a large victory for his party's nomination. Crenshaw received 20,322 votes (69.9 percent) to Roberts' 6,263 (30.1 percent).[4]Crenshaw said that his runoff victory occurred because "if anybody had done any less work, went to bed a little earlier, we wouldn't be here."[2] Crenshaw carried important endorsements too, including U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who also came to Washington, D.C., from a military background. Michael Reagan, adopted son of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan, also endorsed Crenshaw.[5]

Crenshaw attributed his strength in part to the support of younger voters in their twenties and thirties. Conservative radio host Michael Berry of Houston said that Crenshaw has star power because of his personal story, but he is perceived as a cerebral guy who oozes authenticity. Berry said that the GOP needs an authentic, young conservative voice with real world experience and not just another suit who was a college student body president. Crenshaw will be for a time the youngest member of the Texas House delegation. He also speaks Spanish.[2]

On the weekend before the general election, NBC's Saturday Night Live aired an attack on "unusually looking" Republican candidates. Liberal comedian Pete Davidson placed on the screen the photo of the one-eyed Crenshaw amid much laughter. Davidson said in his remarks that Crenshaw had lost the eye in war. Crenshaw, who did not see the live broadcast, said any apology that might come from Saturday Night Live would be insincere and therefore unacceptable. Instead, he urged the program to donate $1 million to veterans' causes.[6] Then on the Saturday after his election to Congress, Crenshaw accepted an invitation from Pete Davidson to appear on Saturday Night Live to roast the comedian. On the program, Crenshaw repeated his call that Americans respect military veterans: "When you say ‘never forget,’ you are implying that as an American you are in it with them, not separated by a barrier between civilians and veterans. … Never forget those we lost in war, and never forget those we lost on 9/11, like Pete’s father.”[7]


  1. Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 6, 2018). Retrieved on November 7, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jeremy Wallace (May 25, 2018). Is Houston's Dan Crenshaw the secret weapon for GOP with Millenials?. 'The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on May 26, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 About Dan. Crenshawforcongress.com. Retrieved on May 26, 2018.
  4. Election Returns (Republican Runoff). Texas Secretary of State (May 22, 2018). Retrieved on May 26, 2018.
  5. Dan Crenshaw. Facebook. Retrieved on May 26, 2018.
  6. Jodi Guglielmi (November 5, 2018). Veteran Dan Crenshaw Says Pete Davidson Shouldn't Apologize for Joke — But SNL Costar Disagrees. People.com. Retrieved on November 6, 2018.
  7. SNL brings on wounded veteran politician to get revenge on Pete Davidson. Ew.com (November 11, 2018).