The Best and Worst Legislators, 1973–2021

We’ve been covering legislative saints and scoundrels for nearly half a century. Here’s our full collection of Best and Worst.

Texas Monthly has been covering the scoundrels, saints, hucksters, and statesmen of the Texas Legislature since our founding in 1973. And as our 2021 Best and Worst Legislators list demonstrates, the Lege continues to be the best entertainment Texas has to offer. But it’s also a serious business that deserves the gimlet eye of independent journalists. These lists aim to capture what’s wonderful and terrible, hilarious and stupefying about the 181 Texans who meet in the Capitol every odd year to do the people’s business. Here you’ll find all 25 Best and Worst lists as well as some of our favorites from the last 48 years.

2021: The Best and Worst Legislators

A wild year begat an even wilder legislative session. Lawmakers faced blackouts, a pandemic, and their own worst impulses. Amid the chaos, we plucked out the leaders—and the losers.

Chaotic illustrated scene at the Texas state capitol

The Classics