Speaker of the House

Speaker standing in the chamber

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Respectfully,
Speaker Dennis Bonnen
Dennis Bonnen
Speaker of the House

Capitol Address:

Room 2W.13

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-1000

(512) 463-8414 Fax

District Address:

122 E. Myrtle

Angleton, TX 77515

(979) 848-1770

(979) 849-3169 Fax

Biography

The Honorable Dennis Bonnen was sworn in as Texas Speaker of the House on January 8, 2019. Elected to the post by his colleagues, Speaker Bonnen has set an early tone for unity among the House Chamber by empowering Members to work together to achieve meaningful results that address the state's most pressing issues. Speaker Bonnen believes in productive, efficient government that remains accountable to Texans while casting aside politics in favor of finding real solutions.

Speaker Bonnen has served in the Texas House of Representatives for over 20 years, representing the 25th House district that encompasses southern Brazoria County and the entirety of Matagorda County. First elected to the Legislature at the age of 24, Bonnen joined the House in 1997 and began his twelfth term of office in January 2019.

Prior to becoming Speaker of the House, Dennis Bonnen served for the past three legislative sessions as Speaker Pro Tempore. In the 84th and 85th sessions, he served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and in the 85th session as a member of the House Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee. Speaker Bonnen has previously served as Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee, Sunset Advisory Committee and the House Special Purpose Districts Committee, as Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee of Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency, and as a member of the Natural Resources Committee.

Speaker Bonnen was born and raised on the Gulf Coast and resides with his wife, Kim, and their two sons in Lake Jackson, Texas. While at home in Brazoria County, Speaker Bonnen is deeply involved in his community, serving as honorary chairman of Brazosport College's "Count on Us" campaign, on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement and B.I.G. Love Cancer Care Services, and as an honorary member of the Brazoria and Matagorda County Cavalries. He has served as honorary co-chairman of the Leukemia Society Light the Night Walk and Crime Stoppers Golf Tournament, and is an active supporter of the Brazoria County Fair, BACH, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, ActionS, Inc., and local Boys and Girls Clubs. As a lifelong champion for small businesses and economic development, Speaker Bonnen is proud to be a member of the Angleton, Brazosport, Sweeny, West Columbia, Brazoria, Bay City, Matagorda, Palacios, and Sargent Chambers of Commerce.

In addition to his legislative duties, Speaker Bonnen is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Heritage Bank. In 2009, the Houston Business Journal honored him with one of the inaugural "40 Under 40" awards.

Speaker Bonnen is a graduate of Angleton High School and graduated cum laude from St. Edward's University in Austin with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2001, St. Edward's honored him with their Alumni Achievement Award and he was inducted into the Angleton ISD Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013.

Member Press Releases 2019

Proclamations

Newsletters

  • No newsletters at this time.

Letters

  • No Letters at this time.

Powers & Duties

The speaker is the presiding officer of the house of representatives. The Texas Constitution requires the house of representatives, each time a new legislature convenes, to choose one of its own members to serve as speaker.

As presiding officer, the speaker maintains order during floor debate, recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural matters. The constitution also requires the speaker to sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature. As a member of the house of representatives, the speaker may vote on all questions before the house.

The other duties and responsibilities of the speaker are determined by the members of the house in the House Rules of Procedure, which are adopted by a majority vote of the members at the beginning of each regular session of the legislature. The members give the speaker the authority to appoint the membership of each standing committee, subject to rules on seniority, and to designate the chair and vice chair for each committee. Under the rules, the speaker is responsible for referring all proposed legislation to committee, subject to the committee jurisdictions set forth in the rules. The rules also allow the speaker to appoint conference committees, to create select committees, and to direct committees to conduct interim studies when the legislature is not in session.

Speaker's Office Staff Directory

Speaker's Office (512)463-1000
  • Gavin Massingill, Chief of Staff
  • Shera Eichler, Director of the Office of the Speaker
  • Mark Bell, Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Robby Cook, Special Advisor to the House
  • Kimberly Tharel, Administrative Coordinator to the Speaker
  • Addie Gomez, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff
  • Logan Davidson, Travel Aide
  • Murphy McCollough, Special Projects Coordinator
  • Sydney Watts, Coordinator of Correspondence & Administration
Speaker's Policy Office (512)463-1100
  • Gardner Pate, Director of Policy & General Counsel
  • Andrew Blifford, Director of Finance
  • Sallie Bentley, Assistant Director of Finance
  • Andrea Sheridan, Policy Advisor to the House for Education
  • Amanda Lopez, Assistant General Counsel & Policy Advisor to the House for Tax & Financial Institutions
  • Kyler Arnold, Policy Advisor to the House for Health & Human Services
  • Jesse Sifuentez, Assistant General Counsel & Policy Advisor to the House for Insurance & Civil Law
  • Will McAdams, Policy Advisor to the House for Business & Regulated Industries
  • Oscar Garza, Policy Advisor to the House for Transportation & General Government
  • Shakira Pumphrey, Policy Advisor to the House for Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement & Veterans Affairs
  • Jennifer Saenz, Assistant General Counsel & Policy Advisor to the House for Natural Resources, Water & Agriculture
Speaker's Press Office (512)463-1000
  • Gene Acuna, Director of Communications
  • Cait Meisenheimer, Press Secretary
Speaker's District Office (979)848-1770
  • Jessica Follett, District Affairs Coordinator/Liaison
  • Nancy Wollam, District Director