skip to main content

Rep. James Claude Wright

Former Representative for Texas’s 12th District

Wright was the representative for Texas’s 12th congressional district and was a Democrat. He served from 1955 to 1989.

Alleged misconduct & resolution

In 1989, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct investigated Wright for improper lobbying efforts on behalf of a constituent with whom Wright had an interest in a private gas well, 2) intervention in a matter before the Department of the Interior on behalf of Texas Oil and Gas Company, 3) improper use of campaign funds to pay for publication of a book for which Wright received a 55% royalty (Reflections of a Public Man), 4) improper use of government resources on the book, 5) improper use of a condominium in Fort Worth, TX (free and below market housing from real estate developer George Mallick) and 6) exercise of undue influence with officials of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board on behalf of four Texas businessmen regarding the savings and loan crisis. On Apr. 17, 1989, the committee made the report of Special Outside Counsel public. On Jun. 30, 1989, rep. Wright resigned as Speaker on House floor after having announced his intent to do so in May.

Apr. 17, 1989 House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct made the report of Special Outside Counsel public
Jun. 30, 1989 Wright resigned as Speaker on House floor after having announced his intent to do so in May.
Photo of Rep. James Claude Wright [D-TX12, 1955-1989]


Ideology–Leadership Chart

Wright is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in 1990 positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Wright sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 1985 to Oct 27, 1990. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

Wright was the primary sponsor of 25 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

View All »

Does 25 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Wright sponsored bills primarily in these issue areas:

Government Operations and Politics (19%) Economics and Public Finance (16%) International Affairs (16%) Education (13%) Armed Forces and National Security (11%) Taxation (10%) Native Americans (9%) Private Legislation (7%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Wright recently introduced the following legislation:

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1955 to Jun 1989, Wright missed 1,340 of 10,802 roll call votes, which is 12.4%. This is much worse than the median of 4.8% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Jun 1989. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: