Dewhurst is the presiding officer of the Texas Senate. He was elected land commissioner in 1998 and won the lieutenant governor's race four years later in 2002. He began his business career in the 1970s after serving in the U.S. Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. State Department. He founded Falcon Seaboard, a Texas-based diversified energy and investments company. Dewhurst is also a rancher and a champion cutting horse rider. He was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009.