|!||This article is updated from Wikipedia but the text was originally written by BHathorn (under the name) and does not include alterations made by others from that site.|
|Lyle Thomas Larson|
Texas State Representative for
District 122 (Bexar County)
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Frank Corte, Jr.|
Member of the Bexar County Commissioners Court for Precinct 3
|Succeeded by||Kevin Wolff|
Member of the San Antonio
|Born|| March 23, 1959|
San Antonio, Texas
|Residence||San Antonio, Texas|
|Alma mater|| Douglas MacArthur High School|
|Religion||United Methodist Church|
Lyle Thomas Larson (born March 25, 1959) is a businessman from San Antonio, Texas, who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 122 in his native northern Bexar County. He was first elected to the state House in 2010 to succeed another Republican, conservative Frank Corte, Jr.
Larson was reared on a family farm at Thousand Oaks and Jones-Maltsberger Road; the location is now heavily urbanized. When his parents divorced, he lived with his father, a large-animal veterinarian. He has a twin sister and a total of four siblings. His sisters went to live with their mother when the parents' marriage ended, and he was hence separated from his twin. While working on the farm, Larson contracted paratyphoid from handling feed for hogs and not washing his hands before eating. He lost weight and remained thin during his time while he played defensive end on the football team at Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, from which he graduated in 1977. In 1981, he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, where his father had obtained his veterinary degree. He married and divorced right out of college. Prior to starting his own company, American Consortium, which distributes industrial products for Polaroid, he worked for Nalen Chemical Company and Johnson & Johnson.
Larson is a member of the United Methodist Church denomination. He is a quail hunter and bass fisherman. San Antonio International Ag Promotions, which he founded, hosts such trade expositions as the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show and the Texas Hunting and Outdoor Classic. He takes an annual fishing trip to Lake Michigan with friends from high school and college.
Larson was elected on a nonpartisan ballot in 1991 to the San Antonio City Council, on which he served for District 10 for two two-year terms under then Mayor Nelson William Woff. In 1996, he was elected to the Bexar County commissioner's court for Precinct 3, a partisan position that he filled from 1997 to 2008. There are only three other commissioners and the county judge, a position held since 2001 by former Mayor Wolff.
While on the commissioners court as the lone Republican member, Larson worked to lower property tax rates seven times during his twelve years in office. In 2005, he pushed the court to freeze property taxes for senior citizens and the disabled. He opposed pay raises for commissioners and refused to accept increases when approved. Larson worked to reduce the impact of the 2005 round of military base closings in San Antonio, which gained a reported eleven thousand jobs despite the loss of one thousand positions on the bases. Larson previously served on the San Antonio - Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Alamo Area Council of Governments, and the Greater San Antonio Crime Commission.
In 2008, Larson ran unsuccessfully for Texas' 23rd congressional district seat once held by the Republican Henry Bonilla of San Antonio. In the Republican primary, Larson defeated attorney and banker Francisco Canseco, formerly of Laredo. Larson then lost in the general election to incumbent Democrat Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio in the Hispanic-majority district. The vote was 55.8 percent for Rodriguez and 41.9 percent for Larson, with the remaining ballots held by a Libertarian Party candidate. In 2010, Rodriguez was unseated by Canseco, who won the Republican nomination that year, but Canseco served only for one term, having been defeated in 2012 by another Democrat, Pete Gallego, a state legislator from Alpine in Brewster County. Gallego lost the seat in 2014 to the African-American Moderate Republican Will Hurd, who faces an intra-party challenge on March 6 from the conservative Alma Arredondo-Lynch, a dentist from Uvalde County.
In 2010, Larson was elected state representative; he polled 56,702 votes (77.4 percent) to 16,576 (22.6 percent) for the Democrat Masarrat Ali. Larson's total of nearly 57,000 votes was the greatest number of ballots polled by any candidate for state representative in the entire state of Texas that year. The runner-up, Republican Rob Eissler in District 15, received 52,550 votes.
Larson is a member of the Texas House committees on (1) Natural Resource, (2) Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and (3) Local and Consent Calendars. In his freshman year he was elected by the Texas Tribune as one of three "Rookies of the Year" of a class of thirty-seven new members. Larson was unopposed for a second term in the House in 2012. He has been personally and politically close to House Speaker Joe Straus, also of San Antonio. The two are the same age, and their family connections go back for four decades. Larson's father provided care for the horses and cattle on the Straus farms. But Larson said in an interview that "sometimes" Straus "doesn't quite understand me."
