Government, Politics, and Higher Education

The present constitution of Texas was adopted in 1876, replacing the carpetbag constitution of 1869. The state's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. Democrat Ann Richards, elected governor in 1990, was defeated for reelection in 1994 by Republican George W. Bush; Bush won reelection in 1998. After Bush was elected president of the United States, Lt. Gov. Rick Perry succeeded him as governor (Dec., 2000) and was elected to the office in 2002, 2006, and 2010. Republican Greg Abbott was elected governor in 2014 and 2018. The state's legislature has a senate with 31 members and a house with 150 representatives. The state elects 2 senators and 36 representatives to the U.S. Congress and has 38 electoral votes. Texas politics were dominated by Democrats from the end of Reconstruction into the 1960s, but Republicans achieved parity in the 1990s and then dominance.

Among the many institutions of higher learning in Texas are the Univ. of Texas, mainly at Austin, but with large branches at Arlington, El Paso, and the Dallas suburb of Richardson; Baylor Univ., at Waco; East Texas State Univ., at Commerce; Univ. of North Texas, at Denton; Rice Univ., at Houston; Southern Methodist Univ., at Dallas; Texas A&M Univ., at College Station; Texas Arts and Industries Univ., at Kingsville; Texas Christian Univ., at Fort Worth; and Texas Southern Univ. and the Univ. of Houston, both at Houston.

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