Sen. Jane Nelson won’t seek reelection

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, announced Monday that she won’t seek reelection next year.

Nelson, 69, did not give a reason for her decision, but she did tell residents “rest assured that in this next chapter I will keep fighting to build a better Texas.”

“It has been a great honor to represent our community in the Texas Senate. I promised to listen, work hard, and deliver results and have strived to fulfill that pledge. Our accomplishments have improved the lives of Texans, which makes me proud,” Nelson said. “I love my constituents, my staff, and my colleagues in the Senate and owe them, as well as my family, a debt of gratitude. As this chapter closes, you can count on me to keep working to build a better Texas.”

Nelson has served in the State Senate for 28 years, the most for any Senate Republican.

In 1998 she became the first Republican woman to chair a standing Senate committee when then-Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry named her chair of the Senate Health Committee — a position she held longer than any other Senator, according to a news release from her office.

She served as President Pro Tem of the Senate during the 78th Interim Period and was Governor for the Day in 2004. In 2014, she was appointed chair of the Senate Finance Committee, making her the first woman entrusted to chair a budget-writing committee in Texas. In 2019, she was the first woman to preside over opening day of the Texas Senate.

She was re-elected in 2020 with the most votes any Texas Senate candidate has ever received.

In addition to writing four state budgets, Nelson has a long list of accomplishments that includes legislation establishing the Cancer Research & Prevention Institute of Texas, reforming medical liability, overhauling the foster care system, expanding access to mental health care, returning PE to the school day, and affirming the rights of teachers to assign truthful grades, according to the news release. She has authored over $8 billion in tax relief and has championed over 30 bills to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Nelson lives in Flower Mound and represents District 12, including portions of Denton and Tarrant counties, and is the highest-ranking Republican in the Senate. She and her husband, J. Michael Nelson, have five children and 12 grandchildren.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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