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November 20, 2012: Mr. Joe Straus

J. Strauss

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives

Principal, Watson, Mazur, Bennett & Strauss, LLC.


The Honorable Joe Straus was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in a special election in February 2005 (79th Regular Session). In addition to serving as Speaker, he represents San Antonio's 121st District, which includes the Bexar County communities of Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills, Windcrest, and northeast San Antonio.
Straus was re-elected Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at the commencement of the 82nd Regular Legislative Session on January 11, 2011.
In addition to presiding over the Texas House, Speaker Straus serves as the co-chair of the Legislative Budget Board, the State Preservation Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, and the Texas Legislative Council. He is one of five members on the Legislative Redistricting Board. Speaker Straus also serves as a member of the Texas House Republican Caucus.
As a lifelong Republican, Straus has served on numerous campaign committees for federal, state, and local candidates, as a precinct chairman, and on the Management Committee of the Bexar County Republican Party. In 1986, he was U.S. Representative Lamar Smith's campaign manager in Smith's first race for Congress. Early in his career, he worked in public service in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush.
Straus is a San Antonio native and a fifth-generation Texan. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he is principal at Watson, Mazur, Bennett & Strauss, LLC, an insurance, investments, and executive benefits practice. He and his wife Julie have two daughters.
 

Education

BA, Political Science, Vanderbilt University
 

Profession

Deputy Director of Business Liaison, United States Department of Commerce, 1989-1991
Assistant to the Commissioner of Customs, United States Department of Commerce
National Financial Partners
Principal, Watson, Mazur, Bennett & Straus, L.L.C.
 

Civic

Member, Advisory Board, Cancer Therapy and Research Center, present
Member, Board of Directors, San Antonio Zoological Society, present
Member, Advisory Board, Southwest School of Art and Craft, present
Member, Advisory Board, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, present
Member, Board of Directors, Texas Nature Conservancy, present
Member, Board of Directors, Winston School, present
Member, National Financial Partners, present
Member, TexPool Advisory Board, 2000-2004.
 

Political

Representative, Texas State House of Representatives, 2005-present
Won Special Election, Texas State House of Representatives, February 2005
Campaign Manager, United States Representative Lamar Smith
Precinct Chairman, Terrell Hills
Management Committee, Bexar County Republican Party.