Some familiar Tarrant County faces will be absent from their accustomed places when the 83rd Texas Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday in Austin.Foremost among them will be Arlington's Chris Harris, who is retiring from his lawmaking role 28 years after he first took a seat in the House. Harris moved over to the Senate in 1991 and has been the longest-serving Republican in that body since Teel Bivins and Bill Ratliff both left in 2004.Harris announced in September 2011, that he would not seek re-election, setting off a scramble to determine who would replace him as the District 9 senator. Rep. Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills won the Republican primary last May and the Nov. 6 general election.Harris played many roles in the Senate over the years, including most recently as chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee. He is an attorney, and he said he would return to his law practice full time after leaving the Senate.When Harris announced his decision to return to private life, University of Texas at Arlington President James Spaniolo praised him for his "relentless efforts" on behalf the university and said UTA "would not be the quality academic institution it is today" without the lawmaker's efforts.Two long-serving Northeast Tarrant County lawmakers are leaving the Legislature after being defeated in primary races last year.Todd Smith served 16 years before he decided to run for Harris' Senate seat last year and suffered a primary defeat to Hancock. He was on the Public Education Committee and in 2009 was chairman of the Elections Committee.Vicki Truitt of Keller lost a hard-fought primary battle last year to Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake. She had served in the House since 1999 and had been chairwoman of the Pensions and Investments Committee since 2007.Also leaving the House this year after election defeats are Republicans Mark Shelton of Fort Worth (served four years) and Barbara Nash of Arlington (served two years). Democrat Marc Veasey of Fort Worth was sworn in Thursday as a member of the U.S. House after serving eight years in the Texas House.Work in the Legislature can be grueling. All of these lawmakers deserve thanks for their public service.