Pat Fallon
PatFallon.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byJohn Ratcliffe
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 8, 2019 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byCraig Estes
Succeeded byDrew Springer
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 106th district
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 8, 2019
Preceded byRodney Anderson
Succeeded byJared Patterson
Personal details
Born
Patrick Edward Fallon

(1967-12-19) December 19, 1967 (age 54)
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Susan Garner
Children2
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1990–1994
RankCaptain
Awards
Air Force Achievement Medal ribbon.svg
Air Force Achievement Medal

Patrick Edward Fallon (born December 19, 1967)[1] is an American businessman and politician. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the U.S. representative for Texas's 4th congressional district since 2021. He served the 30th district of the Texas Senate from 2019 to 2021. Fallon has also been a member of the Texas House of Representatives for the 106th district.[2]

Early life and education

Fallon was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.[3] Both his parents were public school teachers, and he was raised in rural areas.[4]

Fallon earned his bachelor's degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame,[1] where he played varsity football under coach Lou Holtz and was part of the 1988 national championship team. He ran a t-shirt business as a student and participated in campus political activities. He was a cadet in the Reserve Officers Training Corps of the United States Air Force before serving for four years, during which he received the Air Force Achievement Medal.[5]

Career

After college, Fallon relocated to Denton County, Texas, in the early 1990s. He is the president and chief executive officer of Virtus Apparel, a company that specializes in clothing of military and patriotic design. Based in Prosper, Texas, it has a dozen national locations and about 100 total employees.[5][6]

Politics

In 2009, Fallon launched a grassroots campaign that netted him 57% of the vote to defeat three opponents for an at-large seat on the Frisco City Council. In the Denton County portion of Frisco, which consists of about one-third of the voters in House District 106, Fallon polled 65% of the vote.[5] In his first year on the city council, Fallon voted against a tax rate increase. In 2010, he voted against a city budget that would have increased the municipal debt.[7] In May 2011, his council colleagues selected him to serve as mayor pro tem.[5]

According to D Magazine, in 2012, Fallon falsified his residency, not living in the district he represented.[8] That same year, Fallon won the Republican nomination in the reconfigured District 106, in which incumbent Republican Rodney Anderson of Grand Prairie did not run. Instead, Anderson unseated incumbent Republican Linda Harper-Brown in the 2014 primary election in neighboring District 105.[9] Fallon won the general election on November 6, 2012, with 41,785 votes (83.2%) to Libertarian Party nominee Rodney Caston's 8,455 (16.8%). Fallon faced no Democratic Party opponent in the election.[10]

Fallon co-authored a 2013 Texas law that allows students and employees of independent school districts to say "Merry Christmas" rather than the secular "Happy Holidays".[11]

Fallon ran unopposed for the Republican nomination in 2014 and defeated Democrat Lisa Osterholt and Libertarian Rodney Caston in the general election with 24,419 votes, almost 70% of the total.[12][13] In the 2016 Republican primary, Fallon defeated challenger Trent Trubenbach with 16,106 votes (82.9%) to Tubenbach's 3,327 (17.1%).[14] He won the general election with 80.8% of the vote.[15]

In July 2017, Fallon announced that he would challenge incumbent state Senator Craig Estes for the Republican nomination in Senate District 30.[16] Fallon defeated Estes and Nocona businessman Craig Carter in the primary on March 6, 2018, with 53,881 votes (62%). In the November 6 general election, Fallon defeated Democratic nominee Kevin Lopez with 233,949 votes (73.9%) to Lopez's 82,449 (26.1%).[17] Fallon served on the House committees on Human Services and Technology.[1]

Legislative positions

Fallon defended his "Merry Christmas" law in an appearance on David Barton's WallBuilders Live radio program, telling co-host Rick Green, a former member of the Texas House from Hays County in suburban Austin, that those offended by public schools hosting Christmas parties should examine their own hearts to evaluate their attitudes. Both Fallon and Green said that no citizen has a constitutional right "not to be offended". Fallon vowed to make T-shirts with a Christmas theme for pupils to wear on the day before the holiday break.[18]

