Secretary of State David Whitley

Secretary of State David Whitley addresses the Texas Legislature on the governing body’s opening day, Tuesday, Jan. 8.

AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State David Whitley convened the 86th Legislative Session on Tuesday, Jan. 8, presiding over the opening ceremonies for the Texas House of Representatives and conducting the election of Texas’ new Speaker of the House, Representative Dennis Bonnen.

Whitley also delivered opening remarks to legislators, imploring them to fully embrace their responsibilities as public servants in the state of Texas, according to a press release from his office.

“Each one of you is expected to rise to the challenge of addressing issues that face Texans in their everyday lives, and to do so in a way that is uniquely Texan: with honor, integrity, strength, and with our Texas pride,” Whitley said in his remarks. “You must always bear in mind that the decisions you make impact not only your lives, but also the lives of your fellow Texans, and your priorities must always be with them.”

Whitley also said he’d make protecting election integrity in Texas a top priority and affirmed the strong partnership between his office and election officials in each of Texas’ 254 counties.

“Whether it’s a local, state, or national election, our county officials are at the vanguard of defending our democratic process,” Whitley said.

“I would like to extend a hand in partnership and offer the Secretary of State’s office as a steadfast resource as we continue to work together to protect and preserve our most cherished civic institution Our democracy is only as strong as the electoral process that maintains it, and I look forward to working with all of you to make it even stronger.”

Whitley concluded by emphasizing the importance of Texas’ leadership role in the world, as well as the duties of lawmakers in ensuring that Texas remains a top global economy.