With the general election in the rearview mirror, all eyes are on the next political contest on the Texas horizon — the House speaker’s race. The Tribune called all 150 members of the Texas House to find out whether they’re sticking with current Speaker Joe Straus, defecting to the only other declared candidate, Rep. Bryan Hughes, or still sitting on the fence.
As of the Tribune’s last update, Straus had 32 confirmed supporters while Hughes had one — himself. Sixteen lawmakers said they were still undecided on whom to support, while 18 declined to say whom they were supporting. A majority of lawmakers have not yet responded to phone calls and emails seeking their stance on the race. Check out lawmakers’ responses below; we'll be updating as we go.
In a statement, Straus, R-San Antonio, said that his internal numbers show he continues to have the support “of a strong, bipartisan majority of members,” but that the speaker’s race is not his primary focus.
“With just eight weeks to go before the session begins,” he said, “we are more focused on the important issues facing our state than on external distractions.”
Hughes, R-Mineola, said the fact that the Tribune’s polling showed him so far behind wasn’t discouraging. The Tea Party-backed candidate, who is supported by FreedomWorks, the conservative group that championed U.S. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, said he hadn’t asked anyone to publicly commit to voting for him yet. He said he expects many legislators to hold town hall meetings with their constituents before choosing whom to back.