SHEA, GWYN CLARKSTON (1937 ~ ). The following is a brief biographical sketch of former Secretary of State Gwyn Clarkston Shea provided by the Shea family.
"Gwyn Clarkston Shea is the 103rd Secretary of State for the State of Texas. Appointed by Governor Rick Perry in January, 2002, the position reflects Shea's lifelong commitment to serving the people of Texas.
Shea spent five terms in the Texas House of Representatives from 1982 until 1992. During her time in the legislature, she became the first woman in Texas history to sit on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. Her hard work for the House Insurance Committee earned her national recognition and election as President of the National Council of Insurance Legislators. She is a recipient of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Legislative Leadership Award for outstanding public service. Other organizations that recognized her legislative commitment to the people of Texas include the Municipal League, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Civil Justice League, and the Texas Association of Concerned Tax Payers.
In February 1993, Shea was appointed to serve as Dallas County Constable for Precinct 2, including Irving, Coppell, and North Dallas. Since her appointment, she has been reelected to the position in 1994, 1996 and 2000. During her tenure as constable, Shea has returned more than $1 million annually in hot check restitution and post judgment collection.
In 1995, Governor George W. Bush appointed Shea to the Texas Worker's Compensation Insurance Facility. The state of Texas privatized the facility and it was sold to the largest reinsurer in the world, bringing approximately $63 million into state coffers.
In 1997, Bush also appointed Shea as president of the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation. The corporation is a landmark public/private partnership that created a statewide delivery system for children's health care and returned over $7 million to the state.
She has lived in Dallas County for 30 years and has been very active in her community. She is a former director of the Irving Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Women's Division of the Chamber. She has served on the advisory boards of the Irving Infant Intervention Center, Irving CARES, and Professional Secretaries International. She is a member of the First Baptist Church in Irving.
She attended both North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and Dallas Baptist University and is a graduate of the Dallas Baptist University Police Academy.
Shea is the proud mother of two adult children and the doting grandmother of two grandchildren.
Both of Shea's parents served as election judges and the ideas of community service and the electoral process have had a special significance to Shea since her childhood. She brings that view to her role as the state's chief elections officer."
Further biographical materials available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.