Dennis Bonnen

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Dennis Higgins Bonnen

Speaker of the
Texas House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 2019 – January 12, 2021
Preceded by Joe Straus
Succeeded by Dade Phelan

Speaker pro tempore of the
Texas House of Representatives
In office
January 31, 2013 – January 8, 2019
Preceded by Beverly Woolley
Succeeded by Joe Moody

Texas State Representative
for District 25 (Brazoria
and Matagorda counties)
In office
January 14, 1997 – January 12, 2021
Preceded by Jack Harris
Succeeded by Cody Vasut

Born March 3, 1972
Angleton, Texas[1]
Political party Republiican
Spouse(s) Kimberly Bonnen
Children Jackson and Gregory Bonnen
Alma mater St. Edward's University
(Austin, Texas)
Occupation Banker

Dennis Higgins Bonnen (born March 3, 1972) is a former state representative who served as the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives for a single-term from 2019 to 2021. A Republican, Bonnen represented District 25 from 1997 to 2021.[2] In 2013, then-Speaker Joe Straus appointed Bonnen as Speaker Pro Tempore, the presiding office in the Speaker's absence.[1] In January 2019, Bonnen was elected Speaker, but ten months later announced that he would step down and not seek House re-election in 2020.

In 1990, Bonnen graduated from Angleton High School,[1] and in 1994 received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Roman Catholic St. Edward's University in the capital city of Austin. He is a banker.[3] Bonnen worked in the Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Representative Greg Laughlin, a Democrat-turned-Republican.[4]


Representative Bonnen worked for passage of legislation to establish a pilot project allowing Brazosport College, Midland College, South Texas College to allow limited four-year degree sbeginning in 2003 The pilot status of the project ended in 2007..[5]

In 2013, then Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio appointed Bonnen as the Speaker Pro Tempore, the presiding officer of the House when the Speaker was absent. He served as chairman of the ee/?committee=C490 Ways and Means Committee. He previously served as chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission.[1] That year, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, then managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Bonnen 87 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas gave him a cumulative career score of 66 percent.

In 2019, Bonnen apologized in a controversy involving Michael Quinn Sullivan, the president of conservative advocacy group Empower Texans, which secretly recorded Bonnen making negative comments about his colleagues. [6] On October 22, 2019, Bonnen announced that he would not seek re-election. His depature hence provided for a new Spaker to be chosen in January 2021. The Texas Ranger Divisiony concluded that Bonnen did not break any laws in the controversy.[7]

Republican Dade Phelan of Beaumont was elected in 2021 to succeed Bonnen as Speaker.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 State Rep. Dennis Bonnen District 25 (R-Angleton). The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on March 1, 2014.
  2. Rep. Bonnen, Dennis (District 25).
  3. Biography for Dennis Bonnen. Project Vote Smart.
  4. "Bonnen: Lowering government requirements means more flexibility", The Brazosport Facts (February 13, 1996), p. 1.
  5. Summary of Higher Education Legislation, 78th Texas Legislature (July 2003).
  6. Cassandra Pollock (August 16, 2019). Dustin Burrows resigns as Texas House GOP Caucus chairman amid allegations of targeting Republicans. The Texas Tribune.
  7. Cassandra Pollock (October 24, 2019). Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen won't face criminal prosecution, Brazoria County DA says. The Texas Tribune.