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Speaker of the House

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Speaker of the House
Dade Phelan

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Speaker of the House signature
Dade Phelan
Speaker of the House


Representative Dade Phelan (Beaumont) is the 76th Speaker of the Texas House and is currently serving his fifth term as State Representative for District 21.

Prior to serving as Speaker, he served as Chair of the House Committee on State Affairs, as Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, as a member of the Calendars, Appropriations, and Elections Committees as well as the Select Committee on Ports, Innovation and Infrastructure.

In 2019, Speaker Phelan was named by Texas Monthly as one of the Best Legislators of the 86th legislative session. He has earned numerous additional accolades in recognition of his legislative service, including Capitol Inside's "Most Valuable Sophomore Member" in 2017 and as one of their "Most Outstanding Freshmen Legislators" in 2015. Phelan has been named Legislative Champion by the Boys and Girls Club of Texas, Legislator of the Year by the Texas Apartment Association, Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business, Most Valuable Legislator by the Texas Association of Community Schools, a Fighter for Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business and the 2019 Mental Health Champion by Mental Health America.

Phelan is the former president and two-time Governor appointee to the Lower Neches Valley Authority. His board service includes the Texas Lyceum, Southeast Texas CASA, Golden Triangle Coastal Conservation Association, The Jefferson Theater, St. Anne Catholic Church and Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas.

In addition to his duties as Speaker, Phelan works as a real estate developer at his family's fourth generation commercial real estate development firm, which owns and manages retail, industrial and office property in Texas and Arkansas.

His wife, Kim, is a solo practitioner attorney and together they have four sons, Ford, Mack, Hank and Luke. He and his family reside together in Southeast Texas, where Speaker Phelan was born and raised. He received his bachelor’s degree in Government and Business from The University of Texas at Austin.


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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.

Office Staff Directory

Speaker's Office (512) 463-1000

  • Enrique Marquez, Chief of Staff
  • Kelly Mitchell, Executive Director of Speaker Operations and Legislative Director
  • Braden Hand, Travel Aide
  • Kristine Richmond, Scheduler

Speaker's District Office (409) 745-2777

  • Cole Michalk, District Director
  • Lauren Perkins, HD 21 District Coordinator

Speaker's Correspondence & Administration (512) 463-1000

  • Sydney Watts, Director of Administration
  • Nathan Cline, Correspondence Assistant
  • Alana Garrett, Correspondence Assistant

Speaker's Budget & Finance (512) 463-1100

  • Andrew Blifford, Director of Finance
  • Sallie Bentley, Senior Budget Advisor

Speaker's Policy Office (512) 463-1100

  • Margo Cardwell, Director of Policy
  • Jason Briggs, Policy Advisor to the House for Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence; State Affairs; Transportation; Urban Affairs
  • Briana Novian, Policy Advisor to the House for Human Services and Public Health
  • Sam Bacarisse, Policy Advisor to the House for Business & Industry; Insurance; Licensing & Administrative Procedures; and Pensions, Investments & Financial Services
  • Marissa Patton, Policy Advisor to the House for Natural Resources; Land & Resource Management; Agriculture & Livestock; Culture, Recreation & Tourism; Environmental Regulation
  • Shakira Pumphrey, Policy Advisor to the House for Criminal Jurisprudence; corrections; Juvenile Justice & Family Issues; Homeland Security & Public Safety; Defense and Veterans' Affairs
  • Daniel Warner, Policy Advisor to the House for Public Education; Higher Education; International Relations & Economic Development

General Counsel (512) 463-1100

  • Margo Cardwell, Senior Counsel to the House
  • Jason Briggs, General Counsel to the House

Speaker's Press Office (512) 463-1100

  • Cait Wittman, Director of Communications
  • Kim Carmichael, Press Secretary