9/20/2011 8:22 AM
Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) announced that she will not seek re-election to the Texas Senate in 2012. Her announcement ends a distinguished, decades-long career in elective office. As a Senator, Shapiro passed the bill requiring parental notification prior to abortion and numerous education bills. As a former teacher, she had credibility on education issues but – unlike most in education – she also kept careful watch over the purse strings. She also was active in transportation policy, and chaired the Senate State Affairs Committee (which had jurisdiction over transportation when she was in charge of it) and the Senate Education Committee. Rep. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) and Scott O'Grady have announced for the Senate seat.
"My parents came to the United States in search of the American dream, and I lived it,” said Shapiro. “I entered public service as a Plano City Council member, then Mayor. I entered the Texas Senate, with a desire to promote opportunity and to make a difference in the lives of everyday people. It has been humbling to serve in the state legislature with so many outstanding men and women from all across our great state. I am leaving public service, knowing that I have given my best to hopefully make Texas better."
"It has been my honor to serve the State of Texas and all the citizens of the many communities I have represented for almost two decades," she added. "I am excited about the future and will continue with my passion for improving our state's public schools, community colleges and universities."
Already, discussions are underway about who will succeed Shapiro in the Senate. Rep. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) issued the following statement: “I want to congratulate Senator Florence Shapiro on her many years of service to fellow Texans. Angela and I extend our appreciation for the sacrifice she has made as a public servant, and we both wish her the very best in her future plans. It is an honor to serve the citizens of Collin County as their conservative voice in the Texas Legislature. This afternoon, I have already received many calls of support, and I will soon be making a formal announcement concerning my plans to continue serving North Texas.” UPDATE: Paxton announced for the Senate seat this morning on the Mark Davis Show on WBAP.
LSR has also received a press release from Scott O’Grady announcing for the seat. O’Grady is a retired Air Force Captain whose plane was shot down behind enemy lines in Bosnia in 1995 and won the Bronze Star and Purple Heart awards. O’Grady’s campaign issued a list of key players who will endorse the campaign, including Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach, Texans for a Republican Majority PAC treasurer Bill Ceverha, and Dallas County Commissioner Maureen Dickey.
Said O’Grady: “Senator Shapiro is a valued friend and role model. She has set the bar high with her
distinguished career as a Republican leader in the State Senate. If elected to continue her work in the State Senate, I will call upon her as a valued mentor and advisor to serve our community and state.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated at 10:12 am to add Paxton's announcement for the open senate seat.