New faces fill Texas Legislature

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One week from Tuesday, lawmakers will head back to the State Capitol for the Texas Legislative Session. Over the following 140 days, several new faces will help shape the decisions made under the dome.

As local leaders were sworn in Tuesday at the old Williamson County Courthouse, the area's newest state representative - Tony Dale - prepared for his own oath right around the corner. The first-term Republican from the newly drawn district in Cedar Park will soon join his family on the Texas House floor, then dive right into his duties as a lawmaker.

"The big challenges for me are going to be building relationships with a lot of people I've never met before from all over the state, because I know I'm going to need their support on certain things, said Dale. “That's going to be the challenge to get done in a very short period of time."

Dale is not the only newbie at the Capitol this legislative session. There are more than 40 new freshmen and 23 sophomores in the House. There are also six new Senators.

"The people that are coming in have more integrity to bring to the office, and I think we needed that,” said Rosa Hart, who was watching the courthouse ceremony. “Williamson County needed a fresh look and a fresh way of doing things."

Dale has a military background and has since served on the Cedar Park City Council. With leadership under his belt, he knows there is still a learning curve ahead for his most challenging role yet.

"I think that will certainly pose some challenges for us new guys,” said Dale. “We need to get it all figured out."

Dale is joined by another new Central Texas lawmaker. Republican Donna Campbell went on the win the seat held by longtime Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. Campbell is an emergency room doctor living in the New Braunfels area.

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