Phil Stephenson

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Phyllip Wayne "Phil" Stephenson​

Texas State Representative for
District 85 (Fort Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties​)
Assumed office 
January 2013​
Preceded by Jim Landtroop (transferred to District 88 and defeated)​

Born February 4, 1945​
Duncan, Oklahoma, USA​
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Lynn Jarvis Stephenson​ (married 1972-2016, her death)
Children Scott Stephenson

Allison S. LeGrand

Residence Wharton, Texas
Alma mater Plainview (Texas) High School

South Plains College
Texas Tech University

Occupation Businessman
Religion United Methodist

Phyllip Wayne Stephenson, known as Phil Stephenson (born February 4, 1945),[1]is a Certified Public Accountant from Wharton, Texas, who is a Republican state representative for District 85 based in Wharton, Fort Bend, and Jackson counties in the southeastern portion of the state.[2]

He was re-nominated in 2020 for a fifth term with 78 percent of the primary vote and went on to win his on November 3, 2020.[3]


​ Stephenson is a native of Duncan in Stephens County in southern Oklahoma southwest of Lawton. At some point, he moved to Hale County, north of Lubbock, Texas, where he graduated in 1964 from Plainview High School in Plainview. He then attended the two-year South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, and then Texas Tech University in Lubbock, from which he received in 1969 a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.[1]​ Since 1976, Stephenson has owned the CPA firm, Stephenson and Company. After college, he worked as senior accountant for Main Lafrentz and Company in Dallas, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.[1]

Stephenson and his wife, the former Barbara Lynn Jarvis (1948-2016), have two children, Scott and Allison LeGrand. He is a United Methodist.​[1]​ Upon his death Stephenson will be interred alongside his wife at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. His gravestone has the correct spelling of his first name as "Phyllip."[4] Most sources cited, however, use "Phillip."

Political life

From 2000 until his election to the state House, Stephenson was an elected member of the nonpartisan board of trustees of Wharton County Junior College. From 1997 to 2000, he was the chairman of the Wharton County Republican Party.[1] In 2000, Stephenson ran for the District 28 seat in the Texas House but was defeated by the incumbent Democrat, Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III, 29,937 (63.3 percent) to 17,321 (36.7 percent).[5] District 28 then included Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, and Wharton counties, east and south of the capital city of Austin.[6]

In 2012, House District 85 was fully reconfigured through redistricting under the 2010 census. Previously represented in West Texas by Republican Jim Landtroop of Plainview, where Stephenson had graduated from high school, the district was relocated to Ford Bend, Jackson, and Wharton counties west of Houston. Landtroop was moved to District 88 and unseated after one term in the 2012 Republican primary by the Moderate Republican Ken King of Canadian in Hemphill County in the Texas Panhandle.[7]

Stephenson and Lee Duggan contested the District 85 Republican nomination, which Stephenson won by 736 votes, 5,944 (53.3 percent) to 5,208 (46.7 percent).[8] Stephenson then won the general election by defeating Democrat former District 27 representative, Dora Olivo, 28,626 votes (58.3 percent) to 20,435 (41.7 percent).[7]

Representative Stephenson is a member of the House committees on (1) Pensions and (2) Government Efficiency and Reform.[1]

Legislative positions

In 2013, Stephenson supported the ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the measure passed the House, 96-49. He co-sponsored companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers.[9] These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the state Senate from Wendy Russell Davis of Fort Worth, a leftist organizer dubbed "Abortion Barbie" by her conservative critics. In 2014, Davis was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor against Republican Greg Abbott.[10] The Texas Right to Life Committee rated him 78 percent favorable on pro-life issues.[11]

Stephenson supported the bill to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He also co-sponsored the extension of the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. He voted to adopt the biennium state budget. He voted against the bill to prohibit texting while driving, which passed the House, 97-45. Stephenson voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted against the "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61.[9]

Stephenson co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored legislation to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He supported legislation to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. He backed the redistricting bills for the state House and Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. King voted for term limits for certain state officials.[9]

Interest group ratings

In 2013, Stephenson's rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, formerly managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former interi8m state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, was 73 percent favorable. The Young Conservatives of Texas ranked him 55 percent. The Texas League of Conservation Voters scored him 71 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated him 40 percent favorable, a low rating for a Republican lawmaker. However, the Texas Association of Business in 2013 scored him 87 percent favorable. The National Rifle Association rated him 92 percent.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Phil Stephenson's Biography. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  2. Phil Stephenson. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  3. Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns (District 85), March 3, 2020.
  4. Barbara Lynn Stephenson (spouse). Texas State Cemetery (Austin). Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  5. Texas Secretary of State, General election returns (House District 28), November 7, 2000.
  6. Robert L. "Robby" Cook, III. Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Texas Secretary of State, General election returns (House District 85), November 6, 2012.
  8. Texas Secretary of State, Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Phil Stephenson's Voting Records. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  10. Manny Fernandez (June 25, 2013). Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill. The New York Times. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Phil Stephenson's Ratings and Endorsements. Retrieved on June 24, 2020.

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