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Texas Senate
April 27, 2002
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Historic Tradition Gives Texas a Brief New Look

The Honorable Tom Vandergriff administers the oath of office to Senator Mike Moncrief as Rosie looks on.

AUSTIN - Fort Worth Senator Mike Moncrief was inaugurated as Governor For a Day, Saturday, April 27, 2002. Family, friends, and colleagues celebrated the occasion, honoring Governor Moncrief and First Lady Rosie Moncrief.

At the close of the last legislative session, Moncrief's fellow senators unanimously elected him president pro tempore of the Senate. At times when the governor or lieutenant governor are out of the state, the president pro tempore becomes the acting governor. Today's official swearing-in continued a long-standing tradition.

"Representing the people of District 12 and those in Tarrant County has been the most important task in my life in the past twelve years," Moncrief said during his address. "It has been an honor and a privilege for Rosie and me."

Moncrief thanked his constituents, fellow colleagues in the Texas legislature, and his staff as well as the employees of all state agencies, and most of all, First Lady Rosie Moncrief.

Former Texas Senator and current Chancellor of Texas Tech, the Honorable John Montford presided in the Senate Chamber as master of ceremonies. Fellow senator Rodney Ellis and longtime friend Paul Hobby spoke in praise of Moncrief.

"His leadership style has never been a Machiavellian power game, it is a public form of honor that is all too rare," stated Hobby.

The oath of office was administered by Judge Tom Vandergriff, standing in for Judge Scott Moore, who fell ill and was not able to attend. Judge Vandergriff is currently serving his third term as Tarrant County Judge and has previously served as Mayor of Arlington and U.S. Congressman.

"One hundred and sixty-six years ago, William Barret Travis drew a line in the sand at the Alamo and challenged Texans to fight for what they believe in," said Moncrief. "Today, I believe we must draw a new line in the sand in Texas, a line to fight against the cancers of our society: crime, poverty, illness, and bigotry."

In the past, Senator Moncrief has helped pass vital legislation in the areas of nursing home reform, under age tobacco use, anti-stalking laws, crime victims' compensation, domestic violence laws, prison health care, and mental health and mental retardation services.

In addition to Moncrief's family and Senate colleagues, dignitaries attending included former Secretary of the Senate Betty King, sportscaster Verne Lundquist, U.S. Congressman Jim Turner, and Fort Worth fire fighters who worked in New York following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Moncrief welcomed his guests in the Governor's Reception Room at the Capitol. Festivities continued on the Capitol grounds with a barbecue luncheon and live music.

Video: Inaugural Ceremonies, April 27, 2002

Photo Gallery

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Governor Moncrief, Rosie, and family exit the Senate Chamber after swearing-in ceremony.

Senator Mike Moncrief and wife Rosie with family, friends, and colleagues after breakfast at the Governor's Mansion, before Inaugural Ceremony.

Senate Chamber during swearing-in of Senator Moncrief as Governor for a Day, April 27, 2002.

Session video and all other Senate webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's Audio/Video Archive.