U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) was the guest of honor at a luncheon held at the Holiday Inn in Beaumont on April 10.

Port Arthur Mayor Dolores Prince, right, gives a hug in gratitude and friendship to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison at an April 10 luncheon.

Hundreds of business and community leaders attended a luncheon Tuesday honoring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

Hutchison is completing her last term in the Senate. She was first elected in a special election in 1993 to fill the Senate seat left by the resignation of Lloyd Bentsen. Her first full term began in November 1994 and she was re-elected in 2000 and 2006 with wide margins.

The Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission hosted the event as a way to thank the senator for her dedication to Southeast Texas.

In particular, area leaders showed their appreciation for Hutchison's work in the preparations and aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Ike.

Hutchison is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Committee on Rules and Administrations

In the 112th Congress she serves as the Ranking Republican Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science.

Hutchison decided she would not seek re-election in 2012.

There are currently nine Republicans, four Democrats, six Libertarians and two Green Party candidates seeking nominations for Hutchison's Senate seat.

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