From yesterday’s first Postcards post on the Speaker’s race yesterday, the denial of t the Democrats 64 names, it’s interesting to see Tom Craddick’s spokesperson Alexis DeLee say two different things about the Speaker’s support, Craddick camp rebuts Democratic list:
“It’s an inaccurate list,” said Alexis DeLee, Craddick’s communications director. “We continue to have the largest and most solid support of the House.”
DeLee offered no examples as to where the list is wrong. In recent days, however, Craddick has focused on wooing more Democratic support as a dozen Republican members have publicly broken with the speaker.
The 64 Democrats and 12 Republicans would be able to block Craddick’s re-election. However, DeLee said Craddick continues to have the support of a majority in the 150-member House.
“We’re not backing off that,” she said.
The way the post is written first, she says the have the more support than any other candidate, at that point and still that may be true. But then later she say they have the “support of a majority”, at least 76 House members. In the later post after Gattis and his three names are mentioned she reiterates the “largest and most solid support” comment, but there’s not mention of a majority anymore.
This was also interesting on today’s AAS article on the race, Craddick foes claim numbers that would end his reign as Texas speaker:
Before it became known that 15 Republicans had abandoned Craddick, he switched his focus last week to wooing Democrats. It’s a strategy he used in 2007. Craddick used 15 Democrats to offset 14 Republicans who supported his opponent, Rep. Jim Pitts of Waxahachie.
Dukes was among those 15 “Craddick D’s,” as they became known, who helped elect him. But she paid a price.
She was challenged in the March primary because of her support of Craddick. Dukes won, but it was a tough campaign that brought up problems with her consulting business, tax payments and campaign finance reports.
Dukes said Monday that she remains uncommitted to a candidate although she refused to sign the pledge to oppose Craddick. She left her options open because “things change drastically. My decision will be how I can best be effective for District 46.”
The rest of the Central Texas delegation, except newcomer Tim Kleinschmidt, a Republican from Lexington, are opposed to Craddick’s re-election.
The “Central Texas delegation” from includes the 10 districts in and around Austin and Travis County. Eight Democrats (Rose, Dukes, Bolton, Howard, Naishtat, Strama, Rodriguez and Maldonado) and Two Republicans (Kleinschmidt and Gattis). Only Kleinschmidt and Dukes are not committed to opposing Craddick at this time. Hopefully that will soon become nine out of 10.
The thing that is differnt this time around, as opposed to two years ago, is there are more Republicans on record acknowledging that there’s a problem with Craddick. They also seem fearful of the damage that could be done to them, and their majority, if they allow themselves Texas to endure another session with Craddick as the House leader. Whether the number is 64 or 74 Democrats, they cannot elect a Speaker. Ultimately it’s the GOP members that have to decide. If a new speaker is elected in two weeks it will be because the GOP house members finally see the majority in that chamber as something they want to have a chance to keep in two years. It’s hard to believe any member that had a close race in 2008 would want to have to defend themselves against Craddick and and another disastrous house session in 2010.