Garnet Coleman

Garnet Coleman - Democrat (Incumbent)

Garnet F. Coleman has served the people of District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives continuously since 1991. Throughout his years of service, Representative Coleman has earned a reputation as a diligent leader in the areas of health care, economic development and education. He is currently the Senior ranking member of the Public Health Committee as well as the Chairman of the County Affairs Committee. Representative Coleman also serves as a member of the Select Committee on Mental Health.

For many years Representative Coleman has been deeply committed to expanding access to health care for all Texans. To further this goal he serves as a member of President Obama’s State Legislators for Health Reform, which is a working group of 32 state legislators dedicated to advancing the need for health reform in their communities. Representative Coleman also is a member of the State Innovation Exchange, an organization that promotes and advances key progressive economic and social policies. Additionally, he is on the Board of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee where he advocates for the interest of Democratic state legislators.

Some of his most significant legislative accomplishments include joint authoring legislation that simplified access to children’s Medicaid for more than 600,000 children in Texas who were eligible for the program but were not enrolled because of bureaucratic barriers. He also helped secure an increase of $161.5 million for at-risk child care services and joint authored legislation that created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Texas, which makes low-cost health insurance available to more than 400,00 children from working families.

Representative Coleman’s legislative efforts have been recognized in numerous ways. On two occasions he was named to the prestigious Texas Monthly Ten Best Legislators List, and in 2005 he received the Eli Lilly Reintegration Award for his efforts to increase services and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. Most recently, he was awarded the Texas Academy of Family Physicians’ 2009 Patient Advocacy Award.

Representative Coleman has served as the Chair of the Legislative Study Group, a non-partisan house caucus dedicated to the development of sound public policy, since 2003 when he was elected to the position by more than 40 of his colleagues. In addition, Representative Coleman has the honor of being a past chairman and current member of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. As Chairman, Representative Coleman coordinated efforts among members of the Caucus to help preserve the Top Ten Percent Rule, which assists historically-underrepresented students in gaining admission to Texas’ top institutions of higher learning.

Striving to increase economic development in Texas, Rep. Coleman has been instrumental in passing legislation fostering urban redevelopment. He authored and passed legislation that created the Greater Southeast Management District, the Downtown Management District and the Fourth Ward and East Montrose Improvement Districts. Additionally, he passed legislation creating Houston’s convention center hotel and expanding the convention center itself. Representative Coleman also authored legislation allowing the creation of a commercial and industrial development zone in Harris County, which is designed to promote economic development along the transportation corridors that link Houston-area transportation nodes.

Outside his legislative work, Representative Coleman remains active and involved in the Houston community. He serves on the boards of the Mid-Town Redevelopment Authority, the National Mental Health Association, and the Ensemble Theater. In 1991, Representative Coleman founded S.M.A.R.T. Kids, a youth development program that provides much-needed tutoring for inner-city students.

Raised in Houston, Representative Coleman attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. and in 1990 graduated from the University of St. Thomas cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts. He also completed the prestigious Harvard University Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government.

Representative Coleman and his wife, Angelique, reside in Houston’s University Oaks neighborhood. They have two children, Austin and Evan.

Cash on Hand: $238,032.22  


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Matt Murphy

Matt Murphy - Republican

Military man, family man, business and civic leader, Matt Murphy is a fourth generation Houstonian. A political outsider, Matt is a pro-family fiscal conservative with a proven track record of success. He is a fighter who stands on principle, committed to values of Faith, Family, Patriotism, and Building Stronger Communities.

Determined to make an ongoing, proactive impact in Houston, Matt has announced his candidacy for Texas House of Representative-District 147. His goal is to go beyond the typical promises of career politicians and focus on immediate and lasting results. He is running a “Campaign of Now,” precisely to unite and strengthen Houston’s communities throughout his time as a candidate.

Raised in the small town of Edgewood, Texas, Matt’s parents taught him early about civic-minded community leadership. The son of a firefighter and school teacher, Matt spent his summers in Houston at his grandmother’s side. He learned first-hand the positive impact a strong community can have on raising a child. Living the values taught by his family, Matt chose to serve our country in the U.S. Navy as a damage control fire fighter, and assisted in the decommission of the USS Kiska and later served on the USS Gettysburg. 

Matt and his loving wife Rachel, a dietitian at a Texas Medical Center Hospital, currently reside with their courageous young son Shawn in the diverse Houston neighborhood of Riverside Terrace, where they purchased and restored an historic home.

After serving in the military, Matt played professional golf until retiring due to injury in 2004. Now, as a certified fire protection engineering designer, Matt continues to help protect lives and property. He also served as a Republican precinct chair for his neighborhood, and was actively working to restore the vision of Houston’s founders of equality and prosperity for all until his Faith and family were shaken with the news that he and his wife were going to have a baby. 

In 2009, Matt and Rachel were blessed with their only child, Shawn. Sadly, he was born with rare birth defects that demanded three life-threatening surgeries during his first year of life. Presented with the option of terminating the pregnancy early on, Matt and Rachel resoundingly chose life. Inspired by his son’s resilience and determination, Matt committed to ensuring other families would not have to go through similar experiences alone. Partnering with Texas Children’s Hospital, he started the Shawn’s Anomaly awareness campaign, providing education, hope & help to families affected by birth defects. 

Called to continue these efforts, Matt documented his transformative journey from an overweight smoker to an Ironman Triathlete. Uniting a strong, diverse group of fellow citizens, Matt’s efforts inspired others, garnered international recognition, and raised life-saving donations. Ultimately, Matt became a two-time Ironman Triathlete, and carried a flag draped with names of children affected by birth defects the entire 26.2 mile run. Today, Shawn is a happy and healthy 6 year old.

Matt’s commitment to community is further seen in his activism. He served as the chairman of a local neighborhood crime watch which, under his leadership, grew from four to four thousand homes in its first year. Serving on several additional city government committees, Matt founded another successful grassroots movement, called “Right To Fly”, and led the fight to restore free market principles and repeal the federal Wright Amendment in the US Congress. Matt was honored for his achievements in community leadership by Texas House Resolution 2132 in 2005.

Continuing his mission to lead by example and inspire communities to join in, Matt produced the short film documentary, Last Seat at the Dome, aiding efforts to preserve the Astrodome.

Winning six international film festival awards, Matt was sought out by the Urban Land Institute, and aided County Judge Ed Emmett with the planning of redevelopment proposals that will enable a new generation to experience the “8th Wonder of the World” as an economically viable public park.

Matt has a strong record of uniting diverse communities through his proven “Know Your Neighbor” initiative, which is a centerpiece of his campaign. This community strengthening program guarantees lasting victory for citizens all across Houston, bringing neighbors together and reinforcing bonds. Matt will walk hand-in-hand with citizen leaders across every neighborhood. When neighbors know each other, we build up stronger, safer and more prosperous communities across our great city.

Cash on Hand: $20.00


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