Jonathan M. Saenz, President
Follow Jonathan: @jonathansaenzTX
Jonathan M. Saenz, Esq., is the President of Texas Values, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and advancing a culture of family values in the state of Texas. Jonathan’s work on these issues spans two decades.
Prior to leading Texas Values (2012), Jonathan headed the First Liberty Institute offices at the Texas Capitol in Austin where he served as Director of Legislative Affairs and Attorney for First Liberty Institute (2007-2012). He frequently presents research, analysis, and testimony before the Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and other government entities on various issues affecting faith, family, and freedom.
Jonathan believes in religious liberty, sanctity of human life, family values, and constitutional rights and has been involved in numerous court cases, including cases before the Texas Supreme Court and the United State Supreme Court. Jonathan is the leading voice in Texas on marriage between one man and one woman and he was instrumental in the passage of Texas laws to protect religious liberty (“Under God” in the Texas pledge, the “One State Under God” license plate, the “Merry Christmas law”, the “Pastor Protection Law”, Freedom to Serve Children Act, and The First Amendment Defense Act/”Save Chick-fil-A” Law), pro-life laws such as the “Choose Life” license plate, the Sonogram law, HB 2 and many others. Jonathan served as a lawyer for Gianna Jessen, a courageous woman who survived a late-term abortion attempt when she was in the womb, and is now a famous pro-life advocate.
Jonathan was also part of the winning legal team that successfully defended the religious freedom and free speech rights of nonprofit pregnancy care centers for women in Austin. Since 2005, Jonathan has worked to protect marriage between one man and one woman and policies that support this principle, and he has helped defeat threatening legislation on these matters in every legislative session since 2007. In 2015, Jonathan was the leading statewide voice in Texas that helped defeat the dangerous LGBT Houston “bathroom” ordinance, that would have allowed men into women’s bathrooms and would have restricted the religious freedom on businesses and nonprofit organizations. Jonathan also helped lead the State Board Education victories to prevent censorship in the Science classroom and protect strong Social Studies & History teaching.
Jonathan hosts the weekly radio show “The Texas Values Report,” and has been featured in local, national and international media such as Fox News, CNN, USA Radio, Austin-American Statesman, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle among many others and is a sought after speaker for important events. Mr. Saenz received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center where he was the leader of the Pro-Life Cougars group that successfully defended its free speech rights in a landmark court case against the university. Jonathan received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied family policy issues. Jonathan is a 5th generation Texan with strong family ties to Central and South Texas. He and his family live in Central Texas and are members of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
Bryan English, Director of Church Ambassador Network
Follow Bryan: @BE_1776
Bryan English is the Director of the Church Ambassador Network for Texas Values, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and advancing faith, family, and freedom in the state of Texas. Bryan brings with him a background that includes pastoral ministry, non-profit work, government service, and political campaign experience.
While serving as the associate pastor of the First Baptist Church in Spencer, Iowa, Bryan became involved in the civic arena by building a coalition of pastors and helping to lead a campaign to defeat a pro-gambling referendum. God continued to open doors for ministry within the arena of public policy and politics over the years, and Bryan worked with candidates and elected officials at all levels of government, including several years as a Congressional Staffer.
In 2016, Bryan served as the Iowa State Director for the presidential campaign of US Senator Ted Cruz. Following the Senator’s 2016 Iowa Caucus win, Bryan came to Texas and led the faith outreach team for the national campaign. He also served as Senior Advisor on the Senator’s 2018 campaign for re-election.
In addition to his time in pastoral ministry and work in politics and public policy, Bryan has also has experience working with another state Family Policy Council. He previously served as the communications director for the Iowa Family Policy Center, which is now the Family Leader.
Follow Jonathan Covey on Twitter: @jonathan_covey
Jonathan Covey is the Director of Policy for Texas Values, a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting for faith, family, and freedom in the state of Texas. Before joining Texas Values, Jonathan worked for a member of the U.S. Congress and then spent over 5 years working in the Texas Capitol Building. He first served as Chief of Staff for a State Representative, and afterward as Senior Policy Analyst for a State Senator. In his Senate position, Jonathan helped manage the policy team and was lead staffer for the Senate State Affairs committee, staffing many public hearings during pro-life and pro-family legislative measures.
Jonathan graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Thomas Edison State University and obtained his first law degree from Oak Brook College of Law. During law school, he clerked part-time for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He is currently working on his second law degree from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, specializing in dispute resolution and mediation. He currently lives with his wife, Sarah, in the Cedar Park area.
Mary Elizabeth Castle, Senior Policy Advisor
Follow Mary Elizabeth: @MECastlePolicy1
Mary Elizabeth Castle is the Senior Policy Advisor for Texas Values, a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting for faith, family, and freedom in the state of Texas. As the Policy Advisor, she works daily to ensure pro-family values are protected in public policy across Texas.
Before joining the Texas Values team, Mary Elizabeth worked under the General Counsel at Midwestern State University, focusing on education policy. She also worked at First Liberty, where she conducted research and performed outreach for attorneys. In law school, Mary Elizabeth interned for the Honorable Robert Junell in the Federal District Court of West Texas and the Honorable Vikki Miles-LaGrange in the Federal District Court of Oklahoma. She was also president of Texas Tech’s chapter of the Federalist Society.
Mary Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from SMU and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech School of Law.
Follow Joseph: @joewalter
Joseph Walter is Development at Texas Values, a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting for faith, family, and freedom in the state of Texas. Joseph has helped numerous candidates and organizations around the country stand for religious liberty, pro-life beliefs, traditional family values, and constitutional rights. A seasoned grassroots specialist with more than 10 years of political leadership and executive management experience involving campaigns, individuals, some counties and cities, non-profits, and organizations.
Before getting into politics, Joseph had worked in the church as a youth and college minister. After getting into politics he has gained broad experience across the political spectrum with professional expertise in fundraising, donor relations, public relations, communications, grassroots, and more. As a former political consultant and campaign manager for over 28 races around Texas and around the United States, the skills he obtained are used at Texas Values to ensure that it can continue its mission of defending faith, family, and freedom in Texas.
Joseph is a third-generation Texan and American. He received his B.S. from Stephen F. Austin State University and is working on a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Liberty University. In his spare time, he likes to tour around Texas with his wife Ashley, which he met on the campaign trail.
Nancy Carter, Administrative Assistant
Nancy Carter is the Administrative Assistant for Texas Values. She is a 5th generation Texan, with family ties dating back to the Republic of Texas. Prior to coming to Texas Values, Nancy had multiple jobs in a wide variety of industries; from Home Depot to NASA. Her most rewarding job was being a stay-at-home Mom and raising two kids. She has been married to her husband Preston for over 35 years and has lived in many parts of the country. Nancy has a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.