Several dozen Harris County elected officials brought in the New Year by taking the oath of office at a noon ceremony at noon on January 1 2013 in the recently-renovated historical Harris County Courthouse at 301 Fanin St. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart presided at the ceremony and administered the oath to the judges, county officials, and election board members before a standing-room-only gathering of family and friends of those being sworn in.
"It is a privilege and an honor to administer the Oath of Office to the 2013 Class of Elected Officials in a historic building that has been the epicenter of government in Harris County for over a hundred years," Stanart said. The Texas Constitution provides that all elected and appointed officials are required to take the official oath before entering upon the duties of office.
County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez gave a brief opening address urging those about to take office to remember the importance of integrity, citing the tarnished careers of Texas sports heroes Pete Rose and Lance Armstrong.
Former State Representative Col. Rick Noriega gave an 8-minute closing speech stressing the importance of defending the federal and state constitutions.
The officials took their oaths on their own Bibles held by a friend or family member, signed necessary documents, and received a decorative certificate including the phrase “We the people” from the preamble of the US Constitution.