State Rep. Warren Chisum was the first one to challenge current Speaker Joe Straus. He’s now the first one to bow out. After yesterday’s GOP caucus, in which 70 percent of the delegates stood in support of Straus, some proclaimed the race over. However, state Rep. Ken Paxton, the other Straus challenger, announced last night that he would continue his bid—with the support of Chisum. Not so, according to Chisum’s letter, which declares he will vote for Straus at this afternoon’s House vote.
That leaves some us wondering whether Paxton will still stick to his guns today. The gallery’s filled with Tea Party supporters, eager to see which Republicans vote against Paxton, so they can organize against them. If Paxton doesn’t run, you’ll have a whole lot of disappointed activists—and a whole of of relieved representatives.
My congratulations to Joe Straus!
It was not easy, but at last the Republicans have met as a unified group. All candidates had their say, and then a solid majority voted to support incumbent Joe Straus for re-election as Speaker of the House.
My campaign for Speaker focused on two main themes. First, that Republicans should honor the will of the voters of Texas. Conservative voters elected a powerful Republican majority, and I wished to insure that the Republican candidate for Speaker was the candidate of a majority of Republicans. The Republican caucus was held and a candidate for Speaker was nominated.
The second issue important to me was to do everything in my power to promote a more conservative agenda in the next Legislature. During the campaign we all heard loud and clear from Texans that they expect the Republican majority to pass a conservative agenda. My colleague, Mr. Straus has promised that he would see the key issues of the conservative agenda come to a vote.
The official election for Speaker should take place on the first day of session, today, January 11. I congratulate my colleague Joe Straus on securing the majority support of Republican legislators. From the beginning of my campaign I promised to honor the majority of the caucus, and I will do so. I am withdrawing my name for Speaker of the House, and will be voting this afternoon for Speaker Straus.
It is an honor and privilege to serve, and I look forward to a very productive session.