From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
December 27, 2000
Contact: Bill Scott - (512) 463-0124

Fraser Calls For Open Voting Process in Senate Election of Presiding Officer

AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, said today he favors a public vote by the Texas Senate to elect a new presiding officer to replace former Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry.

"Texans have the right to know how we vote and I believe very strongly that the process should be open for the public and news media to observe," Fraser said. "Electing a new presiding officer by secret ballot sends all the wrong signals and violates the spirit of open government."

Fraser was among a handful of senators who argued last week for a public vote when the Senate caucused to discuss the procedure for electing a new presiding officer. The Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow.

Fraser removed his name from consideration in the balloting for presiding officer, in order to devote all his time to representing Senate District 24 as its senator.

The vacancy in Lieutenant Governor was created by the presidential election of Texas Governor George W. Bush. Under the Texas Constitution, Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry automatically became governor when Bush resigned, and Perry's successor will be chosen by the Texas Senate from among its 31 members.

Numerous senators in recent months have been jockeying to attract the required 16 votes to win the election. Those mentioned as possible successors to Perry include Republican Sens. Teel Bivins of Amarillo, Buster Brown of Lake Jackson, Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, David Sibley of Waco and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio. Democrat Sen. Ken Armbrister of Victoria has also been mentioned as interested in the job.