“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the announcement boomed, and a hush fell about the room. “The Senator from the great state of Texas, Elizabeth Holcomb!” An echo of cheers rose from the attendees as the Senator entered the vast hall at the lavish, and historic downtown Austin hotel.
When she first ran for a state senate seat back in 92, Elizabeth Holcomb never expected to win, let alone be successful in Washington. Sure, she had ruffled a few party feathers with her progressive leanings, but after 30 years, she was proud of the work she had accomplished. When she left Texas for Washington, she understood that she had a fight in front of her. At first it was so much more than a simple up hill battle, but she dug her heals in and earned some much needed respect. After only seven short years, she became chairperson of the senate intelligence committee. There was where she had hoped to do her best work. In truth, this was where she failed. Rumors of collusion with a foreign diplomat, an inappropriate phone call, and a lengthy divorce settlement had her waving a white flag. She was down but no out. Her constituents stood by her through it all with unwavering support. For this, she was humble.
Being from a small town outside of Austin, she always loved giving back to her community. The charity luncheon was for a non profit she set up years ago to help provide medical care, and legal representation for mothers and women suffering from abuse.
The 350 in attendance were hand-picked by Holcomb herself due to their sizable bank accounts. Their applause swelled as she stepped up to the podium. She never worked with a speech writer. She always spoke from her heart.
“My dear friends,” she gazed around the room. “I wish that we were all gathered here today to celebrate a Longhorn’s victory. Unfortunate, this is not the case. We are here because of a grave injustice. A grave injustice, indeed. This injustice is defined by the victims of domestic violence throughout our great state and across our great country. But isn’t it also an injustice that organizations such as these suffer for funding each quarter while the numbers of victims increase exponentially?” She cleared her throat; at which point a glass of mineral water was placed on the podium for her. She took a sip, smiled and continued. “You are all here in large part because of your wonderful and continued support for me throughout the years but also because we need your help. 1 out of every three women in this state have suffered or are currently suffering from domestic abuse. This cannot continue.
“When I think of Texas, I think of family, and friends, home, and happiness. For some, those dreams are unimaginable. So, I ask you today, as we indulge ourselves…” The senator faltered, and grabbed hold of both sides of the podium. Her face turned ashen, and she reached for the water. “We must…” Her eyes grew wide as they pleaded for help. Security was behind her in an instant, but she pushed them away. She attempted to stand and regain her strength. “We must…”
The audience watched in horror as the senator fell to the floor in a violent spasm. Secret Service, along with her aid, rushed her out of the room and a medical team performed CPR as an ambulance pulled up in front of the building.
Senator Elizabeth Holcomb never spoke another word. Before she died, she had lost the use of of her muscles. It was reported to the press that the senator had suffered a violent heart attack. One man, watching the events on a video monitor from across the country, had a different diagnosis.