Best of 2017: State Rep. Tony Tinderholt


Earlier this session, the Austin lobby circulated a satirical image of State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) with William Wallace-style face paint. But the joke was on the lobbyists. Nothing could be more fitting for the fiery lawmaker.

A decorated combat veteran, Tinderholt has quickly become one of the strongest floor fighters in the Texas House—winning debates against Republicans and Democrats alike and demonstrating a thorough knowledge of both policy and procedure. This session, Tinderholt shined the brightest when he led the debate against an effort to re-define “veteran” to include members of the State Guard, which includes a number of legislators in its ranks.

Going up against State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van), who Texans selected as one of the worst lawmakers, Tinderholt led the fight against Flynn’s proposal and convinced more than 100 members of the Texas House to vote it down—proving that the freedom fighter has earned the respect of friend and foe alike. In doing so, Tinderholt protected veterans benefits for actual veterans and prevented them from going to toy soldiers in the Texas Legislature.

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