DALLAS (CBS11) – The Lone Star State, already one of the most conservative in the nation, may soon become even more so after House Speaker Joe Straus announced he’s not running for re-election.
The idea excites some Republicans and concerns many Democrats.
This year, it was mostly moderate and conservative Republicans butting heads in Austin.
Under Straus, Democrats and moderate Republicans proved to be an effective coalition, but that may soon change.
Cathie Adams, a grassroots conservative says, “I’m absolutely excited.”
Adams says she hopes the House will become more conservative.
The Speaker was able to block a bathroom privacy bill during the regular and special sessions.
Adams says, “I absolutely think that bathroom bill needs to be passed. I think it will be passed.”
Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman says, “I would say I’m worried.”
McMurray says she and others don’t want bathroom privacy legislation to pass, which is why she will fight efforts to turn the House more conservative. “My hope is the same coalition who put Speaker Straus in his position of Democrats and moderate Republicans will hold and put someone else in there who will be damaging to the State of Texas.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says the tide may be turning in the House.
“I think what needs to happen is for the House membership to elect a Speaker who will represent the issues of the people care about. So if that happens, we will have a more conservative speaker.”
Democratic State Representative Ramon Romero of Fort Worth disagrees, and says Texans need to speak-up.
“It’s not a foregone conclusion to say that the next Speaker of the House is going to be a conservative, a far-right conservative.”
The winning candidate to become Speaker needs backing from at least 76 of 150 members of the House.
The next Speaker will be chosen on the first day of the next legislative session beginning in January, 2019.