Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, the longest-serving member of the Texas Senate, took office in 1973, the year the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal and newly drawn single-member districts ushered in a huge and diverse freshman House class.
Whitmire served 10 years in the House before being elected to the Senate in 1982. This year he celebrates four decades in state elected office. Here's a photographic look back at Whitmire's years in the Texas Legislature.
Whitmire is sworn into the Texas House for the first time at the start of the 63rd session in 1973.
Whitmire, in front passenger seat, rides in the Voice of Hope parade in Houston's Fifth Ward in 1973, the year he began serving in the Texas Legislature. Seated behind him, from left to right, are fellow House freshmen (and future Congressmen) Mickey Leland and Craig Washington. The boy, pointing his finger, is Craig Washington's son, also named Craig.
Whitmire walks with a group of legislators, including Mickey Leland (second from left) and Gene Green (over Whitmire's left shoulder), in the House chamber during the 64th session in 1975.
Whitmire at the front of the House chamber during the 64th session in 1975. House Speaker Billy Clayton is at the podium.
Whitmire with Craig Washington and Senfronia Thompson in the House chamber during the 65th session in 1977.
Whitmire at the podium in the House chamber during the 66th session in 1979.
Whitmire with his then-wife, Becki, during the 67th session in 1981.
Whitmire and Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock in the Senate chamber during the 72nd session in 1991.
Whitmire and then-Gov. Ann Richards address a group of schoolchildren during the 73rd session in 1993.
Whitmire with aide Diana Lolley, right, at a Criminal Justice Committee meeting during the 75th session in 1997.
Whitmire with Yuniedth Midence Steen, a former staffer who now lobbies for his current employer, Locke Lord, at the Senate Ladies Ball during the 78th session in 2003.
Whitmire on the Senate floor.