Personal Profile

Full Name Judith Zaffirini
Age 71
Hometown Laredo
Race Hispanic
Occupation Communications Specialist; 13 years of teaching experience
Education B.S., University of Texas at Austin; M.A., University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; University of Houston (attended); Laredo Junior College (attended)
Spouse: Carlos
Religion Catholic
Church Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

Judith Zaffirini is the Texas State Senator for District 21, first elected in 1987. She is the second highest-ranking Texas state senator and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator in the Texas Legislature.

She is serving as the vice chair of the Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs Committee. She also sits on the Health & Human Services, Natural Resources & Economic Development and State Affairs committees.

In 2009, Zaffirini was appointed chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of the Senate Finance, Health and Human Services, Economic Development, and Administration committees. She is the first Hispanic woman senator in Texas to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate and as Governor for a Day, and has served on the Legislative Budget Board since 2004. She was also appointed to the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.

In 2008, Zaffirini was named one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business magazine, listed on “The Best of the Texas Senate” list by Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, and named “Señora International” by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

Zaffirini has sponsored and passed 581 bills and 51 substantive resolutions and co-sponsored and passed another 278 bills.

She works as a communications specialist and educator. Zaffirini holds B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, each with a 3.9 grade-point average.

She and Carlos Zaffirini, a South Texas attorney, have been married more than four decades. Their son, Carlos Zaffirini Jr., is a graduate of the UT McCombs School of Business and the UT School of Law.

Information in this bio was provided by Zaffirini's office.
Last updated: March 22, 2015.