David Dewhurst has embodied the Texas notion of servant leadership throughout his life. Born to a WWII hero and a hard-working mother, Dewhurst lost his father to a drunk driver at an early age. From working the docks on the Houston Ship Channel to attending college on a basketball scholarship, Dewhurst set himself apart with a solid work ethic, an abiding faith in God and a refusal to quit.
At the height of the Cold War, Dewhurst dedicated his young adult life to serving his country, first in the U.S. Air Force, then in the CIA and later in the State Department. When he left government service, he returned to Houston to begin his career in business. In the early 1980s, he started his own company, but like so many other Texas businesses at the time, he lost nearly everything when the oil and gas and real estate markets went bust. Dewhurst gradually built back all that he had lost and more, and earned his reputation as an innovative, tireless and successful businessman.
In 1995, then President Bill Clinton named Dewhurst a member of the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community where he worked with distinguished leaders like Les Aspin and Warren Rudman to ensure the protection of U.S. interests around the world.
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, Dewhurst was appointed chair of the Texas Homeland Security Task Force, which developed key strategies for public safety and emergencies that are still in use today.
In 1998, he was elected Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office where he not only streamlined the agency and cut its spending, he also advocated for veterans issues including the creation of new military cemeteries in Texas and the expansion of the state’s veterans’ land programs.
He won election as Lt. Governor in the fall of 2002 and got to work in the 78th session of the Texas Legislature. During his 12-year tenure as Lt. Governor, Dewhurst oversaw one of the largest economic expansions in Texas history, championed effective border security and advocated for traditional Texas values. Throughout, he never lost sight of his real employers, the people of Texas.
In typical Dewhurst fashion, he took up rodeo, competing in team roping and cutting events, and ended up being inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009.
Dewhurst maintains his commitment to servant leadership, working to expand his energy holdings and remaining engaged in civic organizations in his Houston hometown. A compelling, experienced conservative voice, David Dewhurst continues his work to make the world a better, more conservative place.
I think his legacy, really I've said many times, is the Texas miracle. What we have today with our economy, there's no question in my mind that that would not exist without his leadership.
I think if you want to look at what Governor Dewhurst has done the last ten years, he's helped model this state to run like a business. He brought his business expertise to state government.
Because of his compassion, because of his ability to understand conflicting perspectives, and because of his impeccable manners, and finally, his very persuasive charm, that he will be remembered as a really good lieutenant governor who always tried to do the right things. I believe his charm is part of his legacy, and those impeccable manners.
He also was a man of honor because he did what he said he was going to do. I knew that if he said that he would follow through with something, I would trust him to do that. And he did, 100% of the time. He was one of the greatest advocates for veterans in the state of Texas that we have ever known, and we're going to miss his leadership in the state government.
That was Lt. Governor Dewhurst's genius. He was not only getting members of the Senate to work together, but also the members of the pro-life groups and the different segments. As a result, we have probably one of the strongest [pro-life] laws in the country [in Texas].
He was a real statesman. And provided leadership in higher education that this state had not seen before.
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