In 2013 Fallon supported Texas House Bill 2, a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation and require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The measure passed the House, 96–49. These issues brought forth an unsuccessful filibuster in the Texas State Senate by Senator Wendy R. Davis.[19] Parts of the bill were later deemed unconstitutional and struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The Texas Right to Life Committee rated Fallon 100% favorable.[20]

Fallon opposed the bill to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73–58. He co-sponsored legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. He co-sponsored the successful bill to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain small businesses. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those individuals receiving unemployment compensation.[21]

Fallon co-sponsored the measure to forbid the state from engaging in the enforcement of federal regulations of firearms. He co-sponsored legislation to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons on campus and in vehicles in the name of security. He voted to reduce the time required to obtain a concealed-carry permit. Fallon voted for term limits for certain state officials. To protect election integrity, Fallon supported legislation to forbid an individual from turning in multiple ballots.[21]

Comments on the LGBTQ community

In 2018, Fallon was criticized[22] for his remarks about State Representative Mary González, an openly pansexual woman, while delivering a speech to the local Wichita County Republican Women's group. The El Paso Times quoted Fallon:

"You can’t be gay anymore. It’s like the whole alphabet soup now — lesbian, transgender, bisexual, questioning. There’s something called pansexual."

Fallon later apologized,[23] saying, "It was an innocent little comment about mocking the labeling, not a person."

Interest group ratings

In 2015 Fallon was named one of "The 3 Worst North Texas Legislators" by D Magazine, which wrote, "Fallon has a lawyerlike relationship with the truth" and was "vindictive, and he’ll say anything to get what he wants".[24]

By contrast, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party and a Fallon supporter,[25] rated Fallon 95%. The Young Conservatives of Texas scored him 92%. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated him 25%; Environment Texas, 28%. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility rated Fallon 98%; the Texas Association of Business, 80%. The National Rifle Association rated him 92%.[20]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2020

Main article: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 4

In May 2020, Fallon launched a campaign for Texas's 4th congressional district to replace former U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe, who resigned to become Director of National Intelligence. On August 8, 2020, Fallon was selected to replace Ratcliffe on the November ballot by the 18 county Republican Party chairs and precinct chairs in the district, winning the nomination with 82 votes to his nearest opponent's 34.[26] Fallon faced Democrat Russell Foster in the November general election. According to The Texas Tribune, the district was so heavily Republican that the county Republican chairs effectively chose Ratcliffe's successor when they chose Fallon to replace him as the Republican nominee.[27]

As expected, Fallon won the general election in a landslide, with 75% of the vote to Foster's 22%. When he took office, he was only the sixth person to represent this district since its creation in 1903.

Tenure

On January 6, 2021, the same day as the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Fallon, along with 147 of his fellow congressional Republicans, voted to block certification of the results for President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 victory, as part of the Trump-led effort to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.[28]

Fallon voted to include provisions for drafting women in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022.[29]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Investigation

In February 2022, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) board filed a report stating that there was "substantial reason to believe" that Fallon had violated a federal stock law.[33] The House Committee on Ethics released that report on May 31, 2022, indicating that it was investigating Fallon over repeated reporting violations of the STOCK Act, enacted in 2012 to prevent insider trading using non-public information by members of Congress and other government employees. Members of Congress are required to report any stock transaction over $1,000 within 45 days. Violations are subject to a $200 fine.[33]

The OCE report stated that during the first half of 2021, Fallon filed late reports representing as much as $17.53 million in trades. An OCE review of his record began in the fall of 2021. Reports for trades made in December 2021 again missed the required filing date. The OCE report states, "Rep. Fallon produced a limited set of documents to the OCE and declined to interview with the OCE. This non-cooperation undermined the OCE's ability to verify Rep. Fallon's overall STOCK Act compliance and to fully assess the reasons for his late filings."[33][34]

Fallon initially claimed he thought that reporting was required annually, as in the Texas legislature. On March 18, 2022, one of his lawyers, Kate Belinski, sent the OCE a letter insisting that Fallon's beliefs were "a common misconception, which, coupled with the overwhelming amount of information new members and their staff receive at the beginning of their terms, often results in inadvertent" late disclosures. She insisted that Fallon had cooperated by providing the documents OCE requested.[33] But the OCE report noted Fallon's "late disclosure of reportable transactions, which continued even after he was on notice of his STOCK Act filing obligations".[33][34]

