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IIAT Members Making an IMPACT

State Representative Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant)
Owner, Hefner Group Insurance

State Representative Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant)

His start in insurance

In 2010, Representative Cole Hefner was considering a career change after working 16 years in the construction business. He didn’t know it at the time, but his career trajectory was set to change after attending a local rotary event in Gilmer, Texas, where he connected with an agent who co-owned a life & health insurance agency. It took some time, but five years later, the right opportunity became available and Cole joined the agency.

Then, in early 2018, Cole jumped at the opportunity to move into the property & casualty space, and Hefner Group Insurance was born. Today, Hefner Group has more than 20 employees in five locations – Tyler, Longview, Holly Lake Ranch, Marshall and Mineola.

His career in politics

Cole first became interested in politics because of social issues. In 2009, he walked into the local Republican Party Office in Gilmer. It didn’t take long before Cole was appointed the Precinct Chair for his local area.

Later that year, Cole decided to run for Upshur County Commissioner. In March 2010, he earned enough votes to make it to the republican primary runoff, which he won by 12 votes out of roughly 650. “As a County Commissioner, social issues were still important to me, but I soon became aware of how many issues come before the Commissioners Court that pertain to local government, like transportation, local taxes, and public education,” said Representative Hefner.

In 2014, Cole lost his re-election to the Commissioners Court – but, when a door closes, a window opens. In the summer of 2015, then-State Senator Kevin Eltife decided not to seek re-election and then-State Representative Bryan Hughes decided to run for the Texas Senate. This presented the opportunity for Cole to run for the seat being vacated by now-Senator Hughes.

Cole was the top vote-getter in a five-way primary and easily won the May 2016 republican primary runoff and the November 2016 general election, becoming Representative Hefner. He has had challengers since then, but none that have really put up much of a fight.

Why donating to IMPACT is important

Representative Hefner has donated to IMPACT for many years. “Members of the Texas House and Senate rely on experts to really understand issues foreign to them,” he said. Having a background in construction and insurance, Representative Hefner has the insight and experience to vote on legislation in those policy areas, but he relies on experts from other industries when casting votes on other policy areas.

“It's important to give to IMPACT so there is a connection between the IIAT Government Affairs team and elected officials who vote on legislation. When bills are filed and politicians need to learn the practical implications, they can rely on the experts at IIAT to help guide them through the decision-making process,” said Representative Hefner.

Make an IMPACT

Help IIAT’s Government Affairs team build and maintain strong relationships with politicians who write and pass these bills.


Contact Regan Ellmer at 512.493.2454.

NOTE: The Texas Ethics Commission has strict prohibitions on contributions and expenditures and forbids a corporation or labor organization from making a political contribution or political expenditure. Therefore, IIAT members wishing to make a contribution to IMPACT must do so with a personal or partnership contribution. Corporate contributions are prohibited by law.

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Regan Ellmer

Director of Government Affairs