HANCE, KENT RONALD (1942~) Congressman Kent R. Hance was born on November 14, 1942 to Raymond L. and Beral Nadine Cole Hance of Dimmitt, Texas. After graduating from high school, Hance attended Texas Tech University where he received his B. B. A. in 1965. While at Tech, Hance served as Vice President of the Student Body and President of his social fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. In 1968, Hance received his law degree from the University of Texas where he served as President of the Student Bar Association, Class President, and was a recipient of the Counsel Award.
Upon graduation from law school, Hance returned to Lubbock to practice and teach business law at Texas Tech University. Governor Preston Smith named Hance to the Board of Regents of West Texas State University in 1972, making him one of the youngest men in Texas to serve in such a capacity. In 1973, he was named Outstanding Professor at Texas Tech University. Hance's political career began in 1974, when he defeated the heavily favored incumbent to become the Texas State Senator from the Lubbock area.
While in the Senate, Hance was one of only four members who served jointly on the two most powerful committees in the Texas Senate: Finance and State Affairs. Four years later, Hance entered and won the 19th Congressional District race. During his first week in Washington, he was named Chairman of the Freshman Caucus, and was later named Best Freshman Congressman by Texas Business Magazine. In the summer of 1981, Hance authored and won passage of President Reagan's tax bill, which provided the largest tax cut in the nation's history. While a member of the U. S. Congress, Hance served on the Ways and Means Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the Science and Technology Committee.
On August 24, 1987, Governor Bill Clements appointed Hance to the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas and transportation industries in Texas. In November of 1988, he won the election to become the first Republican ever to serve on the Commission. In January of 1989, Hance was elected as Chairman to the Commission. He served on the Commission until 1990.
Hance currently practices law in Austin as a partner with Hance, Scarborough, and Wright. He practices state and federal administrative, regulatory and legislative law. In addition, he provides his clients with his expertise in oil and gas and energy-related matters. Hance frequently attends OPEC meetings and is active in the acquisition of international oil and gas drilling rights on behalf of U.S. and international clients.
Hance not only has a successful career in education, law and government, but also, as a businessman. He was an owner of apartments in Lubbock, Texas in the early 1970s, and owned a single-family construction company in the mid 1970s. Since leaving politics in 1990, Hance has owned and developed apartment projects in Houston and Fort Worth. He also has served on the board of directors of American General Hospitality, which is a REIT that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In August of 1998, Hance joined the board of Meristar Hotels and Resorts, which is an operating company for the REIT. He has served on the Board of Box Energy, which was traded on the NASDAQ Exchange. Hance also has real estate holdings in farm and ranch land in the Texas Panhandle. Hance served on the Governor's Energy Council, Governor's Oil Spill Advisory Committee, Texas High Speed Rail Commission, Interstate Oil Compact Commission, and the Texas Mining Council. In 1988, Hance served as Texas Chairman of the Bush for President Steering Committee. In 1994, he served as State Vice Chair of Finance for the George W. Bush for Governor Campaign. During 1995, Kent served on the Finance Committee for Phil Gramm for President campaign. Hance is a former member of Wayland Baptist University's Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Texas and American Bar Associations, and many other civic groups. Hance has served the State and his community as one of the original incorporators and founders of Texas Boy's Ranch in Lubbock and as the Texas State Vice Chairman for the March of Dimes.