Bob Bullock became Texas' 38th Lieutenant Governor in 1991, marking the end of an era in the Texas Senate and the beginning of a new one. His predecessor, Bill Hobby, served an unprecedented 18 years, presiding over a Senate clearly dominated by Democrats.
Bullock's tenure as Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate coincided with a statewide transformation in Texas government, with the Republican Party gaining stature and influence in what historically had been a "one-party state." Following his reelection in 1994, Bullock presided over a Senate more evenly balanced between Democrats and Republicans than any Lieutenant Governor since Reconstruction.
Bullock came to the Lieutenant Governor's Office with a vast experience in state government. Prior to his election, he served 16 years as State Comptroller--the state's chief tax collector and financial officer.
Bullock also served Texas as Secretary of State, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Assistant Attorney General and was a key aide to former Governor Preston Smith.
Bullock was born July 10, 1929, in Hillsboro, Texas. He attended Hillsboro public schools and Hill College. Bullock joined the Air Force in 1951 and was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio during the Korean Conflict. Once home, Bullock went to Texas Tech University where he later earned a bachelor's degree. He enrolled in Baylor University Law School and received his law degree in 1958.
Bullock was still in law school when he first ran for and won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives from his hometown in 1956.
While serving in the House, Bullock practiced law in Hillsboro. He was reelected in 1958, but resigned in 1959 to move to Tyler to join the law firm of fellow House member Byron Tunnell who became Speaker of the House in 1963. Bullock later practiced law in the Rio Grande Valley and in Houston before moving to Austin where he became an Assistant Attorney General in 1967. In that job, he organized the state's Antitrust and Consumer Protection Division and earned acclaim by winning multi-million dollar settlements for Texas hospitals in antitrust cases against several major pharmaceutical firms.
In 1969, Bullock joined the staff of incoming Governor Preston Smith and served as appointments secretary and general counsel before Governor Smith named him Secretary of State in 1971.
Bullock's service as Texas Secretary of State was marked by major election law reforms, including Bullock's implementation of the first state-financed party primaries and an extensive broadening of campaign finance disclosure requirements.
Bullock left state service at the end of 1972 and again set up an Austin law practice. But by the end of 1973, he was well on his way to his first statewide race for State Comptroller.
He served as Comptroller for the next 16 years, turning the office into a model agency with a special emphasis on financial research and taxpayer service.
Lieutenant Governor Bullock passed away in June 1999 at his home in Austin, Texas.