Florence Shapiro

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Florence Shapiro
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 8th district
In office
January 10, 1995 – January 8, 2013
Preceded byO.H. "Ike" Harris
Succeeded byKen Paxton
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 2nd district
In office
January 12, 1993 – January 10, 1995
Preceded byTed Lyon
Succeeded byDavid Cain
Personal details
Florence Donald

(1948-05-02) May 2, 1948 (age 71)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Howard Shapiro
ResidencePlano, Collin County, Texas
Alma materB.S., University of Texas at Austin
ProfessionAdvertising executive

Florence Donald Shapiro (born May 2, 1948[5]) is an American politician from Texas, a Republican former member of the Texas Senate. From 1993 to 1995, she represented the 2nd District and from 1995 to 2013, the 8th District, which includes several cities, towns, and other outlying areas of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex.

Shapiro previously served as Senate State Affairs Committee chair and since 2003 has chaired the Senate Education Committee.[6] Her series of bills known as Ashley's Laws, which severely punishes sexual predators, quickly became national benchmarks in the fight against sex offenders. Shapiro's work earned her the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault's "Champion for Social Change Award".[7] and the Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas's "Legislator of the Year Award" in 2008.[8]

President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[9]

Personal life[edit]

A first-generation American and the daughter of two Holocaust survivors,[10] Florence Shapiro was born in New York City.[11] After the family moved to Dallas, Texas, she attended and graduated from Hillcrest High School.[12] After high school, Shapiro matriculated to The University of Texas at Austin, the first in her family to attend college,[13] and graduated with a B.S. in secondary education.[11] Shapiro began her professional career as a public school English and speech teacher for the Richardson Independent School District in Richardson, Texas.[11] Shapiro also founded Shapiro & Company, an advertising, public relations and special events agency.[11] She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband Howard; they have three children, Lisa Strauss of Houston, Todd Shapiro of Frisco, Texas, and Staci Rubin of Plano,[6] and 12 grandchildren.[13] Their names are Joshua, Noa, Ari, Ella, Sam, Zach, Natalie, Sophie, Olivia, Harper, Eli, and Brody.

Political career[edit]

Local politics[edit]

Florence Shapiro entered politics after being elected to be a member of the Plano City Council, where she served six terms from 1979 to 1990.[11] Shapiro was subsequently elected Mayor of Plano and served from 1990 to 1992.[11] During this time, Shapiro was the President of the Texas Municipal League and the North Texas Council of Governments.[14]

Texas Senate[edit]

Florence Shapiro was first elected to the Texas Senate in 1992, after defeating Democratic incumbent Ted Lyon, serving since 1993.[15] In January 2005, she was elected President pro tempore of the State Senate, becoming second in the gubernatorial line of succession, behind the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.[11] She was the first senator from Collin County to serve in that position in more than forty years.[14] When both Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst were out of the state on official business on April 9, 2005, Shapiro served as the Governor for a day, the sixth woman in Texas history to do so.[14]

U.S. Senate campaign speculation[edit]

Florence Shapiro and Roger Staubach

Due to her friendship with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, it was widely speculated that Shapiro would run for Hutchison's seat upon her resignation for her own gubernatorial run against Rick Perry. On July 15, 2008, Shapiro announced the formation of an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate,[15] the first candidate to do so.[16] It is chaired by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.[17] Since the formation of the committee, Shapiro has begun heavy fundraising, both in Texas and out-of-state, and by the end of 2008, had raised more money than any other declared candidate, to date the highest of any declared Republican. Shapiro raised $226,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 and ended the year with $373,556 in the bank.[18] Early polls indicated Shapiro defeating former Texas State Comptroller John Sharp, but trailing current Houston mayor Bill White in head-to-head matchups.[19]

However, in January 2011, she decided against continuing a campaign for United States Senate. Saying that she is "committed to serving in the Texas State Senate now and in the future." [20]

Retirement from Texas Senate[edit]

In September 2011, Shapiro announced that she would not be a candidate for reelection.[21] Republican former State Representative Tony Goolsby indicated that he would seek to succeed Shaprio, as did the military officer Scott O'Grady, but neither ran for the seat. Shaprio was instead succeeded in the Senate by fellow Republican Ken Paxton.

