LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - State Representative James White has been named the 2015 Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year. The 2014 recipient of the award, State Senator Robert Nichols, made the announcement at the DETCOG annual membership meeting Thursday in Lufkin.
White is a native Texan and grew up in Houston, where he attended public schools. He graduated with honors from Prairie View A&M University in 1986 with a degree in political science and military science. The United States Congress subsequently commissioned White as an officer of Infantry in the U.S. Army, where he served his country in assignments throughout the world, most notably from 1987-90 in the Berlin Brigade during the demise of the Soviet Union.
After separating from the Army with an Honorable Discharge in 1992, Representative White began a career as a public school educator in the Houston area. He completed doctoral studies in political science at the University of Houston and has taught the social sciences on the middle school, high school, and undergraduate collegiate levels. White has also coached high school football and basketball and officiated youth sports in his spare time.
Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010, White is a strong advocate for the residents of District 19 and committed to ensuring the people of Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties are well represented in their state legislature. He is a passionate and effective advocate for the fundamental values of strong families, constitutional government, lower taxes, and economic prosperity. Representative White has served on the Joint Committee on Human Trafficking and the Agriculture and Livestock Committee. Currently, he serves on the Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement and Juvenile Justice and Family Issues committees and is serving his second term as Vice-Chair of the Corrections Committee.
Representative White is proud to call Tyler County home, where he maintains a small cattle ranch. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and the Texas Farm Bureau, and he worships at Hillister Baptist Church in Hillister.
The Ralph W. Steen Memorial East Texan of the Year Award has become one of the most prestigious and longest running, recognitions bestowed in Deep East Texas. Each year past recipients cast ballots to select who will receive the award from nominations received from the twelve county DETCOG region.