Personal Profile


Full Name Terry Canales
Age 38
Hometown Edinburg
Race Hispanic
Occupation Attorney
Education J.D., St. Mary's University
Spouse: Erica

Terry Canales is the representative of Texas’ House District 40, first elected in 2012. The district includes Hidalgo County.

Canales serves on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and the Energy Resources Committee.

Canales legislative focus is centered on education, to ensure children are seen as an investment and not an expense. He holds a deep-rooted belief that education is the cornerstone of society and a great equalizer. His views on education are undoubtedly a result of his family background, his professional training, and his sincere desire to ensure that all children have the opportunity to succeed. As the son of a former schoolteacher, he was immersed in the inner workings of the public education system early on. As a child, he watched his mother teach during the day and attend college courses at night so that she could complete her Master's Degree in Special Education. Canales earned his Juris Doctrate by the age of 24.

Canales owns a law practice on Closner Boulevard in Edinburg, Texas. Canales specializes in Oil and Gas litigation, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Family Law, Real Estate and Municipal Law. Canales has represented clients involved in oil and gas litigation, mineral disputes and oil field accidents. Canales completed his law degree at St. Mary's University of Law.

Rep. Canales made history on January 8, 2013, when he was elected to serve as a State Representative. His victory marked the first time voters had elected three members of the same family to the House of Representatives: His father, Terry A. Canales, was the first Hispanic State Representative to represent Jim Wells County, serving from 1973-1977. His sister Gabriella "Gabi" Canales served in 2002. He is also the sixth member of his extended family to serve in the Texas House of Representatives. Perhaps the most recognized of Rep. Canales' family is his great uncle, Jose Tomás Canales, a Brownsville Democrat who served a total of five terms between 1905 and 1921. He was a founding member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and is most famous for defending the Hispanic community against the injustices perpetrated by the Texas Rangers.

Canales has expertise on the Texas cattle business. Five generations of his family have worked in cattle ranching. As an avid lifelong hunter, fisherman, and member of the Coastal Conservation Association, Canales has an intimate understanding of the vast Texas ranching community and coastland.

Canales was born in Hidalgo County and is a native of South Texas. Canales is married to Erica E. Canales, and is the father of Terry Andres Canales II, and the stepfather of Juliana Figueroa.

Information in this bio was provided by Canales' office.
Last updated: March 18, 2015.