|Phillip Ray "Phil" Cates|
|Cates (c. 1974) while serving in the Texas House of Representatives|
|Texas State Representative for District 79 (Gray, Hansford, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, Roberts, and Wheeler counties)|
January 12, 1971 – January 9, 1973
|Preceded by||Malouf Abraham, Sr. (reconfigured from District 84)|
|Succeeded by||Ron Waters|
|Texas State Representative for District 66 (Armstrong, Briscoe, Childress, Collingsworth, Donley, Floyd, Gray, Hall, Motley, and Wheeler counties)|
January 9, 1973 – January 9, 1979
|Preceded by||George Baker|
|Succeeded by||Foster Whaley|
|Born||January 6, 1947|
Pampa, Gray County
|Died||July 13, 2014(aged 67)|
|Resting place||Texas State Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Holt Cates (married 1970-2014, his death)|
|Children||Andrew and John Cates|
|Parents||Herman Ray and Lavern Robertson Cates|
|Residence||(1) Lefors, Gray County|
|Alma mater||West Texas A&M University|
Phillip Ray Cates, known as Phil Cates (January 6, 1947 – July 13, 2014), was a lobbyist who served as a Democrat from 1971 to 1979 in the Texas House of Representatives. He represented some ten mostly thinly populated counties in the Texas Panhandle.
Background[edit | edit source]
Cates was born in Pampa, the seat of government of Gray County, northeast of Amarillo, Texas, to Herman Ray Cates (1917-1998), a veteran of the United States Army Air Forces of World War II, and the former Lavern Robertson (1923-2009), a native of Beckham County, Oklahoma. He was reared in nearby Lefors, also in Gray County, where his parents are interred at Memorial Heights Cemetery.
Cates left Lefors in 1965 to enroll at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, then known as West Texas State University. There he was elected four times to the Student Senate and was a member of the Baptist Student Union and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 1998, West Texas A&M named him a "Distinguished Alumnus".
Cates married in 1970 the former Nancy Holt (also born 1947), originally from Pampa. Their two sons are Andrew and John Cates.
Career[edit | edit source]
In 1970, Cates was elected to succeed the two-term Republican Malouf Abraham, Sr., a wealthy businessman from Canadian in Hemphill County, whose District 84 was blended into revised District 79. Abraham instead ran unsuccessfully for the District 31 seat in the Texas State Senate against the Democrat Max Sherman. Cates won his own primary election in the spring by a margin of two votes.
For his second term, Cates moved to Pampa in reconfigured District 66. Texas Monthly magazine gave him unfavorable reviews in 1973; the publication called Cates part of "the furniture", a reference to those lawmakers who "have no discernible ability to grasp what is going on, and who for that reason do not participate to any significant extent in the proceedings." By 1974, Cates was residing in Shamrock in Wheeler County for his third and fourth terms in the legislature. When he was moved to District 66 with the 1972 election, only Gray and Wheeler counties were held over from his original District 79.
After his four legislative terms, Cates became a lobbyist and worked in the capital city of Austin, first, with former Speaker Byron Tunnell from 1980 to 1989. He was a lobbyist for Tenneco of Houston for nine years in nine southeastern states. In Austin in 1989 and 1990, he was a lobbyist for the Texas Association of Business. In 1991, he joined the firm of former Speaker Bill W. Clayton, at which he remained until 1996, when he opened his own firm, Texas Stakeholders. He remained in that capacity until his death of lung cancer in 2014 at the age of sixty-seven.
Cates, who had resided in Dripping Springs in Hays County near Austin, is interred at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, where graveside services were held on July 26, 2014, with his former legislative colleague Max Sherman among the speakers.
References[edit | edit source]
- Some sources cite "Phillips", instead of Phillip; one used the middle initial "E", instead of "R" for "Ray".
- "Phil Cates". Texas Legislative Reference Library. http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=594&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=Cates~leaderNote=~leg=~party=Democrat~roleDesc=~Committee=#bio. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "Herman Ray Cates". findagrave.com. http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Cates&GSfn=Herman&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=46&GScnty=2609&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=8245983&df=all&. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "Phil Cates". cemetery.state.tx.us. http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us/pub/user_form.asp?pers_id=9970. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "Phillip R. Cates". August 1, 2014. http://www.thepampanews.com/obituaries/article_3a2906ae-18f8-11e4-b8d2-001a4bcf6878.html. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Texas Almanac 1972/1973, Election returns from November 3, 1970
- "The Ten Best (And, Sigh, The Ten Worst) Legislators". texasmonthly.com. July 1973. http://www.texasmonthly.com/content/ten-best-and-sigh-ten-worst-legislators/page/0/5. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
Malouf Abraham, Sr. (reconfigured from District 84)
|Texas State Representative for District 79 (Gray, Hansford, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, Roberts, and Wheeler counties)
Phillip Ray "Phil" Cates
Ron Waters (district moved to Harris County)
George Baker (district previously based in Pecos County)
|Texas State Representative for District 66 (Armstrong, Briscoe, Childress, Collingsworth, Donley, Floyd, Gray, Hall, Motley, and Wheeler counties)
Phillip Ray "Phil" Cates
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