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Richard Peña Raymond (born October 27, 1960) is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives. He currently represents District 42, which encompasses western Webb Countymarker and includes most of the city of Laredomarker. He is Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and is also a member of the Border Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. In 2006, Raymond ran for reelection to his state House seat and defeated former Webb County Judge Mercurio "Merc" Martinez, Jr., in a hard-fought Democratic primary runoff.

In 1998, Raymond gave up his previous House seat when he resided in Benavidesmarker in order to challenge the Republican candidate for land commissioner, David Dewhurst. Dewhurst easily won the election for the right to succeed Democratic Land Commissioner Garry Mauro of Bryanmarker.

On the day of the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, Raymond won a special election in Webb County to succeed Henry Cuellar in the state House of Representatives. He defeated a multi-candidate field of Democrats, including Carlos Ygnacio "C.Y." Benavides, III, a Laredo-area businessman, who in 2006 ran unsuccessfully for Webb County judge.

Before politics

Raymond was born in Alicemarker, the seat of Jim Wells Countymarker, and reared in Benavides. He graduated from Benavides High School. He attended the University of Texas at Austinmarker, where he received a bachelor of arts degree, majoring in government with a minor in history. Raymond also earned a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He and his wife Michelle have three children: Aren, Eva, and Ryan.

Raymond is considered a liberal Democrat who is often at odds with the Texas state Republican leadership. He filed the lawsuit opposing the 2003 congressional redistricting plan adopted by the states' Republican majority. In 2006, the United States Supreme Courtmarker, with the Ronald Reagan appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the swing vote, ordered changes in the plan which proved favorable to Texas Democrats changes in the mid-term elections.

In 2007, Raymond participated unsuccessfully in a coup attempt against Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Midlandmarker Republican.

During the opening session of 2007, Raymond was the only member who rose to ask fellow members to vote against Craddick, even though he had no opponent. The refrain "Prove Me Wrong, Mr. Speaker," used by Raymond during this critical speech, was then repeated during the rest of the session, as opposition continued to build against Craddick. Twenty six other members joined Raymond in voting against Craddick, but by the end of the session it was clear a majority now agreed with Raymond.

At the beginning of the 2009 Session, Raymond and others finally succeeded in toppling Craddick by maneuvering the election of Representative Joe Straus (R - San Antonio) as the Speaker of the House.

In February 2009, Speaker Straus named Raymond Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, making him one of the most influential Democrats in the House of Representatives. Raymond was also named a member of the House Committee on Border Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations.

Election history

Most recent election

2006

Previous elections

2006

2004

2002

2001

1998

1996

1994

1992

Notes





References




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