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AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas Senate has easily approved Gov. Greg Abbott’s first three appointees to the University of Texas System Board of Regents, bringing what began as a contentious process to a tame conclusion.

The full chamber Wednesday confirmed six-year terms for new regents Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck, and a new term for regent Steve Hicks.

Each faced tough questioning from the Senate Nominations Committee last month. But its members then reversed course and approved the nominations a week later, setting up the floor vote.

Tucker was approved unanimously. Beck was confirmed 27-3 and Hicks 28-2. The opposition was led by tea party-backed Sen. Konni Burton.

Tucker is a former U.S. Department of Education official. Beck is a Houston lawyer. Businessman Hicks joined the board in 2009.

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