“It has been a great honor to represent our community in the Texas Senate,” said Nelson in a press release. “I promised to listen, work hard, and deliver results and have strived to fulfill that pledge. Our accomplishments have improved the lives of Texans, which makes me proud.”
“I love my constituents, my staff, and my colleagues in the Senate and owe them, as well as my family, a debt of gratitude. As this chapter closes, you can count on me to keep working to build a better Texas.”
Nelson is the senior-most Republican in the Senate, having been first elected to the upper chamber in 1992.
She is a former teacher and prior to her election to the legislature, Nelson was a member of the State Board of Education.
“Jane has always been a trailblazer, and as the ranking Republican in the Senate, she played a key role in helping to move our party from the minority to the majority,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who serves as the leader of the Senate, in a press release.
“It is hard to overestimate the positive impact of Jane’s service to the state of Texas and I know Texans are grateful. She is the finest Finance Chair in Texas history. She will be missed by me and the 30 other Senators on so many levels. She was a mentor to me and made me a better Senator and Lt. Governor. She is my friend.”
Patrick said that he has asked Nelson to remain in her position as Finance Chair through the end of her term.
Senators serve four year terms and Nelson was last elected in 2020 with 62 percent of the vote, but all Senate seats will be on the ballot in 2022 due to the redistricting that is expected to take place later this year.
While redistricting could change the boundaries of her district, Senate District (SD) 12 is mostly located in southern Denton County with another 15 percent of its population coming from portions that dip down into Tarrant County.
In 2018 and 2020, Republican candidates received a median share of 60 percent of the vote against Democrats in the district.
With the seat open, it is sure to garner attention in the Republican primary.
State Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) has said that he is considering a run.
“As Senator Nelson looks to pass the torch, we must focus on having a proven conservative fighter represent North Texas. I ask for your prayers over the coming days and weeks as I strongly consider running for the Texas Senate,” said Patterson.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.