Jan 10, 2023 - Politics

Houston-area legislators to watch in the 2023 session

Photo of a white, bald man with a red tie.

State Sen. John Whitmire. Photo: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Houston has some high-profile lawmakers headed to Austin for the session.

  • See who represents you here.

Here are some local legislators to watch:

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston

  • Bettencourt is known as the "Tax Man" for his outspoken efforts to cut property taxes.
  • He is often very active "in terms of the nuts and bolts of the legislative process, particularly when it relates to anything regarding taxes for governments," says Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston

  • Whitmire ranks first in seniority with 40 years of service in the Senate. He's known as the "Dean of the Texas Senate" and is the only Democrat to chair a committee.
  • Whitmire's one of the more influential members in the Houston delegation, according to Jones, and among all of the Democrats in the chamber.
  • Of note: Whitmire is running for Houston mayor this year.

Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston

  • Alvarado's focus has been on economic development, public health and public education.
  • She has been shepherding gambling and casino legislation for over a decade on the platform of jobs and economic development.

Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park

  • Cain is a high-profile representative and one of the more conservative Republican members of the Texas House.
  • Cain, a member of the far-right Texas Freedom Caucus, will likely push conservative priorities and pressure Speaker Dade Phelan to tilt more to the right, Jones says.

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