12/21/2010 12:25 PM
Speaker Candidate Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) announced his plans to call for a GOP caucus to discuss leadership of the Texas House.
Chisum, in a press statement released this morning, said he would deliver a letter to Republican Caucus Chairman Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) on Dec. 29 calling for a meeting. The letter would request that the House Republican Caucus discuss the Speaker's race, which right now is a three-way contest between Chisum, Rep. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) and Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio).
Caucus by-laws require scheduling a meeting within seven days upon the request of 10 Republican House members, and it appears there are enough Republicans wanting a caucus meeting to pull this off.
Those calling for a caucus meeting include stated Straus supporters Reps. Allen Fletcher (Houston), Kelly Hancock (North Richland Hills), and Rick Hardcastle (Vernon), as well as Paxton-backers Reps. Dan Flynn (Van) and Randy Weber (Pearland). Reps. Charlie Howard (Sugarland), Phil King (Weatherford), Geanie Morrison (Victoria), and Debbie Riddle (Spring), have also called for a caucus (though each are publicly uncommitted to a candidate by LSR's count).
"There are three Republican candidates for Speaker now," Chisum said, "and the Republican caucus is the appropriate place for us to narrow the field to one candidate. I also believe it is appropriate to provide the voters of Texas with advance notice that there will be a caucus to allow them time to contact their Representative with any advice on the Speaker's race."
Chisum said he opposes the "pledge card" system in the Speaker's race, and hopes to end that practice in favor of a caucus "where the will of the voters and the judgment of the members will carry the day."
LSR contacted the Speaker's Press Office regarding Chisum's call for a caucus, but no response was received at the time of posting. Straus maintains by far the highest level of support, claiming the pledges of 120 House members from both parties.
Paxton, the apparent runner-up with 17 House Republicans having coming out in support for the representative from McKinney, had no comment.
"We need a Republican caucus to meet and select one conservative candidate for Speaker of the House," Chisum said. "The voters of Texas have elected a strong overwhelming majority of Republicans to the Texas House of Representatives. We need to respond to the will of the voters and work together to select a single Republican nominee for Speaker."
Correspondent Andy Hogue contributed to this report.
LINK: Taylor speaks with LSR regarding caucus role in the Speaker's race. (Dec. 10)
UPDATE: (5:08 p.m.): Rep.-elect Jim Landtroop asked thathis name be added to the letter mandating a Republican caucus on Jan. 5, 2011, a following press release from Chisum said. This brings the number of House members calling for a caucus up to 10.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Phil on
12/21/2010 4:10 PM
Speaker Straus has proven he is a true conservative and strong leader. With his support, the Republican Caucus has returned all members who sought re-election and have gained an impressive 25 seats. Voters sent a strong message in November that they support the direction Republicans are leading this state and its current leadership. As it has been reported multiple times, this race is over. Speaker Straus will be, and should be, elected Speaker.