Lance Gooden

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Lance Carter Gooden

U.S. Representative for Texas' 5th Congressional District
Assumed office 
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Jeb Hensarling

Texas State Representative
for District 4
(Kaufman and Henderson counties)
In office
January 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Betty J. Brown
Succeeded by Stuart Spitzer
Preceded by Stuart Spitzer
Succeeded by Keith Bell

Born December 1, 1982
Terrell, Kaufman County
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Alexa Calligas Gooden (married 2016)
Children One son
Religion Church of Christ

Lance Carter Gooden (born December 1, 1982) is a Republican U.S. Representative for Texas's 5th congressional district. The district comprises several of the east Dallas suburbs and counties to the east and southeast of Dallas.

He is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 4, which encompasses Kaufman and Henderson counties to the east of Dallas. A native of Terrell, Gooden, who is adopted, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, from which he received both a Bachelor of Arts in government and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He is married with one son, and his family are active members of the Churches of Christ.

In his first primary campaign in 2010, Gooden narrowly upset the six-term incumbent Republican Representative, Betty J. Brown (born 1939), with 50.5 percent of the vote.[1] Gooden had five major contributors to his 2010 campaign, including the interest groups, the Texas Oil and Gas Association and Texans for Insurance Reform. He raised more than $277,000 in his first political campaign.

Upon taking office early in 2011, Gooden worked on the state budget in an attempt to eliminate wasteful spending. He served on these state House committees: Appropriations, County Affairs, and House Administration, the latter of which handles employment by the House.

In 2010, Gooden had no Democrat opponent in his heavily Republican state House district.[2][3] He then won renomination to a second term in the Republican primary held on May 29, 2012. He polled 6,385 votes (53.5 percent) to 5,545 (46.5 percent) for his more conservative opponent, the physician Stuart Spitzer.[4] In 2014, Spitzer unseated Gooden in the Republican primary, but Gooden returned in triumph in the Republican primary held on March 1, 2016. In the primary held on March 6, 2018, when Gooden did not seek a fourth non-consecutive term in the state House, Spitzer ran once again and polled nearly 46 percent of the ballots cast.[5] He then lost the runoff contest to intra-party rival Keith Bell to choose a nominee to succeed Gooden.[6] Bell handily defeated Democrat Eston Williams in the general election in the predominantly Republican district.

In the 2018 primary, Gooden led an eight-candidate field for Texas' 5th congressional district seat. With 17,501 votes (29.9 percent), he was placed in a runoff contest with Bunni Nicole Pounds (born August 17, 1974), a former campaign manager for retiring Representative Jeb Hensarling. The preferred choice of Hensarling, Pounds finished the primary with 12,895 votes (22 percent). The six other candidates held the remaining 48.1 percent of the ballots cast.[5] Returns were slow to report on the outcome of the Gooden-Pounds race, but Gooden led throughout the first hours after the polls closed. Final results showed Gooden with 23,294 votes (53.1 percent) to Pounds' 20,542 (46.9 percent).[6] In the general election held on November 6, 2018, he defeated the Democrat Dan Wood, an attorney in Terrell, a small city east of Dallas, who had drawn 16,923 votes in an unopposed bid for his party's nomination on March 6. According to supporters, Wood would "look out for the little guy" and seek to curb the power of high finance in American government.[7] Gooden finished with 130,404 votes (62.4 percent); Wood trailed with 78,394 (37.5 percent).[8] He handily won re-election in 2020 though with a slightly less overall percentage (62 percent) than in his prior race due to the presence of an independent candidate and the Dallas County suburban portion of his district becoming increasingly Democratic.

Late in 2020, Gooden sided with President Donald Trump and was among the first Republican U.S. Representatives to urge that Congress reject the electoral vote tabulation on grounds of rampant election fraud.


  1. "Gooden upsets Brown" Athens Review March 3, 2010
  2. Dallas News
  3. Kaufmann Herald
  4. Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on March 7, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Texas Secretary of State, Republican Primary Runoff Election for Congressional District 5, May 22, 2018.
  7. Texas' Fifth Congressional District: Dan Wood. Retrieved on May 23, 2018.
  8. Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 6, 2018). Retrieved on November 7, 2018.