The Honorable Dennis Bonnen was sworn in as Texas House Speaker in January 2019. Elected by his colleagues, Speaker Bonnen set an early tone for unity in the House Chamber by empowering members to work together to achieve meaningful results that address the state’s most pressing issues. Speaker Bonnen believes in casting aside politics in favor of finding real solutions.
Speaker Bonnen served in the Texas House of Representatives for 24 years, representing the 25th House District that encompasses southern Brazoria County and the entirety of Matagorda County. First elected to the Legislature at the age of 24, Bonnen joined the House in 1997 and completed his twelfth term of office in January 2021.
Prior to becoming Speaker, Dennis served for three legislative sessions as Speaker Pro Tem, cultivating countless relationships based on trust and bipartisanship. In the 84th and 85th sessions, he served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and, in the 85th session, as a member of the House Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee. He previously served as Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee, Sunset Advisory Committee and House Special Purpose Districts Committee, as Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency, and as a member of the Natural Resources Committee.
Known for having “the most strategic mind under the Pink Dome,” he continues to serve as a professional consultant to large-scale companies and prominent associations, while remaining a friend and mentor to leaders in executive, legislative, and regulatory branches of Texas government.
Prior to his life in public service, Dennis graduated from Angleton High School in 1990, and received a B.A. in Political Science in 1994 from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Bonnen worked in the Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Greg Laughlin, worked for the Can Manufacturers Institute, became the general manager of a computer business called MDS, and traveled the nation in 1995 working on the Bob Dole presidential campaign.
As someone who fought for allowing schools greater flexibility in establishing their curriculum, budget, and teaching methods, Bonnen knows the importance of education. Having faced and conquered the challenges associated with his dyslexia, Bonnen has served as a champion and mentor for students in his home community and across Texas, helping them see that no goal is unattainable.
In recognition of Speaker Bonnen’s tireless work for greater affordability and accessibility to higher education, Brazosport College unveiled the “Bonnen Central Building” in 2021 in honor of his contributions to the college, surrounding Brazoria County communities, and industry partners. Building upon his efforts to address the ever-rising cost of education, The Dennis Bonnen Scholarship is eager to provide financial relief to one applicant who is seeking higher education.
Dennis and his wife, Kim, make their home in Longview, Texas, with their sons, Jackson Bonnen and Gregory Bonnen.
In 2023, Dennis Bonnen co-founded Second Floor Strategies, a full-service public policy consulting firm, to leverage his experience and expertise to help clients navigate the Texas House.