Mark Shelton

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Mark McGregor Shelton​

Texas State Representative for
District 97 (southwestern
Fort Worth​)
In office
January 13, 2009​ – January 8, 2013​
Preceded by Dan Barrett​
Succeeded by Craig Goldman​

Born November 8, 1956​
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Osterhoudt Shelton​
Children Richard Bryce Shelton​

Andrew James Shelton
​ Peter Shelton
​ Betsy Shelton​

Residence Fort Worth, Texas, USA ​
Alma mater Miribeau B. Lamar High School
(Arlington, Texas)​

Baylor University (Waco)
Texas A&M University College of Medicine (Bryan)

Occupation Infectious disease pediatrician
Religion Southern Baptist

Mark McGregor Shelton (born November 8, 1956), is a pediatrician at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, who is a Republican former state representative. From 2009 to 2013, he represented House District 97 in Tarrant County.[1]

Shelton did not seek reelection in 2012 but instead ran a strong but unsuccessful race for state senator in District 10, having been defeated by the Democrat Wendy Russell Davis, her party's 2014 nominee against Republican Greg Abbott and a 2020 opponent to U.S. Representative Chip Roy. Shelton ran again in 2014 for the same Senate seat but was handily defeated by the more conservative challenger, Konni Burton, a businesswoman from Colleyville in Tarrant County, a favorite of the Tea Party movement.[2]Burton received 17,435 votes (60.2 percent) to Shelton's 6,237 (38.9 percent).[3]​ In 2018, with the surge in Tarrant County for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's liberal Democrat opponent, Beto O'Rourke, Burton was defeated for reelection by a Democrat in her bid for a second term in the office.


​ Shelton's place of birth is not available. The website reports that he formerly lived in Edmond near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[4] He was reared in Arlington in Tarrant County and graduated in 1974 from Mirabeau B. Lamar High School there. In 1979, he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In 1983, he received his M.D. from the Texas A&M College of Medicine in Bryan.[5]​​

Since 1988, Shelton has been the director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Program at the Cook Medical Center. He specializes in the control of infectious diseases and has directed the pediatric AIDS unit. He is active in community affairs, including the Boy Scouts, having himself been an Eagle Scout. He has raised funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Lena Pope Home, an orphanage in Fort Worth.[5]​ ​ Shelton and his wife, the former Mary Ann Osterhoudt (born c. 1956), have four children, Richard Bryce, Andrew James, Peter, and Betsy. He is a member of the Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.[6]​ ​

Political life

​ On November 6, 2007, Dr. Shelton was one of seven candidate who ran in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Anna Mowery, who resigned midway in her term. He finished second with 4,049 votes (22.9 percent). The top votegetter, Democrat Dan Barrett, polled 5,575 (31.5 percent). Republican Craig Goldman, who would ultimately succeed Shelton as the District 97 representative in 2013, finished in fourth place in the special election with 2,947 votes (16.7 percent).[7]In the runoff election, Barrett defeated Shelton, 5,365 (52.2 percent) to 4,915 (47.8 percent) to claim the seat for the year remaining in Mowery's term.[8]

In the Republican primary in 2008, Shelton ran again and won outright over two opponents who had also run in the special election just four months earlier. He received 7,787 votes (58.5 percent).[9]

In the 2008 general election, Shelton turned the tables on Barrett and won back the seat for the Republicans. He polled 37,800 votes (55.3 percent) to Barrett's 29,206 (42.8 percent). The remaining 1.9 percent went to the Libertarian Party nominee, Rodney Lynn ​Wingo (born c. 1947) of Fort Worth.[10]

In 2010, Shelton won his second term in the general election. Though no Democrat ran that year in the district, he defeated the Libertarian candidate from 2008, Rodney Wingo, 28,275 (86.4 percent) to 4,448 (13.6 percent).[11]

Shelton won the Republican nomination for the state Senate on May 29, 2012 with 80.8 percent of the ballots casts over his intra-party rival, Derek Cooper.[12]In the general election Wendy Davis narrowly prevailed, 147,103 votes (51.1 percent) to Shelton's 140,656 (48.9 percent).[13]

On March 4, 2014, again seeking Davis' Senate seat, Shelton ran second in the Republican primary. He polled 15,689 votes (35.2 percent) to Konni Burton's 19,288 (43.2 percent). Three other candidates held the remaining but critical 21.6 percent of the vote.[14]Burton carried the endorsement of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who called her a "tireless, unwavering warrior for the conservative cause".[2] Other conservative figures who lined up with Burton over Shelton were state Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth and former Republican National Committeeman Tim Lambert of Lubbock, the president of the Texas Homeschool Coalition.[2]Shelton carried the blessing of Mayor Betsy Price of Fort Worth, who describes him as "an advocate for business, job growth, and low taxes."[15]

Burton defeated the Democrat Libby B. Willis (born c. 1959), a community organizer from Fort Worth, who carried Davis' endorsement.[2] The Republican primary turnout in 2014 exceeded that of the Democrats in the nominally Democratic district by 21,531 votes,[14], a factor undoubtedly contributing to Burton's 53 percent in the general election. ​ ​

Legislative voting records

In 2011, Representative Shelton voted to forbid state funding of agencies which perform abortions. He co-sponsored companion legislation which requires that a woman undergo a sonogram before procuring an abortion. This act is based on the view that a woman could change her mind about an abortion once she witnesses the development of the unborn child through the latest technology.[16]The Texas Right to Life Committee, according to Project Vote Smart, rated Shelton only 60 percent favorable in 2011. The National Abortion Rights Action League rated him 0 percent.[17]

Shelton voted for the adoption of the biennial state budgets in 2011 and supported a resolution to reduce funding for state agencies, which passed the House, 84-63. He voted to extend the sales tax to Internet transactions to match existing laws for brick and mortar stores; the measure passed the House, 125-20. Shelton voted to prohibit smoking in public places; the bill passed the House, 73-66. He voted to establish eligibility for indigent health care. He sponsored the bill to establish corporal punishment in public schools; the measure passed the House, 80-64. Shelton voted to require that student centers at state colleges and universities in their construction and operation be cognizant of traditional family values; the measure passed the House, 110-24. To guarantee the integrity of the election process, Shelton co-sponsored picture identification of voters.[16] The law finally took effect in October 2013 and was used widely in the primaries on March 4, 2014.[18]

Interest group ratings

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Shelton 32 percent favorable in 2011 but 75 percent in 2009. The Young Conservatives of Texas in 2011 netted him a lifetime score of 71 percent. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated Shelton 38 percent favorable in 2011 but 85 percent two years earlier in 2009. The Texas Association of Business gave him a cumulative score of 91 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated Shelton 69 percent in 2011; the Sierra Club, 33 percent. The National Rifle Association scored him 92 percent in 2012 and "A" in his previous legislative session. In 2009, the Libertarian Party of Texas rated Shelton 59 percent on both personal liberties and economic issues.[17]​ ​


  1. Mark Shelton. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Merrill Hope (March 17, 2014). Texas Senate Candidate Konni Burton to Start Runoff Campaign with Ted Cruz. Breitbart. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  3. Texas Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative) May 27, 2012.
  4. Mark McGregor Shelton. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mark Shelton. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on March 30, 2014.
  6. Mark Shelton's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  7. Texas Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative), November 6, 2007.
  8. Texas Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative), December 18, 2007.
  9. Texas Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative), March 4, 2008.
  10. Texas Secretary of State, General Election Returns (Legislative), November 4, 2008.
  11. Texas Secretary of State, Elections Returns (Legislative), November 2, 2010.
  12. Texas Secretary of State, Elections Returns (Legislative), May 29, 2012.
  13. Texas Secretary of State, General Elections Returns (Legislative), November 6, 2012.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014.
  15. "Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price endorses Dr. Mark Shelton for Senate District 10,", accessed March 30, 2014; no longer on-line.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Mark Shelton's Voting Records. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mark Shelton's Ratings and Endorsements. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.
  18. Roque Planas (October 21, 2013). Texas Voter ID Officially Takes Effect. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on May 30, 2020.