Gala Speakers and Celebrity Guests

Rick Santorum

Rick SantorumA native of Pennsylvania, Senator Rick Santorum was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2012 and became known as a voice for conservatives.

Prior to running for President, Rick served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007, where he was known as one of the most successful government reformers in our history, prompting a Washington Post reporter to write, “Santorum was a Tea Party kind of guy before there was a Tea Party.”

Rick wrote and championed legislation that outlawed the heinous procedure known as partial-birth abortion. He also sponsored the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and cosponsored both the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the Combating Autism Act because he believes each and every individual has value and that the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected.

Rick and his wife of 23 years, Karen, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick, and Isabella. During his run for President, Rick spoke passionately about his belief that strong families help produce a strong economy. He shared his views that we must expand opportunities for all Americans by encouraging incentives for marriage, children, and free enterprise. An accomplished author, Rick penned the 2005 New York Times best seller, It Takes a Family

James Frank

James FrankA longtime resident of Wichita Falls, Texas State Rep. James Frank is committed to limited, efficient government principles that encourage economic growth, individual liberty, and maximized local control. With a degree in finance from Texas A&M University, 11 years in the banking industry, and almost 15 years as the owner of both Sharp Iron Group and Transland, manufacturing businesses which employ more than 130 people, Representative Frank brings a unique and necessary set of skills to the Texas Legislature. During his brief time so far in Austin, he has been a strong advocate for school choice, parental rights, and on home school issues, including working closely with THSC on both the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act and the “Tim Tebow” UIL Participation Bill.
Representative Frank has served four years on the board of THSC and is a committed community and church leader. He and his wife of 24 years, Alisha, have four sons, all of whom are or were home schooled.

Celebrity Guests

Designated sponsors will meet Celebrity Guests at the VIP Reception preceding the Gala. Legacy and Heritage Sponsors will enjoy dining with a Celebrity Guest at their table for the dinner.

Former Representative Wayne Christian

Wayne ChristianWayne Christian was the first Republican elected to the Texas House from Deep East Texas since reconstruction after the Civil War. Ranked by watchdog groups as one of the most conservative legislators in the past decade, Christian proved himself to be a true champion for our conservative values.

Throughout his time in office, Christian stood up for limited government and low-taxes. As our next Railroad Commissioner, Christian will ensure the Texas energy sector is protected from overregulation and overreach from Obama’s EPA.

Although he was outspent 4-1 in the initial primary, Christian managed to pull 43% of the vote on March 4th, giving him a 12-point lead going into the runoff. With your help, Christian will be just as successful on May 27th and Texas will have an experienced conservative fighter leading us towards energy independence!

Senator Glenn Hegar

Glenn HegarSenator Glenn Hegar is the youngest member of the Texas Senate and a sixth generation Texan. He was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2006 and had previously served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2003.

During the recently concluded 83rd legislature, Senator Hegar served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Nominations and as a member of the Senate Committees on Finance, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security.

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Glenn played a leading role in crafting the state budget and also served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters. This subcommittee was charged with reviewing all state and local revenue matters, a review which ultimately resulted in about $1 billion in tax cuts for Texas taxpayers and businesses during the 83rd legislative session. Glenn also authored and sponsored House Bill 500, which reduced the franchise tax burden. As a result of this legislation, all Texas businesses will benefit from one of the largest tax cuts in Texas history.

During the 82nd legislative session, Glenn served as Chairman of the influential Sunset Advisory Commission, where he was responsible for identifying and eliminating waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies.

Glenn is currently seeking the Republican nomination for State Comptroller in the upcoming 2014 March Primary Election.

John Erickson, author, Hank the Cowdog

John EricksonJohn R. Erickson has written and published 75 books and more than 600 articles, and is best known as the author of the Hank the Cowdog series of books, audio-books, and stage plays.
His stories have won a number of awards, including the Audie, Oppenheimer, Wrangler, and Lamplighter Awards, and have been translated into Spanish, Danish, Farsi, and Chinese.

The Hank the Cowdog series began as a self-publishing venture in his garage in 1982 and has endured to become one of the nation’s most popular series for children and families. Through the eyes of Hank the Cowdog, a smelly, smart-aleck Head of Ranch Security, Erickson gives readers a glimpse of daily life on a ranch in the West Texas Panhandle. USA Today calls the series “the best family entertainment in years.”

John Richard Erickson was born in Midland, Texas, on October 20, 1943, to Joseph W. Erickson and Anna Beth Curry Erickson, the youngest of three children. In 1946, the family moved to Perryton, Texas, in the northeastern Texas Panhandle.

THSC President Tim Lambert

Tim LambertTim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition (the state home school support organization since 1986), has been involved in home school leadership in Texas since 1984. He and his wife Lyndsay taught their four now-grown children at home for 16 years, graduating the last two in 2000.

Since 1996 THSC has published the quarterly Texas Home School Coalition Review magazine, which reaches nearly 60,000 Texas home school families. As the head of the organization for the leading home school state in the country, Tim is recognized as an authority on home education issues in Texas. In this capacity, he has testified before numerous Texas legislative committees on issues related to home schooling. He often deals with state government agencies, including the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, on home education issues and he has served as an expert witness on home education in a number of court cases. He has often addressed such conferences as the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers on the topic.

Tim holds a B.A. in political science from Texas Tech University and is active in the political arena, having served eight years as Republican National Committeeman for Texas. He is committed to serving the home school community and protecting parents’ right to choose the method of education of their children.

Senator Dan Patrick

Dan PatrickDan Patrick is a strong fiscal and social conservative. After arriving in Austin for his first legislative session in 2007, Senator Patrick quickly developed respect from his colleagues for his quick study on even the most complex issues and for his ability to debate issues on the Senate floor. He has been consistently ranked as the leading conservative in the Senate, and was named the third most influential Republican in Texas by the Austin American-Statesman. Dan is the chair of the Senate Education Committee and serves on a total of 13 committees and sub committees.

Senator Ken Paxton

Ken PaxtonThe son of an Air Force veteran, Republican Texas State Senator Ken Paxton has consistently been recognized as a conservative, stalwart Texas leader with a deep passion and respect for our U.S. Constitution. He is known for his principled and uncompromising devotion to conservative principles – a man who has demonstrated enormous political courage throughout his service to Texas.

Ken Paxton was born December 23, 1962, on Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota where his father was stationed. Ken graduated from Baylor University, where he served as Student Body President, earning a B.A. in Psychology in 1985 and an M.B.A. in 1986. After business school, Sen. Paxton accepted a position with Arthur Andersen as a management consultant.

He earned his J.D. degree from the University Of Virginia School Of Law in 1991. After law school, Sen. Paxton joined the firm of Strasburger & Price, L.L.P, before joining J.C. Penney Company, Inc., as their in-house counsel. He is currently a named partner in the law firm of Pittenger, Paxton, Nuspl, & Crumley where he specializes in estate planning, probate, real estate and general business matters.

Ken lives in McKinney with his wife, Angela, a guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco. The Paxton’s have four children; Tucker (20), Abby (18), Madison (16), and Katie (14). The Paxton’s attend Prestonwood Church in Plano.