‘An iron fist in a velvet glove’: Campbell receives widespread support as Senate President Pro Tempore

‘An iron fist in a velvet glove’: Campbell receives widespread support as Senate President Pro Tempore_60f1ef55a358e.jpeg

State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) expressed her support for colleague Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) as Senate President Pro Tempore in Texas. 

The 87th Texas legislative session adjourned on May 31. 

Legislators continued with the sessions in the midst of COVID-19 and the historically severe winter storm in February. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott implied that there might be a special session later. 

“I nominated my dear friend @DonnaCampbellTX as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate,” Nelson said in a post to her Twitter account on June 1. “From her leadership on Veteran Affairs to serving on the frontlines as an Emergency Room physician, there is nothing she can’t do! The Senate is in steady hands!”

Campbell said she was honored by the new position. 

“We are chosen leaders of this great state of Texas at a time of great challenges,” Campbell said, surrounded by her four daughters on the Senate floor. “We came into our position, our position of leadership, for a time such as this.”

Campbell received support from across the aisle as well, including from Democratic State Sen. Judith Zaffirini of Laredo.  

“Many people consider her an iron fist in a velvet glove, perhaps because of her firmness and her brevity,” Zaffirini said about Campbell in the Senate. 

An emergency room physician by profession, Campbell has been serving in the Senate since 2013. The mother of four represents Senate District 25, which includes parts of San Antonio and Austin. The Senate Pro Tempore position is largely ceremonial. 

Naming the Senate President Pro Tempore for the interim period was the first order of business for the final regular legislative session of the Texas Senate. The other Texas senators all wore yellow roses to the session in honor of Campbell. The longest tenured state senator who has not previously held the position serves as Senate President Pro Tempore. 

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