Congressional Profile: Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Born in Uravan, Colorado, Rep. Franks cared for his younger siblings after his parents’ divorced. He graduated from Briggsdale High School in 1976. He received a college scholarship, but opted not to go to college immediately; instead, he bought a drilling rig and moved to Texas to drill wells. At the age of 22, Rep. Franks owned a drilling company and rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle. While drilling a large diameter earthquake prediction test hole into the San Andreas Fault for the United States government, Rep. Franks met his wife.
In 1981, Rep. Franks moved to Arizona to continue drilling wells and completed a course of study at the Center for Constitutional Studies in Utah in 1987. He also attended the Arizona campus of Ottawa University from 1989 to 1990.
In 1984, Rep. Franks ran for and won a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives, where he served as the vice-chairman of the Commerce Committee and the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Child Protection and Family Preservation. He lost his re-election bid in 1986.
In 1987, Rep. Franks was appointed by Republican Governor Evan Mecham to lead the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children and was responsible for overseeing and coordinating state policy and programs for the children of Arizona. He then founded the Arizona Family Research Institute and served as the Executive Director for four and a half years. Until running for the U.S. House in 2002, Rep. Franks fought on behalf of children, working on a constitutional amendment to ban most abortions and a tax plan that would allow parents to deduct the costs of private-school tuition.
After a failed attempt to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, Rep. Franks tried again in 2002, when the incumbent Congressman retired. He won the general election with 60% of the vote and has been re-elected with at least 59% of the vote each election cycle.
Rep. Franks currently serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Armed Services Committee. He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, the International Religious Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party Caucus, the Liberty Caucus, and the Human Rights Caucus.
He currently resides in Glendale, Arizona with his wife, Josie and their twins Joshi and Grace. At the end of May, Rep. Franks will return to his passion for Harley Davidsons by participating in the 400,000 rider Rolling Thunder motorcade to the Vietnam Memorial by way of the Capitol. Participants will unite to remind the government, the media and the public that “We Will Not Forget” our Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing In Action (MIA) in all of America’s wars.