After the 2017 regular session of the legislature, Governor Greg Abbott vetoed five of Larson's bills, including measures dealing with brackish water and desalination. Another Larson measure which would have prevented a governor from appointing members to a state board or commission if the nominee had donated $2,500 or more to the governor's previous campaign passed the House, 91-48, but it received no hearing in the state Senate. Another Larson bill which would have ensured that a parent has the right to view the body of a deceased child before the performance of an autopsy was vetoed because Abbott indicated that he had already signed a measure with identical language authored by Republican state Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels. Larson said that he believes Abbott "lacks maturity [and] can't separate policy and politics."
On the eve of the special legislative session of 2017, Larson continued to express frustration with Governor Abbott: "The reality is, since the governor skipped class for four months, we've got ... summer school with him now to help him learn what we did." Larson said that he is unlikely to serve in the state House much past 2020: "My ambitions are just to try to do the right thing. ... And then leave everything on the field, then walk away."
In the Republican primary held on March 6, 2018, Larson faced a conservative challenge from Christopher Michael "Chris" Fails (born August 12, 1975),a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio and the mayor of Hollywood Park in Bexar County. Governor Abbott endorsed Fails in the showdown, while Straus donated $10,000 to the Larson campaign. The San Antonio Express-News, a liberal paper, however, rallied behind Larson's bid for a fifth term and rejected the claim that the lawmaker is not particularly conservative:
As for Larson being insufficiently conservative, it’s a familiar charge also when it comes to Texas Speaker Joe Straus — and just as bogus. Straus, by the way, is backing Larson in this race. And that backing, in our view, speaks louder than Abbott’s criticism.Larson is particularly on point on taxation and public schools. While backing a cap on local jurisdictions’ ability to raise property taxes, he says this will not stop rising property taxes because, even at a 2.5 percent cap, taxes will rise. He correctly points to the Legislature’s failure to adequately fund public schools as the real driver of higher property taxes. He would like the state’s share of funding for public schools to increase from its current 37 percent or so to 50 percent.
Larson notes that he supported most of the legislation that Abbott favored in the special session last year, but says no voter should expect his or her representative to be totally in lockstep with the governor, lieutenant governor or, for that matter, with such groups as Empower Texans, which has targeted Straus and other legislators for allegedly being insufficiently conservative.
In the 2018 primary, Larson turned backed the challenge from Chris Fails, 10,874 (59.5 percent) to 6,568 (40.5 percent). He now faces Democratic opposition in the November 6 general election.
After his re-nomination, Larson called upon Abbott to "make amends" with Republican members of the state House whom the governor has offended. "Somewhere, a bunch of humility needs to fall ... He has a few admirers in the House, but the lion's share of the people are not impressed with his leadership style," Larson said.
Despite his squabbles with Governor Abbott, Larson emerged from the November 6, 2018, general election with 58,062 votes (62 percent) to 35,577 ballots (38 percent) for his Democratic opponent, Claire Barnett.
- Representative Lyle Larson's Voting Records. votesmart.org. Retrieved on October 26, 2013.
- Peggy Fikac, "S.A. Rep. Larson is not scared by any governor," San Antonio Express-News, August 6, 2017, pp. 1, A23.
- Lyle Larson Biography. Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved on October 26, 2013.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 7, 2006). Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 6, 2012). Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 2, 2010). Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Mike Ward and Peggy Fikac, "Abbott veto tally highest since '07: Larson, who saw five bills axed, cites retribution," San Antonio Express-News, June 16, 2017, p. A3.
- Peggy Fikac, "Curtain is rising on Act iI in Austin: Reputations are on the line in this Legislature drama," San Antonio Express-News, July 16, 2017, p. 1.
- Christopher M. Fails. MyLife.com. Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Larson deserves GOP nomination. Laredo Morning Times reporting on The San Antonio Express-News endorsement of Larson (February 11, 2018). Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on March 7, 2018.
- Peggy Fikac, "Abbott is urged to soothe hard feelings", San Antonio Express-News, March 19, 2018, pp. 1, A2.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 6, 2018). Retrieved on November 10, 2018.