Let The Speaker’s Race Begin

Posted in 81st Legislature, Commentary, Speakers Race at 3:41 pm by wcnews

After more Democratic gains on Tuesday the Texas House will either be tied (75 -75) or a one seat GOP advantage (76 - 74). Here are a couple articles on the Speaker’s race:

Craddick’s opponents bolder after GOP losses in Texas House.

“I would say stick a fork in Tom Craddick,” Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, leader of the House Democrats said Wednesday. “It’s over.”

Craddick may be odd man out in testy speaker race.

The next speaker of the narrowly divided Texas House must be bipartisan, and that rules out controversial Speaker Tom Craddick, several key lawmakers said Thursday.

It looked likely once or twice before that Craddick might be out as Speaker and he survived, so don’t believe it until you see it - I know I won’t. Although a third straight cycle of losses for the Texas GOP in the House, a possible a tie now, and redistricting coming up in 2011, the GOP may decide it’s not worth risking the majority - a fourth election cycles of losses - on Craddick. It’ll definitely be an interesting two months, that’s for sure.

Williamson County’s own Dan Gattis, Jr., has been rumored (AAS) to be getting into the race, but hasn’t yet (Burka). Excerpt from AAS:

Others are being mentioned in the discussions about who should be speaker.

Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, is a member of Craddick’s inner circle, but he said Wednesday that he is getting a significant number of calls from Republicans and Democrats.

“I have discussed with them my concern about the House and how we manage it and my concern about the party with my fellow Republicans,” Gattis said. “But I haven’t asked any members for votes.”

Gattis seems unlikely because of his relative youth. The Speaker hasn’t been, in recent history, a stepping stone job, but more of a job at the end of a political career. Gattis’ career appears to be on the incline, but it’s a job with tremendous power and, if “drafted” by the membership, would probably be hard to decline. It certainly wouldn’t disqualify him from running for statewide office in the future. EOW’s always seen Gattis as running for State Senate, then statewide or a Congressional seat in the future. But we’ll just have to wait and see, the first day of the 81st Session is January 13th. It’s quite a crowded field already, the current list of candidates can be found here. Off The Kuff has more.

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