Amid Capitol drama, Speaker Joe Straus says he’ll run for reelection


Texas House Speaker Joe Straus will run for reelection next year and in 2019 will seek to become the longest-serving leader of the lower chamber in Texas history, Straus spokesman Jason Embry said.

Straus, who won his House seat in 2005 and was elected speaker in 2009, would move past Democrats Gib Lewis and Pete Laney on the all-time list if voters in his northwest San Antonio district send him back to Austin next year and his House colleagues elect him speaker for a sixth term.

Straus’ announcement, which was first reported by the San Antonio Express-News, comes amid a stand-off with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the Senate, that could spill into a special legislative session. Patrick has threatened to force the overtime period if Straus does not produce House votes on bills that would restrict local property tax increases and prohibit transgender Texans from using the bathrooms of their choice. The regular session ends Monday.

Since Patrick was elected in 2014 as a tea party-aligned firebrand conservative, he has served as a foil to the more moderate Straus. Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott have also said they will run for reelection next year, meaning the Republican “big three” of state politics may be returning to their roles next session.

While Straus has never indicated he won’t run for reelection, conservative groups that have tried to unseat him and his top lieutenants in the House have suggested that this is his last term. His announcement will dispel those rumors and could keep House members in line as he navigates the feud with Patrick and the prospect of a special session.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

CANCHOLA TRIAL: Murder charge tossed after medical examiner’s flip-flop
CANCHOLA TRIAL: Murder charge tossed after medical examiner’s flip-flop

A man who is suspected of beating his boyfriend to death no longer faces several felony charges, including a murder charge, after a Travis County judge tossed out the bulk of a medical examiner’s controversial testimony on Monday. State district Judge David Wahlberg reversed his ruling from last week, announcing statements given from the witness...
Man offered $25k to kill ex-girlfriend, sheriff’s office says

TRAVIS COUNTY Officials: Man offered $25k to kill ex-girlfriend Travis County sheriff’s deputies on Monday arrested a man accused of trying to hire an acquaintance to kill his ex-girlfriend. Keith James Cote has been charged with criminal solicitation (to commit capital murder), according to the sheriff’s office. Cote offered someone $10...
Despite dropped charges, four Democrats to challenge Rep. Dawnna Dukes
Despite dropped charges, four Democrats to challenge Rep. Dawnna Dukes

Following Travis County prosecutors’ decision on Monday to drop all charges in the corruption case against her, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes is now out of legal trouble — but she’s not yet out of political trouble. Four Democrats who had previously said they plan to run for Dukes’ heavily Democratic House District 46 confirmed Monday...
Poll finds most Texans think DACA program should be extended
Poll finds most Texans think DACA program should be extended

Nearly 60 percent of Texans want to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation some 124,000 Texans who arrived as children and remained in the country illegally, according to results of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Monday. Answering a separate question, slightly more than half oppose...
Murder trial begins in Sixth Street shootings that killed 1, injured 4
Murder trial begins in Sixth Street shootings that killed 1, injured 4

A trial begins this week for a man accused of firing shots into a Sixth Street crowd around closing time, killing a woman and wounding four other people. Endicott McCray, 26, was aiming for his brother-in-law but missed and instead shot five others, including Teqnika Marie Moultrie, who was in town visiting her wife’s family and died of a head...
More Stories