Senator Nelson Named #1 In Power Rankings

April 2, 2015

Senator Jane Nelson today was named by Capitol Inside the most powerful Senator in the Texas Senate, ranking #1 in their Texas Senate Power Rankings. The online magazine, which covers the Texas Legislature, said she "may be the most powerful state legislator in Texas history who's not the speaker or Senate president."

"I am very grateful for the recognition from Capitol Inside," said Senator Nelson. "I am proud to serve with this group of Senators and we are working hard to pass a conservative budget that responsibly meets the needs of our entire state." 

The article, which appears at capitolinside.com, states: 

There are two kinds of state legislators when it comes to the assessment of clout at the Texas Capitol this year after the presiding officers on both sides of the rotunda are excluded from the pool of possibilities. 

There's State Senator Jane Nelson - and there are all of the other Texas lawmakers who will never come close to wielding the kind of sway inside the brass rails that the Flower Mound Republican does now barring successful races in the future for lieutenant governor or House speaker. 

The former sorority president had entered the Senate in 1993 as a political pariah who'd ousted one of the chamber's most influential Democrats by running to the right when Texas was still solid blue overall. Nelson had served two terms on the State Board of Education, which Democrats who controlled the statehouse were starting to view as a breeding ground for wing nuts. 

But Nelson has defied expectations in ways that no one could have imagined during her rookie session almost two dozen years ago - and she's climbed during that span of time from the lowest possible point on the pecking order to the pinnacle of power in the east wing of the statehouse. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the suburban mother of five who began her career as an elementary school teacher may be the most powerful state legislator in Texas history who's not the speaker or Senate president.