Personal life

Fallon is married to Susan Kimberly Garner; they have two sons.[1]

During his tenure in the state senate, Fallon lived in the Denton County portion of Prosper, which was just outside the 4th's boundaries. While candidates for the House are only constitutionally required to live in the state they wish to represent, longstanding convention holds that they live either in or reasonably close to the district they wish to represent. His state senate district included much of the eastern portion of the congressional district. Since his election to Congress, Fallon has claimed a home in Sherman, which is firmly inside the 4th, as his official residence.

Fallon is a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in The Colony. He is a donor to Dallas Baptist University, Frisco Family Services, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Pat Fallon's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "Pat Fallon". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Choate, Trish. "Pat Fallon: Democrats 'inherently evil' in approach to race". Times Record News. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  4. ^ "The Texas State Senate – Senator Pat Fallon: District 30". senate.texas.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Pat Fallon". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Virtus Apparel". Facebook. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  7. ^ "Records on Display in New 106". fallonfortexas.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Is Pat Fallon a Perjurer?". 14 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012 (House District 106)". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "General election returns, November 6, 2012 (House District 106)". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Frisco school's party flap leads to touting of 'Merry Christmas' law". Dallas News. 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  12. ^ "2014 Republican Party Primary Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "2014 General Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  14. ^ "2016 Republican Party Primary Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "2016 General Election". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Frisco's Pat Fallon poised to challenge Wichita Falls' Craig Estes in bruising GOP Senate primary". Dallas News. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "Kyle Mantyla, Warriors For Christmas: Texas State Rep. Pat Fallon Leads The Battle In The 'War On Christmas', December 13, 2013". People for the American Way. 13 December 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  19. ^ Fernandez, M. (June 25, 2013). "Filibuster in Texas Senate Tries to Halt Abortion Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Pat Fallon's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Pat Fallon's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Borunda, Daniel; Choate, Trish (16 October 2018). "Texas state Rep. Pat Fallon jokes about LGBTQ pansexual El Paso state Rep. Mary González". El Paso Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  23. ^ Mekelburg, Madlin (17 October 2018). "State Rep. Pat Fallon apologizes for LGBTQ joke about El Paso state Rep. Mary González". El Paso Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  24. ^ Celeste, Eric (February 2015). "The 3 Worst North Texas Legislators". D Magazine. Retrieved 2021-09-14.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "Endorsements". fallonfortexas.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  26. ^ Svitek, Patrick (2020-08-08). "Texas State Sen. Pat Fallon wins GOP nomination to replace John Ratcliffe on November ballot, becoming Ratcliffe's likely successor". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  27. ^ Svitek, Patrick (2020-05-13). "Race to replace U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe gathers steam as Republican activists set date to pick his likely successor". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  28. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (7 January 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Congress moves toward requiring women to register for the draft". 5 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Fallon Nominated to Serve on House Armed Services Committee | Representative Pat Fallon". fallon.house.gov. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  31. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  32. ^ "Pat Fallon Member of Congress". House.gov. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  33. ^ a b c d e Leonard, Kimberly (May 31, 2022). "Congressional investigators find 'substantial reason to believe' Republican Reps. Pat Fallon and John Rutherford violated a federal stock law". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  34. ^ a b Levinsthal, Dave (June 29, 2021). "Republican Rep. Pat Fallon failed to properly disclose more than 90 stock transactions worth as much as $17.53 million in apparent violation of federal law". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
Texas House of Representatives Preceded byRodney Anderson Member of the Texas State Representativefrom the 106th district 2013–2019 Succeeded byJared Patterson Texas Senate Preceded byCraig Estes Member of the Texas Senatefrom the 30th district 2019–2021 Succeeded byDrew Springer U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJohn Ratcliffe Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Texas's 4th congressional district 2021–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byByron Donalds United States representatives by seniority 377th Succeeded byRandy Feenstra