A changing of the guard is underway in Austin.
Legislators head to work at the Capitol on Tuesday for the 84th legislative session, but a number of new statewide officeholders have already begun their work.
Among those already sworn in to office: Attorney General Ken Paxton, Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
House and Senate members take their oaths of office Tuesday. And on Jan. 20, Greg Abbott becomes Texas’ newest governor and Dan Patrick becomes the state’s newest lieutenant governor.
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Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos will become the state’s newest secretary of state at some point after that.
In a long-overdue recognition of domestic World War II fliers, Congress awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award, to the Civil Air Patrol last month.
“Decades after the end of World War II, it is long overdue and altogether fitting that Congress finally bestows this honor upon the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol,” Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Austin, said at the ceremony in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
McCaul and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, co-sponsored the effort in the House.
There were 46 Civil Air Patrol members at the event, according to a release from the Civil Air Patrol organization. More than 200,000 Civil Air Patrol members did surveillance against German U-boat attacks and other wartime domestic missions during World War II.
Former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, a Democrat who represented portions of Tarrant County for 26 years, was defeated in 2004 after a partisan redistricting left him with no real chance to win.
Frost is now telling it like it is, teaming up with former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., in co-writing a book, The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis, which the middle-of-the-road lawmakers are promoting in high-profile venues.
On Tuesday, Frost and Davis will be at the National Press Club Journalism Institute with well-known journalist Mark Shields as moderator and opening remarks from historian David Eisenhower, grandson of the 34th president, who wrote the preface to the book.
On Jan. 21, the authors will be at the National Archives, which is sponsoring an evening program and book-signing with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.
Frost and Davis knew each other from serving in the House, each was a chairman of his party’s House campaign committee, and both came away from their time as lawmakers wanting to fix the gridlock that made Congress so ineffectual. Davis was in office from 1994 to 2008 when he retired, “undefeated and unindicted.”
The two lawmakers collaborated with journalist Richard Cohen on the book.
Maria Recio, 202-383-6103
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610