Darryl Kent Grusendorf (born December 17, 1939) is a businessman and investor from Austin, Texas, who served as a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 94 from 1987 to 2007, while he resided in Arlington in Tarrant County in north Texas. He was unseated in the 2006 Republican primary.
Grusendorf was reared in Waco in north Central Texas. He procured a band scholarship to the University of Texas at Arlington, then known as Arlington State College. When he arrived in Arlington, possibly in the early 1960s, he had only his French horn and $90 in his pocket. He also attended Baylor University in Waco, but the time of his studies there is unclear.
Grusendorf married the former Nancy Ellen Todd of Waco, the daughter of Randall Woodrow Todd and the former Edna Thelma Dodge (1914-1988). The couple had one child, Darryl Kent Grusendorf, Jr., who was born in 1962 in Grand Prairie in Dallas County. The young family moved to Arlington, but in 1965, after Grusendorf received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UTA, they relocated to Parma, near Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. They returned in 1970 to Arlington. Their son, an honor student at Bowie High School in Arlington, died at the age of seventeen in 1979. He is interred at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington.
From 1982 to 1984, Grusendorf served on the elected Texas Board of Education, along with future Governor Rick Perry. In 1986, he ran for the state House, with education reform and school accountability ideas his then highest priority.
Early in Grusendorf's legislative career, the Texas Select Committee on Higher Education, a group appointed by Governor Mark White to consider streamlining of the state's colleges and universities, proposed that the University of Texas at Arlington be re-defined as a "comprehensive university," with an emphasis on teaching, instead of research. Many UTA faculty and students believed that the change would have eliminated doctoral programs at the institution. Bob McFarland, the state senator from Arlington, and Grusendorf, when he joined the legislature in 1987, fought the committee recommendation. Soon political support was manifested throughout Tarrant County, and the mission of UTA was clarified to include "achieving excellence in all academic areas — teaching, research, and public service."
A conservative in Republican circles, Grusendorf in 2006 lost renomination for an eleventh two-year term to Diane Patrick, a college teacher considered a moderate member of the GOP. In the 2005 legislative session, Grusendorf was the chairman of the House Education Committee and a long-time advocate of school vouchers. Patrick made Grusendorf's support for vochers key to her upset victory. In the primary held on March 7, 2006, Patrick polled 5,973 votes (58 percent) to Grusendorf's 4,308 (41.9 percent). By contrast in the 1992 primary, Grusendorf had defeated T. Arthur Andrews, 7,222 (78.7 percent) to 1,950 (21.3 percent).
Grusendorf benefited from two campaign appearances on his behalf by Governor Perry, who stressed their common views on education. Grusendorf has supported a $2 billion increase in educational funding but not the $10 billion advocated by the public school lobby. Ultimately, Grusendorf blamed his defeat on Democratic crossover voters who had not previously participated in Republican primaries in Tarrant County, of which Fort Worth is the county seat.
Oddly only eight days before he lost to Diane Patrick, Grusendorf transferred $58,000 in unused funds from his 2006 campaign committee to the Campaign for Republican Leadership, his political action committee.
After his divorce from Barbara Todd, Grusendorf married and was by the year 2000 divorced from the former Barbara Lynn Thompson, a Republican activist and a Texas elector in 2004 for U.S. President George W. Bush.
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- List of United States presidential electors, 2004