AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, was sworn into office Tuesday as the 78th Texas Legislature launched its 140-day regular session.
"It was a great day which I enjoyed sharing with members of my family and constituents from the district," Estes said. Seated next to him on the floor of the Senate Chamber were his wife, Jennifer Estes, and his father, Pete Estes.
"I'm ready to go to work and do my part to help resolve the many challenges confronting our great state," Estes said. "My foremost goal is to be a strong voice for North Texas."
Estes serves nearly 700,000 constituents across Senate District 30 which includes all of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cooke, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties and parts of Collin and Denton counties.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and House as we participate in what promises to be the most challenging legislative session in recent memory," Estes said.
Among business conducted during Tuesday's opening day, the 31 senators drew lots for length of terms. As required by recent legislative redistricting, all state senate seats were up for election in November. To maintain the staggering of elections, senators elected after each new redistricting must be divided into two-year and four-year terms in accordance with the Texas Constitution.
Estes was among the 15 senators who drew two-year terms while the other 16 senators drew four-year terms. Estes will face re-election in 2004 for an opportunity to serve a traditional four-year term. After waging four campaigns for the opportunity to serve this legislation session, Estes said he isn't annoyed by drawing a short term.
"I'm not worried about re-election. That's two years down the road. The good people of Senate District 30 chose me to represent them in Austin, and that will be my focus for the next 140 days," Estes said.