Skip to main content

Like the Texas Legislature at large, committee chairs are mostly white men

Most of the members of the Texas Legislature are white men — and so are the committee chairs.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus have assigned committee chairs for the 2017 Legislature.

With all committee chairs in place for the 85th Texas Legislature, the gatekeepers of legislation reflect the demographic reality under the pink dome where women and people of color are largely underrepresented.

Like the Legislature at large, a majority of committee chairs are white men, but there are differences between the two chambers. There are no Republicans of color in the Senate where all but two of the 14 committee chairs are Republicans, leaving just one chair who is a person of color. 

In the House, which has 40 committees, people of color are almost equally represented among committee chairs compared to the overall seats they hold in the chamber. Women hold about 19 percent of the chamber's seats and 17.5 percent of committee chairs. 

Here’s a look, by chamber, at the demographics of the committee chairs:

Wait! We need your help.


Explore related story topics

Demographics Immigration Politics State government 85th Legislative Session Dan Patrick Joe Straus Texas House of Representatives Texas Legislature Texas Senate