Joe Straus withdraws from Texas House Speaker's Race
by Abe Rill Phuelz
Citing "the clearly expressed will of Texas voters" Texas House Speaker Joe Straus today withdrew his name from consideration when the 84th Texas Legislature convenes next January.
"Last month, Texas voters sent a clear message regarding leadership in the Texas House of Representatives," Straus said. "From Bennett Ratliff, to Diane Patrick, to Lance Gooden, to Ralph Sheffield, to Linda Harper-Brown, my allies got consistently whooped. This follows similar losses by Vicki Truitt and Rob Eissler in 2012. With Dan Branch also going down in flames, I have become the biggest liability in Texas Politics. While I probably could have used Committee Chairmanships and lobbyist blood money to bribe my way to 76 votes in 2015, it would have been a Pyrrhic victory. I cannot, in good conscience, ask Todd Hunter, Jason Villaba, and Paul Workman to commit political suicide in 2016. Considering the clearly expressed will of Texas voters, I am withdrawing my name from consideration for the Speakership of the 84th Texas Legislature and endorse Scott Turner.
Turner could not be reached for comment by the time of this writing.
According to Rice University Professor Mark Jones: "Straus' move, while unexpected, is ultimately a concession to reality. While Battleground Texas and Wendy Davis talk a big game, the Tea Party's consolidation of power remains the dominant trend in Texas politics. With Tea Party bloggers promoting a Chinese Water Torture strategy against the Republican establishment, Straus chose to avoid two years worth of migraines."
Straus' move leaves Turner unopposed; the 84th Texas legislature convenes January, 13 2015.