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November 20, 2004    (512) 463-0300


Senator Jeff Wenthworth and Honor Guard
Governor Jeff Wentworth and First Lady Karla Wentworth exit the Senate Chamber under the swords of the Governor's Honor Guard, The Ross Volunteers.

Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio was sworn in today, November 20, 2004, as Governor of Texas. Wentworth has served as President pro-tem of the Texas Senate since April, and today's ceremony continued a long standing tradition where the occupant of that office serves as Governor for a Day with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that go along with the office.

Senator Jeff Wenthworth
Senator Jeff Wentworth being sworn in by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson

Governor Wentworth was sworn in by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson in the Texas Senate Chamber. Governor for a Day is a 50 year-old tradition that honors the President pro-tem, giving that member the opportunity to showcase Texans from his or her district. The President pro-tem actually is second in line for the succession to the Governor's Chair, and serves as Governor when both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are out of the state or otherwise unavailable. Wentworth was elected President pro-tem by the members of the Texas Senate last April 20.

Wentworth was lauded as a man of principle by all who spoke on his behalf during the inaugural. And while joking about calling a special session while governor, he was very serious about what he thought the priorities of the Legislature should be, saying "I would hope that among other things we would solve the public school finance issue, pass Senator Carona's bill to require all votes to be recorded in the Senate and House Journals, and my personal favorite, to adopt a resolution to create an independent, bipartisan citizens redistricting commission so that no future Legislature has to go through again what we did last year."

"I believe the people of Texas prefer our concentrating our time and effort on their behalf on matters they consider more important. Public education, health care, public safety, transportation, water, private property rights, tax policy, the environment, energy policy, homeland security and the like, rather than partisan political advantage by the majority party regardless of whether it's Republican or Democrat over the minority party."

More than two thousand guests crowded the Capitol to wish Governor Wentworth well today, in a greeting line that stretched from the Governor's Reception Room back to the Senate Chamber, while others feasted on the Tex-Mex cuisine of Dan Strange, served in the Capitol. During lunch, entertainment was provided by groups from District 25, such as the St. Edward's University Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi, the Texas State University Strutters, and the Boerne Village Band.

Since 1993, Governor Wentworth has been a Senator from the Alamo City. He previously served in the House of Representatives. The San Antonio Republican represents more than 700 thousand Texans in a district that stretches from Bexar County across six Central Texas Counties ending close to the state capitol itself. Wentworth is chairman of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence and serves on the Administration, Infrastructure Development and Security, as well as the Intergovernmental Relations Committees.

Governor Wentworth is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the Texas Tech University School of Law. He is a practicing lawyer with the firm of Loeffler Tuggey Pauerstein Rosenthal LLP with multiple offices in Texas and the District of Columbia. A Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, he is admitted to practice law in both the District of Columbia and Texas.

The First Lady is Karla Wentworth, a licensed professional interior designer. The Governor and Mrs. Wentworth have two sons, Jason, a 22-year-old college student, and 16-year-old Matthew, who is a sophomore in high school.

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