Election History[edit]


Texas general election, 2006: Senate District 8[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Florence Shapiro (Incumbent) 127,590 100.00 +10.25
Majority 127,590 100.00 +20.50
Turnout 127,590 -15.76
Republican hold


Texas general election, 2002: Senate District 8[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Florence Shapiro (Incumbent) 135,927 89.75 -10.25
Libertarian David Spaller 15,525 10.25 +10.25
Majority 120,402 79.50 -20.50
Turnout 151,452 -32.80
Republican hold


Texas general election, 2000: Senate District 8[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Florence Shapiro (Incumbent) 225,369 100.00 +10.24
Majority 225,369 100.00 +20.48
Turnout 225,369 +6.48
Republican hold


Texas general election, 1996: Senate District 8[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Florence Shapiro (Incumbent) 189,985 89.76 -0.47
Libertarian Randal Morgan 21,674 10.24 +5.82
Majority 168,311 79.52 -5.36
Turnout 211,659 +22.41
Republican hold


Texas general election, 1994: Senate District 8[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Florence Shapiro (Incumbent)[23] 156,014 90.23 +7.57
Libertarian John Wawro 7,642 4.42 -12.92
Independent Paul Bertanzetti 9,247 5.35
Majority 146,767 84.88 +19.56
Turnout 172,903 -15.52
Republican hold


Texas general election, 1992: Senate District 2[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ted Lyon 96,746 40.08
Republican Florence Shapiro 129,229 53.54
Libertarian Richard C. Donaldson 15,384 6.37
Majority 32,482 13.46
Turnout 241,358
Republican gain from Democratic
Republican primary runoff, 1992: Senate District 2[22]
Candidate Votes % ±
Don Kent 7,609 49.40
? Florence Shapiro 7,793 50.59
Majority 184 1.19
Turnout 15,402
Republican primary, 1992: Senate District 2[22]
Candidate Votes % ±
Don Kent 12,742 34.74
Jack Harvard 6,189 16.87
Florence Shapiro 17,737 48.37
Turnout 36,668


  1. ^ http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/05/the-chosen-people.html
  2. ^ http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4686200.html
  3. ^ http://ydajc.wordpress.com/2006/11/12/jewish-women-on-rise-in-congress-from-the-jerusalem-post/
  4. ^ http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2008/07/15/
  5. ^ "State Senate Candidates for 2002 General Election". Office of the Texas Secretary of State. 2002-09-13. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  6. ^ a b "Senator Florence Shapiro - District 8". Texas State Senate. Archived from the original on 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  7. ^ "Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Honors Those Working to End Sexual Violence" (Press release). Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  8. ^ "Senator Florence Shapiro Honored as Legislative Champion by Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas" (Press release). Texas State Senate. 2008-10-29. Archived from the original on 2009-01-06.
  9. ^ http://www.nysun.com/foreign/bush-visit-may-boost-olmert/76303/
  10. ^ "President Bush Appoints Florence Shapiro to United States Holocaust Memorial Council" (Press release). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2008-07-01. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Senator Florence D. Shapiro - Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  12. ^ "Interact Club Trip to Austin". The Rotary Club of Park Cities. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-11.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b Nguyen, Kim (2008-07-15). "State Sen. Florence Shapiro announces U.S. Senate Exploratory Committee". McKinney Courier-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  14. ^ a b c "Florence Shapiro honored as Governor for a day". Texas Senate. 2005-04-09. Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  15. ^ a b Slater, Wayne (2008-05-08). "Florence Shapiro weighs run for U.S. Senate". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  16. ^ Ratcliffe, R.G. (2008-07-14). "Will Shapiro be the early bird?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  17. ^ Stutz, Terrence (2008-07-15). "State Sen. Florence Shapiro to roll out exploratory panel". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  18. ^ Ratcliffe, R.G. (2009-01-30). "U.S. Senate race: Williams likes himself $100,000 worth". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  19. ^ Slater, Wayne (2009-02-25). "Poll: Battle to replace Hutchison a tossup". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  20. ^ No go for Shapiro
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h "1992 - Current Election History". Office of the Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  23. ^ Shapiro was the District 2 incumbent prior to the 1994 Senate district redistricting.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Harvard
Mayor of Plano, Texas
Succeeded by
James N. Muns
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Ted Lyon
Texas State Senator
from District 2

Succeeded by
David Cain
Preceded by
O.H. "Ike" Harris
Texas State Senator
from District 8

Succeeded by
Ken Paxton
Preceded by
Jeff Wentworth
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
January 11, 2005 – May 30, 2005
Succeeded by
Frank L. Madla