Voice of the Conservative Vote

Voice of the Conservative Vote

Every week, TexasGOPVote features a Voice of the Conservative Vote. Those recognized include citizens, bloggers, activists, authors, radio show hosts, members of ministry, thought leaders, legislators and others who exemplify principles of Republican exceptionalism. They demonstrate clear thinking, leadership, initiative, and values that are vital for the future of Texas and the United States. They are the Voice of the Conservative Vote.

Blog Posts

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Barry Smitherman

Barry Smitherman is a fourth generation Texan appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Railroad Commission of Texas on Friday, July 8, 2011. He currently serves on the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) having first been appointed by Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and then reappointed by Secretary Steven Chu. Barry is a member of the State Bar of Texas and Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory panel on Federal Environmental regulation. He is also a member of the National Association of Regulatory

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Lana Shadwick

Lana Shadwick is running for the 179th Criminal District Court in Harris County.

Lana Shadwick is a life-long Republican and has been active in Harris County with the Harris County Republican party and with Republican groups for almost twenty years. She is a prosecutor serving in the finest state prosecutorial appellate section in our nation – the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. She is responsible for assisting trial prosecutors with legal issues and for being a criminal law scholar.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Merrie Spaeth

Merrie Spaeth has a unique background in media, government, politics, business and entertainment. She is a pioneer in communication theory, executive training and coaching. Spaeth is acknowledged as one of the most influential communication counselors in the world.

Merrie has coached thousands of executives who want to become more effective communicators, improve their presentation skills and ultimately expand their leadership capabilities.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Matt Rinaldi

Matt Rinaldi is a candidate for Texas House District 115. Matt Rinaldi, the son of an Italian immigrant and public school teacher, has been active in Republican politics for approximately 20 years. As a student at James Madison University, he made national news for his efforts to have the Pledge of Allegiance recited before student government meetings. Matt was the 2010 Republican nominee for Judge of the 191st District Court, and earned approximately 20,000 votes in the HD 115 portion of Dallas County. He currently serves as Vice President of Programs for the Greater Irving Republican Club, is an Associate Member of the Irving Republican Women, and member of the Dallas County Young Republicans. He has been an active participant in both the Dallas and Irving/Coppell Tea Parties since their inception, and served as co-chairman of the Media Committee for the April 2009 Dallas Tax Day Tea Party.

Rinaldi attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics. He continued his studies at Boston University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 2001. Upon receiving his law degree, Matt accepted a position as a litigation associate with the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, one of the nation's premier law firms that is perhaps best-known for its successful representation of President George W. Bush in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore, which effectively determined the result of the contested 2000 election.

Matt has provided legal commentary on FoxNews Radio affiliate stations throughout the country. A strong advocate of tort reform, he is currently a commercial litigation attorney with the law firm of Miller, Egan, Molter & Nelson, LLP. He was selected as a Texas Monthly Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2006 and 2007.

As one who believes in giving back to his community, Matt represented under-privileged families in the "Adoption Saturday" project, a program developed to speed the adoption of abused and neglected children in Dallas County.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Robert Nichols

First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Robert Nichols represents 16 counties including the greater part of East Texas and Montgomery County.

Nichols serves as vice chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and sits on the Transportation and Homeland Security, Natural Resources, Health and Human Services, and Nominations Committees. He was also appointed last year to the influential Sunset Advisory Commission. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Robert Nichols

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Jason Villalba

Jason Villalba is a candidate for Texas House. A product of hard work & determination. A fifth-generation Texan, Jason was born in Dallas at Methodist Hospital. As the son of an airline mechanic, from an early age Jason was taught to work hard, study diligently, act with integrity and do what’s right. As a young man, Jason mowed lawns, worked as a checker at Walmart and a stockboy at a local hardware store to help out his folks. The first in his family to graduate from college, Jason worked his way through Baylor University where he studied Economics and Finance, then graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.

A business-minded approach. As a former financial analyst and as a partner at one of Dallas’ most respected law firms, Jason has hands-on experience working with and advising growing businesses and start-ups and dealing with complex financial and corporate transactions. As our State Representative, Jason will put his diverse business and financial experience to work to grow our economy, create high-wage jobs, cut wasteful spending and keep our taxes at current or lower rates.

Dedicated to improving education. As the product of Texas public schools and father of two young girls who will soon attend elementary school in the Dallas ISD, the quality of our public schools is not just a campaign issue to Jason – it’s personal. That’s why as our State Representative, Jason will work tirelessly for meaningful public education reform that broadens charter schools and voucher programs, includes school choice for our parents and requires more accountability from our administrators and teachers. Like you, Jason believes that improving our schools will strengthen our communities, our economy and our future.

Involved in our community. An active member of our community for more than a decade, Jason currently serves on the development committee of the Dallas Zoo and is an active member of the Dallas Children’s Trust. Jason is also an appointee of Dallas City Councilmember Ann Margolin, serving on the city’s Housing Finance Corporation, and Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey, serving on the Citizens Elections Advisory Committee. A proven conservative. Jason is the immediate past Vice-Chair of the Dallas County Republican Party and the current Chairman of the Dallas Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. In 2006 and 2010, Jason was named as a delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. As our State Representative, Jason will strive for conservative, bold, results-driven solutions that keep Texas great and that make life better for all of our families and citizens.


  • Fifth Generation Texan 
  • Born in Dallas, Texas 


Jason Villalba

  • Baylor University – B.B.A. Finance/Economics 1992 
  • University of Texas School of Law – J.D. 1996

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Barbara Carrasco

Barbara Carrasco is running for the 16th Congressional District of Texas. Barbara is a twenty-one year resident of El Paso and a small business owner. It is because of her many years’ experience in business and her involvement in local politics that Barbara wants to be your advocate in Washington, D.C.

