There’s a new leader in the Texas House — from Tarrant County

The dome at the Texas Capitol.
The dome at the Texas Capitol. Star-Telegram

State Rep. Chris Turner will have a strong voice in the Texas House this session.

Turner, D-Grand Prairie, is the new Texas House Democratic Caucus Leader, drawing praise from many within the party.

“Democratic Leader Chris Turner knows that every Texan deserves a fair shot to get ahead. He knows the strength and grit of Texans, and he knows that they deserve the best from their elected leaders,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the Texas Democratic Party. “Texas Democrats congratulate our new leader in the House. He is smart, tactical, and a hard-working fighter for all.

“The Texas Democratic Party looks forward to supporting our House Democratic Caucus with every resource at our disposal. When House Democrats succeed, Texas families succeed.”

Turner said he looks forward to working with fellow Democrats in the House to “strengthen our public schools, create more economic opportunity for Texas families and stand up to the misguided policies coming from the Trump administration.”

“The House Democratic Caucus has a lot of work to get done this legislative session,” he said.

Other appointments: state Reps. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, was named first vice chair, Celia Israel, D-Austin, was named second vice chair, and Toni Rose, D-Dallas, was chosen as treasurer.

State pledge

Starting Tuesday, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag will be recited at Fort Worth City Council meetings right after the U.S. pledge.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price asked that it be included in response to public requests, noting that the Tarrant County Commissioners Court has said it for years. No council member objected.

For those who don’t know it, City Secretary Mary Kayser said the pledge will be printed on the agenda and shown on the overhead screens.

“It will be something a little different,” Kayser said.

Children’s advocacy

State Sen. Jane Nelson gained a new honor — the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas 2017 Partner In Courage award.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was given the award to recognize “courage as an advocate in the fight against child abuse.”

“Sen. Nelson is the epitome of a champion for children and has a longstanding history of supporting children’s advocacy in Texas,” said Joy Rauls, Children’s Advocacy Centers in Texas Executive Director. “We are honored to have the opportunity to present this prestigious award to her this year.”

Nelson’s district includes parts of Tarrant County.

Councilman honored

Tarleton State University found a permanent campus location in far southwest Fort Worth and they thanked Fort Worth Councilman Jungus Jordan for his work in that effort by presenting him with its 2017 Civility with Integrity Legacy Award.

The 80-acre campus will be located at Chisholm Trail Parkway and Old Granbury Road. The Texas Legislature has earmarked $40 million to start the campus, located in Jordan’s council district. The announcement was made in 2014.

University President F. Dominic Dottavio said Jordan “is committed to improving quality of life for today’s families and future generations. The new Chisholm Trail Parkway campus will enable us to provide even greater educational opportunities for the area’s booming population.”

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley