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State Rep. Celia Israel Sworn In Today By Sen. Leticia Van de Putte


by: Joe Deshotel

Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:37 PM CST


State Representative Celia Israel was officially sworn into office Saturday morning on the floor of the Texas House. Senator Leticia Van de Putte gave her the honor as she was surrounded by a chamber full of family, friends, and supporters. Van de Putte, now a candidate for Lt. Governor, was once elected a member of the Texas House herself in 1992.

Van de Putte praised Celia for being an outstanding public servant long before being elected to office. She cited Israel's work with Alliance for Public Transportation and the Capital Area Food Bank among others.

As Celia waited for the bible to be placed on the podium Van de Putte her told her of the tradition in the House -- to inscribe your favorite verse and leave it in the desk. The book does not belong to the member it, "it stays with the desk" she said, and recounted being sworn in on Sam Houston's bible.

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The Senator handed down her best advice that was given to her by Bob Bullock which to "paraphrase" for "colorful language" was basically to say -- people make mistakes, but we must always work to do the best by Texas.

When the swearing in was over Celia began her address with her familiar dry-witted humor, "another politician wants to give a speech." She then seem to own the idea of her new official capacity saying, "I'm no longer a politician, my name is Celia Israel and I'm a Texas State Representative."

Celia, who is now one of only two openly non-heterosexual legislators, thanked her partner of 18 years for always being there despite her unfondness for "politics." She spoke of humble begins along the Texas border in El Paso and coming to Austin to be the first of her family to graduate college. She thanked the voters of HD-50 and reminded them and everyone present that the Capitol is their house.

She also adds an additional Democratic member to the Hispanic Caucus as the Republican Party struggles with the demographic shift across the state. Oh, and there was a mariachi band that played the national anthem as it was sung -- and it was awesome.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.



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