Newly named Lt. Governor Bill
Ratliff with members of his transition team. From the left, Don Edmonds
of Tyler, Director of Transition; Ratliff; Vatra Solomon, Executive
Assistant; and Eric Wright, Chief of Staff.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff
Names 2001 Session Team
Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff of Mt. Pleasant has assembled his staff heading for the 2001 session of the Texas Legislature. The 77th Legislative Session begins Tuesday, January 9.
"When the reality of this tremendous vote of confidence from my fellow Senators hit home along with the short schedule I was facing, I knew that the only way to make this all work was to immediately call in some key folks I've come to depend on through the years," Ratliff said.
Don Edmonds of Tyler will serve as the new Lt. Governor's Director of Transition. Edmonds managed Ratliff's three senate campaigns and is a longtime friend. Edmonds, the first Executive Director of the East Texas Council of Governments, has served as the city manager of the Texas cities of Rosebud, Donna, Monahans and Martinsville, Va.
Eric Wright of Austin was named Chief of Staff. Wright, who began his legislative career as a Senate messenger, was formerly Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee chaired by then Sen. Ratliff.
Vatra Solomon, who served as the Executive Assistant in Ratliff's Senate office, will continue in that capacity.
Lt. Governor Ratliff was elected by fellow members of the Texas Senate on Dec. 28 to fill the post vacated by Rick Perry, who succeeded President-Elect George W. Bush. Ratliff will continue to serve as Senator for the 1st Senatorial District. The unprecedented election marked the first time in Texas history the Senate has selected a new presiding officer from its ranks following the succession of the Lt. Governor to the office of Governor.
A consulting civil engineer for 30 years, Ratliff owns his own firm in Mt. Pleasant. He was first elected to represent Senate District 1 in 1988 and served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1997 to 1998. Ratliff is a graduate of Sonora High School in Sonora and the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as president of the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Foundation and has been a member of the executive committee of the Northeast Texas Economic Development District, Inc. Lt. Governor Ratliff has been active in Tennison Memorial United Methodist Church and is married to Sally Sandlin Ratliff. He and his wife have three children and eight grandchildren.