P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2004
AUSTIN -- The Texas Capitol is preparing for an enthusiastic crowd of visitors this weekend as Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, is sworn in as Governor for A Day on Saturday, April 3, 2004, as part of a tradition honoring the President Pro Tem of the Texas Senate.
"I would like to dedicate this day to all of my wonderful supporters and friends who have entrusted me to represent their priorities and values at the State Capitol. To them and to all Texans, I pledge that I will faithfully fulfill my duties as governor of the best state in the greatest nation on earth," Senator Nelson, who was elected Pro Tem President of the Senate last year, said.
The role of Pro Tem President is to fulfill the office of governor and/or lieutenant governor if one or both are out of the state or otherwise vacate their office. Although the role is largely ceremonial, previous Pro Tem presidents have played a role in executions, presiding over the election of a lieutenant governor and, as in Senator Nelson's case last year, preparing for possible emergency declarations during hurricane season.
Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht will deliver the oath of office during the inauguration, which begins at 11 a.m. in the Senate Chamber. Senator John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate, will serve as master of ceremonies with remarks from Congressman Michael Burgess, Senator Florence Shapiro and community business leader Bernie Francis.
Senator Nelson's is expecting up to 5,000 guests -- many of whom are being transported on one of five charter buses leaving from Tarrant and Denton counties. Guests will enjoy barbecue on the Capitol grounds and entertainment from talented students representing local school districts. Additionally, several students from area high schools will receive a Governor Jane Nelson Scholarship for Future Teachers.