I've spent the past four years working with Rick Noriega, a person who I can truly say embodies the principles and virtues of a public servant. He is someone who grew up from humble beginnings and who through hard work and perseverance has risen to great stature. Rick has never forgotten where he came from and has dedicated his entire life giving back to the community and creating a better future for everyone.
As a state representative, Rick stood up against partisan politics and special interests, and instead put Texas families first every step of the way. During his time there, he demonstrated great courage, leadership, and vision.
In 2004, duty called and Rick answered the call to serve. He went to Afghanistan and put his life on the line to protect our country. I was in the Texas Capitol when Rick took the oath of office in Kabul and appointed his wife, Councilmember Melissa Noriega, to serve in his place. The year he was away were trying times, but Rick and his family stood strong.
I was there when Rick returned from Afghanistan and took command of the George R. Brown Shelter in Downtown Houston after Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana coast. He brought together the public, private, non-profit, and religious sector for the greater good and demonstrated what government should be.
I am proud of Rick and appreciative of everything he has done, the risks he has taken, the sacrifice he has endured for the love of this county, the lives he has touched and changed in dramatic ways for the better.
Next year, I hope to be able to see him go to Washington, take the oath of office, and call him Senator Noriega. With your help, it can and will be done.
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