It is a deep love for family that motivates Barbara to become involved in El Paso politics and to really make a difference. She was born and raised in New Mexico

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy represents House District 133 (West Houston) in the Texas Legislature. A brief look at Jim Murphy’s career in business and public service reveals several constant traits: service, leadership, results.

Jim carried these traits to Austin and was successful in passing legislation that helped the residents of House District 133.

Jim serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and the Small Business and Economic Development committee. He was recently appointed to represent Texas on The US Energy Council and on the NCSL Task Force on state taxation and revenue. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Jim Murphy

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Jim Landtroop

Jim Landtroop is a freshman State Representative for House District 85, unseating the incumbent Democrat, Joseph Heflin, in the 2010 Elections.

As a small business owner, Jim serves over 1,400 clients and helps create jobs. When Jim is in the district, he is a community leader who serves on several local boards and is a member of several community organizations.

Like most West Texans, Jim is tired of government spending too much and

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: John Culberson

As a fiscally conservative “Jeffersonian Republican,” Congressman John Culberson is committed to Thomas Jefferson’s vision of limited government, individual liberty, and states’ rights. Simply put, John Culberson believes in “Letting Texans Run Texas.”

John Culberson was elected in 2000 to represent the 7th District, a seat formerly held by President George H. W. Bush and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer. In Congress, John’s priorities include strengthening the economy by cutting taxes,

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Harvey Hilderbran

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1988 and was most recently re-elected in 2010 to serve the people of District 53.

In 2011, he was appointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which deals will all legislation relating to the state’s tax code. As chairman of the committee, Hilderbran sits on the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Budget Board. The board prepares the draft appropriations bill along with budget estimates for each state agency. Hilderban also serves

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Kelly Hancock

First elected in 2006, Representative Kelly Hancock is serving his third term in the Texas House of Representatives, representing Northeast Tarrant County (HD-91). Hancock is an advocate for core conservative values of limited government, lower taxes, economic development, and strong family values.

During the 82nd legislative session, Speaker Joe Straus appointed Representative Hancock to serve on the House Committee on Insurance, the House Committee on Environmental Regulation and as Vice Chairman of the Local and Consent Calendar Committee.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Sam Johnson

Congressman Sam Johnson represents the Third Congressional District of Texas.

Sam Johnson returned home to Texas after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 29-years as a highly decorated fighter pilot. He flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and was a Prisoner of War in Hanoi for nearly seven years.

After his distinguished military career, Johnson started a home-building business from scratch and served in the Texas legislature.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Robert Orr

Rep. Rob Orr is humbled to represent the citizens of Johnson and Bosque Counties (District 58) in the Texas House of Representatives. He notes that the position of State Representative is one of the most challenging and exciting jobs of his professional career. He is proud of the work he is doing on behalf of the State of Texas.

He has distinguished himself by being named Chairman of the House Committee on Land and Resource Management. During the 80th Legislative Session, he served as chairman

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Brian Birdwell

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brian Birdwell is a native Texan, decorated military veteran and lifelong conservative Republican currently representing Texas Senate District 22. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Brian Birdwell

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Matt Strawn

Matthew N. Strawn, a fifth generation Iowan and Eastern Iowa native, has served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa since January 2009.

Following a successful career as a public servant on Capitol Hill, where he served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was twice-named by The Hill newspaper of one of the top 35 under 35 in Washington, DC, Matt returned home to Iowa in 2007 with his wife to raise their young children. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Matt Strawn

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Warren Chisum

Warren Darrel Chisum (born July 4, 1938) is a conservative Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from the Panhandle city of Pampa, a community of some 20,000 people and the seat of Gray County. He represents the 88th House District of Texas. He has served in the state House since 1989. A key lieutenant of former Speaker Thomas Russell "Tom" Craddick, Sr., of Midland, Chisum chaired the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee from 2007-2009. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Warren Chisum

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Dee Margo

Dee Margo represents the 78th House District of Texas. 

For over 30 years Dee has worked at the John D. Williams Company (JDW Insurance), with El Paso roots dating back to 1898, working his way up through the ranks from Vice President in 1977 to President, and now to his current position of Chairman and CEO.

Dee helped found the Border Fund, a non-profit foundation providing over $26 million in charitable grants to local volunteer groups.

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Connie Scott

Connie Scott represents the 34th District of Texas. In 2010, Connie Scott was elected to her first session in the Texas House of Representatives serving District 34, which includes a segment of Corpus Christi, as well as Agua Dulce, Banquete, Bishop, Driscoll, Petronilla, and Robstown.

Connie was born on November 10, 1961. A native Texan, she worked her way through Luling High School, graduating in 1980. She knows what it means to work hard, as a single mother of two for many years, and a longtime co-owner of a pipeline construction business. Connie has earned a reputation of a no-nonsense, natural leader. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Connie Scott

Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Todd Hunter

Todd Hunter represents the 32nd House District of Texas. In 2010, Todd Hunter was elected to his sixth term in the Texas House of Representative serving District 32. He was first elected to public office in 1988 and retired from public service in 1997 so that he could help raise his three young children with his wife Alexis. In 2008, Todd was elected as a Republican representing District 32 composed of Aransas, Calhoun, San Patricio and part of Nueces County. He is currently the senior partner of Hunter and Handel, P.C. in Corpus Christi. Read more about Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Todd Hunter



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