P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2003
AUSTIN - State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, was elected President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate today during closing ceremonies for the 78th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. The President Pro Tempore is the member who fulfills the duties of lieutenant governor in the event of an absence or disability.
"It is a privilege in itself to serve the citizens of my community in the Texas Senate. To be elected by my colleagues to serve as President Pro Tem is an honor that I will always cherish," Senator Nelson said.
Senator Nelson is the 7th woman to be elected President Pro Tempore. The first President Pro Tempore was Edward Burleson from Bastrop during the first Legislature in 1846. If the office of the lieutenant governor becomes vacant, rules require the president pro tempore to convene the Committee of the Whole Senate within 30 days after the vacancy. In the event of an absence of the governor and lieutenant governor, the President Pro Tempore may perform the duties of governor.
Quotes from the nominating speeches given by her fellow Senators:
"She makes me a better Senator ... we are going to be very well served."
- Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, Dean of the Texas Senate and Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee
"My friend and colleague ... you are a shining star, and this is just the beginning of what will be many accomplishments to come."
- Senator Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Chairman of the Education Committee
"Her toughness is grounded in the firm stance she has in her beliefs and her unwavering devotion to her constituents."
- Senator Chris Harris, R-Arlington, Chairman of the Administration Committee
"You have a work ethic that will not stop."
- Senator Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, Chairman of the Finance Committee.
"Her motherly love shines through every day in her work."
- Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee
"The same lioness that protects your children comes out when you are fighting to protect your constituents."
- Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, Chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs
"You are a go-to person in the Senate."
- Senator Bill Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, Former Lieutenant Governor and Chairman of the State Affairs Committee
"She is one of the most independent thinkers on this floor, and that is a good person to have in this position."
- Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, Chairman of the Business & Commerce Committee
"Jane Nelson is a force to be reckoned with."
- Senator Royce West, D-Dallas, Chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee
Flower Mound Senator Jane Nelson is sworn in as President Pro Tempore ad Interim for the 78th Session of the Texas Senate by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Nelson was accompanied by the her family, including her children, her father, Robert Gray, and her husband, Michael.