AUSTIN (KXAN) — On the last day of session, Texas lawmakers on both sides of the aisle gave a Houston Democratic representative a lengthy standing ovation to mark a milestone in her legislative career.
The Texas House of Representatives approved a resolution Monday honoring Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, for serving 50 years in the chamber. She has now served 26 terms in the House, rising to become known as the dean.
“She was first elected in 1972 when women weren’t even allowed to open a credit card in their own name,” the resolution read. “Since then, she has been at the forefront of historic change working tirelessly on behalf of justice, equality and opportunity for all.”
The resolution detailed a number of her legislative accomplishments, including efforts to fight human trafficking, laws creating the sexual assault program fund and state drug courts and passing the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act. Thompson stood at the top of the dais where the House Speaker normally stands, as the clerk read the entire resolution followed by other lawmakers delivering remarks about her impact.
Thompson approached the Speaker’s lectern afterward, telling everyone how “very humbled” she felt about the resolution.
“The things I like about the House–we know how to put partisanship aside on many issues and work on the issues themselves,” Thompson said. “I want to thank the good Lord for blessing me to be here, my constituents being intelligent enough to send me and my colleagues for [being] gracious enough to tolerate me.”
Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, introduced the resolution and shared that Thompson, who’s lovingly called “Ms. T” by her colleagues, had no idea this honor would happen Monday.
“We are letting you know right now that we love you and that we appreciate you,” Reynolds said, “and this Texas House of Representatives is better because of your 50 years of exemplary service.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan chimed in, too, saying, “The House is a better place with Ms. T in it.”
The resolution concluded that the members would like to “extend sincere best wishes for continued success” serving in the House.