Governor for a Day, April 26, 2003
The Honorable Eddie Lucio, Jr. and his wife Minnie, sworn-in by U.S. District Judge Filemon Vela.
Brownsville Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. was sworn in today, April 26th, as Governor for a Day. Lucio was elected as president pro tempore of the Senate by his colleagues at the end of the 77th legislature, putting him third in line for the governorship of Texas. According to tradition, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor leave the state for one day each legislative session. The president pro tempore is then sworn in as Governor of Texas, and serves in that office for one day.
The Honorable Eddie Lucio, Jr is often hailed as a champion of South Texas issues.
Lucio was joined by family, friends and colleagues in the Senate Chamber as he celebrated his inauguration. "I may only be Governor for a day," said Lucio, "but I'm your friend and neighbor for life, and a Texan forever."
Senator John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate, served as master of ceremonies for the event. "The State Senate is meeting during difficult times," said Whitmire, "We are having one of our best sessions because of the leadership of Eddie Lucio. Eddie Lucio, through his leadership, has caused the Senate to work together like never before."
Lucio appointed close friend and fellow Senator Frank Madla as Lieutenant Governor-for-a-Day. "When Eddie is speaking on the floor of the Senate, he speaks from his heart," said Madla, "I can tell you today that his heart is as big as the state of Texas." Senators Troy Fraser, Eliot Shapleigh, Leticia Van de Putte and Chris Harris all spoke in praise of Governor Lucio.
Lucio was sworn into office by Judge Filemon Vela, U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of Texas. In his inaugural address, Governor Lucio said Texas must use its vast resources to correct the state's shortfalls. " I am an elected official who understands it is common sense to give every child a rock solid education," said Lucio, "We have tried patches in the past, but now we must repair our public education system."
Lucio has served in the Senate since 1990. He is often hailed as a champion of South Texas issues, and is known for fighting for the rights and needs of border residents. One of Lucio's primary causes is the development of transportation, economy, and education of the South Texas region. In the past, Lucio has passed legislation that improved the standard of living for substandard and unplatted colonias in South Texas. He has received numerous accolades because of his legislative work; he was named State Senator of the Year by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, and has been named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Public Employees Association and also by the Association of Community Action Agencies.
Cameron County Commissioner Pete Benavides and Brownsville Mayor Blanca Vela attended Saturday's ceremonies to honor their State Legislator. State Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott were also present to pay tribute to Governor Lucio. Guests of Governor Lucio were treated to a reception and a barbecue on the Capitol Grounds following the day's events.